Contact: Wendel Sloan at 505.562.2253
PORTALES--The public is invited to the Portales-area premier of the
"Planting Seeds of Success Through Language" documentary at 7 p.m. on
Wednesday, Nov. 12, in the University Theatre at Eastern New Mexico
University in Portales.
The half-hour program, produced by KENW-TV's Orlando Ortega (also the mayor
of Portales), highlights a Spanish/English Two-Way, Dual-Language Immersion
Program that has been in place at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School in
Albuquerque for eight years. The program begins with kindergarten and
continues through the fifth grade. Students with English as their first
language, students with Spanish as their first language, and heritage
language learners (non-Spanish speaking Hispanics) are grouped together in
the classroom. During half of the day, the students are immersed in
English-only instruction and during the other half, they are immersed in
According to Dr. Julia Rosa López-Emslie, director of
Bilingual/Multicultural ENMU, "The two-way program promises to revolutionize
the ways schools address bilingualism. But the key to a successful program
is the early involvement of parents, teachers, students, and administrators
in the planning and implementation of the program."
After six years of the Spanish/English Two-Way Dual Language Immersion
Program, students at Dolores Gonzales Elementary School are reaping its many
Based on an idea that originated more than 40 years ago, Two-Way Dual
Language Immersion Programs can be found in more than 260 schools throughout
the United States. The program was introduced in New Mexico in 1969.
La Casita School in Clovis is planting its own seeds of bilingual,
bicultural citizens in its community. This model program began its
development phase in 1996. Teachers traveled to observe other two-way
dual-language immersion programs in the country, and families in the area
were invited to La Casita to learn about the benefits of the program. In
its fifth year of operation, the program's teachers, students, and parents
are reaping its benefits.
Following introductions by Dr. Steven Russell, dean of the College of
Education and Technology at ENMU, ENMU president Steven Gamble will welcome
guests. The documentary will then be screened, followed by comments from
David Briseño, director of Federal Programs at La Casita. Students in the
dual-language program at Las Casita will also be in attendance.
Duane Ryan, director of Broadcasting at KENW will then make comments,
followed by Dr. López-Emslie.
A reception will follow in the lobby.