Teachers break down language barrier

Posted at: 12/21/2012 7:42 PM
Updated at: 12/21/2012 8:30 PM
By: Erin Cargile, KXAN

Central Texas is becoming more diverse each day as families from around the world move there.

The changing demographics are apparent in classrooms across Austin. Currently, there are 86 different languages spoken at home, according to the Austin Independent School District.

The top six are Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Burmese, Korean and Chinese.

None compare to the growing number of Spanish speaking students -- school officials say there are more than 27,000.

Over the last several years, AISD has built a learning environment they are proud of. Classes at some schools like Perez Elementary are split down the middle with English and Spanish speakers.

The official term is two-way dual language. There are also one-way dual language programs where classes full of all Spanish speakers are learning English.

In both cases, students are learning to speak, read and write a second language while continuing to improve their native language.