The Dual Language program at Julian Thomas is an educational approach to promote bi-literacy for native English speakers and native Spanish speakers.
The goal is to prepare students for the future with abilities to listen, speak, read and write in both English and Spanish, as well as develop an appreciation for different cultures. The Dual Language program provides students with the opportunity to learn two languages, while maintaining high academic standards. The program is implemented at all elementary grade levels at Julian Thomas.
Dual Language programs vary with respect to the amount of Spanish that is used for instruction. The Racine Unified School District (RUSD) has adopted an 80/20 model. Beginning in kindergarten, students will receive 80 percent of their instruction in Spanish and 20 percent of their instruction in English. The percentage of instruction in Spanish will gradually decrease, while the percentage of instruction in English will increase throughout the grade levels. In 5th grade, 50 percent of the students' instructional time is in Spanish and 50 percent in English. All students will receive initial literacy in Spanish. This 80/20 model allows for all students to build a solid foundation in Spanish and English in order to promote bilingualism.