bilingual

New SAT To Debut On March 5

Feb 24, 2016
Alberto G. / Flickr

The SAT is undergoing a big change, with a new version of it debuting in a few weeks.

One of the biggest changes that college-bound students can look forward to is the vocabulary section.

The current test contains words or language that you’re not likely to ever use or hear again. Case in point: “antediluvian” - meaning the period before the biblical flood.

The new one will contain more commonly used words to define.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

Most of the students at Royal Palm Elementary in Miami have Spanish-speaking families.

But those families also want their kids to speak – and read and write – more Spanish in school.

So teacher Alexandra Martin is leading her first grade class through “Vamos Papa,” with each child reading a passage from the Spanish language story. Martin helps students through proper pronunciation and words they stumble on.

This is the Miami-Dade public schools’ extended foreign language program, or EFL

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

To get into Florida colleges and universities you have to have studied — or be able to speak — a second language. But Florida students don’t have to take foreign language classes to graduate from high school.

So in a part of the state where most families already speak a second language, Immokalee Community School is leaning on parents to make sure their children stay bilingual. As a condition of their children attending the school, every parent has signed a contract to speak Spanish with their kids for at least 30 minutes a day, most days of the week.

University of Arizona's Coral Way Bilingual Elementary Program Oral History Project

The first English/Spanish bilingual education program in the country started at Miami's Coral Way Elementary in 1963. It was supposed to be a temporary curriculum to help Cuban students retain their language and culture, while people waited for the Castro regime to fall. 

Today the school, which has since expanded to the eighth grade, continues to thrive. Coral Way's elementary students spend about 60% of the day learning in English and 40% learning in Spanish.