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Bilingual / ESL / DUAL / Foreign Language

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Maria H. Arambula-Ruiz


(956) 473-5242


Program Overview

United Independent School District provides excellent programs and plans to better service our Bilingual students. Bilingual education in United I.S.D. is an educational approach that helps build knowledge and learning of academic subjects in the first language and English while instilling self-assurance, confidence and cultural pride in students (TEA, 2004).  This approach is supported by research and literature on bilingual education and second language acquisition; studies indicate that literacy in the first language enhances literacy in the second language (Cummins, 1980). Furthermore, the state of Texas requires that every student who is identified as limited English proficient (LEP) be afforded a full opportunity to participate in a Bilingual/ESL Program. Parental permission is required; nonetheless, parents may deny services. If this is the case, the student will remain identified as limited English proficient until the student no longer qualifies for services but will be coded as a parent denial. Moreover, United I.S.D. and the Bilingual Department have identified the month of November as “Bilingual Education Awareness Month” (Since November 2013), because, “We are THANKFUL to know Two Languages” “Estamos AGRADECIDOS de saber Dos Idiomas.” During this month we encourage our campuses to provide awareness to the parents of our community about the importance of being Bilingual and the different programs and plans our District has to offer. Parents are invited to campus PTC meetings/Programs where bilingual students are acknowledged, and participate in events such as the DUAL Showcase which correlate with the cognitive, linguistic and affective domains. The bilingual department also recognizes the Bilingual students through the Bilingual Education Scholar Award (Since September 2016). Every month nominees are submitted to the department for achieving academic success, participating in extra-curricular activities, and/or providing community services; students are then selected, provided with a medal, and honored during a board meeting. This department also participates in the Annual Parent Summit where sessions are provided to the parents of bilingual students about how to better prepare their children for their academic careers. All in all,our goal here at United I.S.D. is to EDUCATE ALL students.


The Bilingual Department strives to enhance the development of bilingual, bicultural, and bi-literate students in an ever-evolving globally technological society, therefore, producing capable leaders for a better tomorrow. Additionally, the Bilingual Department collaborates with district and campus administrators, teachers, students, and parents to augment the knowledge base about best practices in bilingual education; this collaboration provides an effective multicultural environment and most importantly, set a standard of excellence achievable by all stakeholders.

  • Bilingual education involves teaching academic content in two languages, in a native and secondary language with varying amounts of each language used in accordance with the program model. United ISD offers the Early Transition Model at the elementary level.
  • ESL (English as a Second Languageprograms are vital because they provide a learning environment for acquiring the English language. An ESL program has teachers that are ESL certified and that assist students to develop their speaking, listening, writing and reading in understanding the English language. United ISD offers the ESL pull-out program at the secondary level.
  • Foreign language gives you access to new literature, new music, and new art. Combining foreign language skills with other areas of expertise multiplies job opportunities, opening up travel-filled career paths in business, technology, diplomacy, journalism, education, the military and countless other fields. United ISD offers Spanish and French classes as foreign language courses for students.
  • DUAL Program enrichment model (Developing Unity, Achievement, and Language) is a language enrichment model that integrates ELLs and English speaking students to provide content area instruction and language development in the two languages. This model provides an additive bilingual environment where all students have the opportunity to learn a second language while continuing to develop their native language proficiency and to improve their mastery of the content areas. In the 2002-2003 school year, United ISD began implementing a federally funded dual language education program at several elementary schools, today selected elementary schools to provide a strand of the DUAL program; most of the middle schools are also participating and most of the high schools as well. This program serves English Language Learners (ELLs) and English proficient students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Dual Language programs are a dynamic form of education that holds great promise for developing high levels of academic achievement, bilingualism and biliteracy, and cross-cultural awareness among participating students (Christian & Whitcher, 1995; Valdés, 1997). If you would like more information or are interested in enrolling your child, please contact your campus administration.


Name Position Email Phone
Veronica Brown Compliance Coordinator (956) 473-2001
Sandra Higareda Compliance Coordinator (956) 473-2113
Basilia Vela Coordinator (956) 473-2002
Michele Garza Coordinator (956) 473-2133
Ofilia Esquivel Coordinator (956) 473-1818
Cynthia Lopez  Coordinator (956) 473-1816
Yadira Martinez Coordinator (956) 473-2134
Dr. Julissa Liendo Coordinator (956) 473-1815
Maria A. Dominguez Coordinator (956) 473-2082
Guadalupe Aguiar Coordinator (956) 473-1817
Claudia Dominguez LPAC Specialist (956) 473-2003
Hilda Knapp Bilingual Clerk (956) 473-2113
Monica Reyes Bilingual Clerk (956) 473-1814


Bilingual / ESL / DUAL / Foreign Language Navigation

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TELPAS Information for UISD Parents

Brain Research / Other Language Related Articles