Students coming into kindergarten at Hollywood Hills Elementary can now enroll in their dual language program.

Last year, kindergarten students began the program and now are continuing as first-graders. They will continue through the fifth grade.

Students spend half the day learning academic subjects such as math, history and science from a teacher who presents the material in English and the other half of the day learning subjects from a teacher who presents the material in Spanish.

“Each day our students are learning in both Spanish and English,” said John Fossas, principal of Hollywood Hills Elementary School.  “Young people need to be bi-lingual just to keep pace in the global market. We want students to learn two or three languages.”

Estrella Malhao, who teaches the Spanish portion of the program, loves the concept. “I think it’s important that children learn to speak Spanish. They are learning their academic subjects in Spanish. They can share what they’ve learned in school with their parents,” Malhao said.

Louise McKelvey, who teaches the English portion of the program, is also proud to be a part of it. “This is really awesome. It’s good to see the students make progress in both Spanish and English. They’re learning so many vocabulary words in both languages.”

The dual language program is growing in Broward County Public Schools. There are 41 schools throughout the County with it and more will be added to the program.