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Compton | Community News Files

District Will Use Grant to Develop Bilingual Program

September 19, 1997

A $1.5-million federal grant will allow the Compton school district to develop a pilot bilingual education program at an elementary school where nearly half the students speak limited English, district officials said.

The grant is expected to help teachers at Emerson Elementary prepare "two-way" bilingual classes, where lessons will be taught alternately in English and Spanish to students with limited proficiency in either language.

Similar programs at 150 schools nationwide over the past 30 years have shown positive results as an alternative to more traditional bilingual educational methods, said Randolph E. Ward, state administrator of the Compton Unified School District.

"These programs conserve the language skills of minority students while adding a second language to the repertoire of English-speaking students," Ward said in a statement. He added that the approach also promotes cross-cultural understanding.

After a year of preparation, the five-year program is scheduled to begin in two kindergarten, first-grade and second-grade classes at the start of the next school year.

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