A new opportunity is coming in the 2019-20 school year for students to engage in multiple languages.
Harlingen CISD announced the opening of a World Languages Academy at Vernon Middle School.
“Our students need to be prepared to compete in a global economy. The number one language of commerce is Mandarin Chinese and Spanish is the second. There is a demand for individuals with command of two or more languages,” said Dr. Art Cavazos, Harlingen CISD superintendent. “The World Languages Academy will broaden perspectives in the classroom and create global thinkers by teaching students new languages, expose them to different cultures, and allow them opportunities to engage with students across the globe.”
The program will feature small learning communities with the goal of developing multilingual and multicultural students who will be prepared to compete in a global economy.
The World Languages Academy will be open to all incoming sixth-graders with the addition of a grade level each year and is a natural progression for students in the district’s Dual Language Academies to continue their language studies into their secondary school years.
“We started the Dual Language program back in 2013. Now those students are getting ready to go into middle school,” said Dr. Alicia Noyola, chief academic officer. “We want to continue to give them that opportunity to develop their literacy skills and their writing skills in another language.”
These students will continue their study of Spanish and English by taking courses in both languages. Furthermore, students will have the opportunity to begin the study of a third or fourth language, including Mandarin Chinese.
Additional language options are being studied, like American Sign Language, French, and German to be added in the future.
Going above and beyond, the academy will immerse students into language and culture by allowing them to connect with students from other countries and offering international travel opportunities during students’ eighth-grade year.