DeSoto ISD Adopts Nationally Recognized Bilingual Education Learning Model

the district recently announced the adoption of the nationally recognized Gomez and Gomez instructional framework
Photo provided by DeSoto ISD

Gomez and Gomez Learning Framework Adopted in DeSoto ISD

DESOTO– As DeSoto ISD continues its focus on improving the quality of its academic programs through its FOCUS Priorities, the district recently announced the adoption of the nationally recognized Gomez and Gomez instructional framework to support the teaching of English and Spanish in the district’s Bilingual Education program. The learning system is aimed at enhancing the acquisition of the English Language while ensuring proficiency and mastery of content in the native language.

With the implementation of this model, DeSoto ISD Bilingual Department Supervisor Dr. Helena Castanon Vargas believes that the DeSoto Independent School District is now better positioned to provide an equitable and relevant education to all students.

The Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Enrichment Model was first developed by Dr. Richard Gomez, Jr. and Dr. Leo Gomez in 1995 and has since been implemented in over 700 schools across the country including over 150 districts in Texas.

“I want to congratulate the district for bringing a world class model with a world class goal of getting all your ELL kids to be equally strong in both English and Spanish. There is an incredible amount of support for the district teachers, principals and parents. I see nothing but very positive results for this program in this district. I am coming back often to train teachers, visit classrooms and help DeSoto ISD be the best that it can be for all kids,” said Richard Gomez during an earlier visit to the district’s campuses.

“Teachers were lacking program structure, professional development, and basic second language acquisition premises. Because the program is very structured, guides bilingual teachers thoroughly, comes with professional development and has a high success rate, I knew it was what DeSoto ISD needed to move our English Language. students forward,” began Dr. Vargas. “By providing structure in language policy and marrying it with best practices, good teachers become great teachers.”

Vargas further explained that the goal of the One-Way Dual Immersion program model that is being implemented in DeSoto ISD through Gomez and Gomez is aimed at ensuring that our students attain proficiency in their second language (English) through building on the native language of Spanish.

“We have known for over 40 years, that the best way to learn a second language is by building on the native language because skills transfer across languages,” added Vargas.

Bilingual, Biliterate & Bicultural

This year, the Gomez and Gomez framework is in use in all bilingual classrooms in grades PreK-5th at Amber Terrace, Cockrell Hill, and Frank Moates elementary campuses.

Since the adoption of the learning model, Dr. Gomez and his team has hosted training sessions for bilingual staff and a parent night to share the program model and concepts. He is expected to return to the district for more onsite training in January 2020.

Gomez stated his commitment again during his recent visit. “We are committed to helping your students succeed academically and become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural along the way!”

The new learning model has been embraced by the district leaders, principals, and teachers the excitement is growing about the anticipated success of this new learning model to serving our steadily growing population of English language learners.

Vargas concluded, “We have just started and have a long way to go! I am excited about the great things that are already happening in bilingual classrooms and what is yet to come.”