students and parents

Bilingual Program

Mesquite Independent School District is committed to providing a bilingual program for the purpose of teaching English to limited-English students and to assisting them in learning to function effectively in an all-English school environment.

Bilingual education is a full-time program of dual language instruction that provides for learning basic skills in the primary language of the students and provides a carefully structured and sequenced mastery of English language skills.

Benefits of Being Bilingual

Intellectual. People who are bilingual have more mental flexibility. This is significant in that as learning abilities increase, students can use these abilities to improve comprehension and solve problems in math or linguistics.

Educational. Research has also shown that students who continue to develop their native language do learn English and score higher academically than those who sacrifice their native

Personal. Developing the student’s native language helps him find his personal identity. The student then values his culture and heritage, and this contributes to having a positive self-image and high self-esteem.

Social. The doors of communication with family and community are open when the native language is maintained. By promoting the student’s native language, we prepare him to take his role in the community and the rest of the world.

Economy. Today’s world demands a work force that is bilingual. By receiving an education in more than one language, students are given an advantage while competing in the world’s work market.


Texas Education Code 29.055 defines the program of instruction “English as a Second Language” as “a program of intensive instruction in English from teachers trained in recognizing and dealing with language differences.” The program goal is to enable limited English proficient students to become competent in the comprehension, speaking, reading, and composition of the English language through the integrated use of second language methods.

Instructional Components and Benefits

The English as a second language (ESL) program addresses the affective, linguistic, and cognitive needs of limited English proficient students.

Elementary ESL. The elementary ESL program is a content-based intensive language instructional pull-out model, which utilizes collaboration between the ESL certified teacher and the regular education classroom teacher.

Secondary ESL. The secondary ESL program is a content course model with grade-level objectives delivered through modified instruction that makes information comprehensible to students. In grades 7-12, English and reading courses are taught by ESL certified teachers, while other content courses are taught through sheltered instruction strategies by teachers trained in second language acquisition methods.


What is the difference between speaking skills and reading and writing skills?

The student’s daily oral face-to-face communication for personal and social purposes is known as Basic Interpersonal Communication Skills, or BICS. It takes two years exposure to English in order to develop a relatively high degree of English communicative skills. The level of English proficiency needed for academic learning (reading and writing) is referred to as Cognitive Academic Language Proficiency, or CALP. CALP takes from five to seven years to develop.

Although your child is orally fluent in English, he or she may still not be academically prepared to compete in an all English classroom. Our ESL program carefully structures the development of both oral and academic language in a stress-free environment while considering the student’s cultural background.

Who participates in the program?

Participants are students in grades PK-12 who are limited English proficient, score below the 40th percentile on a norm-referenced test, and whose native language is other than English.

How are these students identified?

Students are identified by the Home Language Survey. If the Home Language Survey indicates a home language other than English, students are assessed with an oral language proficiency test and a norm-referenced test. Assessment results determine the program placement of the student based on criteria set by the state.

How can the ESL program be successful?

The ESL program will continue to be successful with parental and community approval and support. Parental participation enhances the quality of our program and ensures proper implementation. With your participation, this program will continue to succeed.