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Elementary school starting students early on bilingual track

READ MORE: Elementary school starting students early on bilingual track

One New Hanover County school is adding a little bit of culture to its curriculum. Forest Hills Elementary is the first in our county to add what's called a dual immersion class. It's helping some kindergarteners already learn a second language.

Martine Allison is teaching her kindergarten class in two languages this year. Miss Allison, or as the students call her, Senorita Allison, says it's only day two of school and some kids are already saying hola and como estas.
Twenty spots in her class are now filled with students, who will learn their ABCs, numbers and others skills in both languages. She will alternate each day teaching in English and Spanish.

Allison says the class is made of students who speak Spanish already and others who are new to the language.

"Those Spanish speakers will help our English speaking students, and they will be working together to share insight into each language, and they will learn more about each other, their community and where they come from," she said.

Parents expressed a huge interest in the class, so the school had to use a lottery system to fill the spots in the classroom. Principal Michael Cobb says research shows the bilingual program enables students not only to achieve higher academic success, but also to walk away with greater cognitive and cooperative skills.

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