Dual Language Program

Bilingual Education

Dual language is a form of bilingual education that teaches students literacy and content in two languages. Studies have shown that children have no difficulty keeping languages separate. The important factor in developing a successful experience for students is to begin the program in kindergarten.

Students enrolled in the dual language program begin their reading instruction in both languages starting in Kindergarten and continue this structure throughout the program. In elementary school, students will receive instruction for all subject areas in both Spanish and English.

Parents/guardians do not need to be bilingual for students to experience success in the dual language program. At home, Parents/guardians should continue to speak their first language. School personnel will provide support in the second language.


The mission of the dual language program is to provide learners and leaders with authentic instruction to become bilingual and biliterate in English and Spanish. Academic achievement will increase across grade levels to meet or exceed state standards in all content areas. Authentic materials will support instruction, providing a balanced literacy approach in all four language domains in both Spanish and English. The program emphasizes multiculturalism and embraces the diversity of all learners during personalized instruction in two languages.


The Dual Language Program’s vision is to EMPOWER life-long bilingual, bi-literate, and multicultural leaders and learners. Within a bilingual classroom environment, students will ACHIEVE success through an effective academic approach. This will allow them to compete and SUCCEED in our global society, with enhanced career and life opportunities.


To enroll in the dual language program, families can inquire with Irving Elementary or contact the World Languages Department at 712-279-6840.

Program Format

Elementary students enrolled in the dual language program attend school at Irving Dual Language Elementary. If a student does not live within the boundary area for Irving, then a “Within the District Transfer” form can be completed to allow the student to attend Irving.

At Irving Dual Language Elementary, students receive instruction 50% of the time in English and 50% of the time in Spanish. Each quarter of the school year, students rotate which subjects they learn in English, and which subjects they learn in Spanish. For example, first quarter some

students may learn Math in English and Science in Spanish. The next quarter, these same students would rotate so they would learn Math in Spanish and Science in English. Regardless of which language students learn the content in, teachers continue to be diligent in helping all students comprehend the curriculum.

The staff at Irving Dual Language Elementary School are committed to helping students master the Iowa Core Standards of curriculum, which are taught at all schools in the District. At the same time, students acquire language skills in English and Spanish.

Students in the dual language program attend middle school at North Middle. Middle school dual language students receive their instruction in a Spanish Language Arts class, in addition to their English Language Arts class. To maximize the benefits of dual language acquisition, students are encouraged to enroll in dual language courses in high school, too.


Irving Dual Language Elementary School first implemented the Dual Language Program in the fall of 2006. It began with one section each of Spanish and English, 2 teachers, and approximately 35 students. As of 2020, our program has grown to 30 classrooms and about 700 students K-5.