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Posted: October 5, 2021

Check Your Choices: APS Dual Language Programs

Learn more about Coronado Elementary School and other dual-language schools during the Virtual APS School Choice Fair on Oct. 19.

Speaking from the heart and building bridges, APS’s Dual Language Programs create connections and opportunities.

“The students are beaming, smiling,” says Maria De La Torre, a teacher at Coronado Dual Language Magnet School. “They’re so proud at the end of fifth grade when they’ve earned their seal showing they are bilingual.”

Coronado Elementary School will be among the magnet and charter schools featured at the virtual APS School Choice Fair on Oct. 19. Learn More and Register to Attend 

We asked students at Coronado Elementary School about their favorite parts of the program. Fifth-grader Pablo Lujan says, “It would probably be visiting my grandparents more often, because they came from Spain and Mexico, so they don’t really know a lot of English, so that would probably be one of the main things.”

"At their age, their focus and concern are to be able to communicate with their grandparents and their uncles,” Coronado Elementary Principal Sandra Castro says. “As educators, our goal is making them biliterate for the workforce. But they just see it as fun right now.”

Lucca Kerkmans, another fifth grader at Coronado, talks about her favorite aspects. “That would have to be the energy that the teachers put into it and the way that we learn cultures from Spanish-speaking countries, as well as Spanish itself.”

“We celebrate culture all the time,” Principal Castro says proudly, adding that there are additional components for Hispanic Heritage Month. “Voces de Coronado, our choral group, sang at Old Town for the inauguration of Hispanic Heritage Month, and classes are learning about Dolores Huerta and Cesar Chavez.”

APS has 60 schools with bilingual programs, including three dual-language magnet schools. The goal is to graduate students who are proficient in English and their home language in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Students receive daily instruction in English, their home language (where available), and the cultures of New Mexico.

In addition to broadening academic, social, and career opportunities, the Dual Language Program at APS also fosters wisdom. Lucca Kerkmans adds her parting thought: “When I can see words from two perspectives, it also helps in seeing other things from two perspectives, such as global warming and other big phenomena.”

Learn More About Coronado Dual Language Magnet School