First set of dual-language graduates to walk the stage


Natalia Estrada

Senior Alondra Rodriguez-Mondragon and Spanish Dual Language teacher Brooke Maudlin take a picture together at the district’s first dual language multimodal presentation.

Alondra Mondragon-Rodriguez, Life & Style Co-Editor

For almost 12 years, students in Austin ISD’s Dual Language program have been working up to receiving their high school diploma with a special biliteracy seal.

This is the first graduating class to complete the Dual Language program, which requires students to take core classes in a dual-language environment.

As of now, there are only four high schools in Austin ISD that have a Dual Langauge program: Akins, Crockett, Navarro, and Travis. This year Akins and Travis are the only schools that have a graduating class with the seal. Akins will graduate 24 students this year and Travis will see six complete the program. Some students start as early as Pre-K, but not every student starts that young. In middle school, the only requirement of the dual language program is to take Spanish all three years.

In high school, to obtain the Seal of Biliteracy there are four requirements: achieve an 80 overall average in all four English/Language Arts classes, passing four high school-level foreign language classes, earning four credits in bilingual content courses taken in high school with an overall average of 80, and creating a portfolio including coursework and documentation explaining one’s journey through becoming bilateral and bilingual.

In high school, each year students are required to take a Spanish language arts course and a content course in Spanish. If they were unable to take any of those classes they made them up by adding more artifacts to their portfolios.

One of the Biliteracy Seal requirements is having a portfolio. The portfolio must be compiled with eight artifacts, they have to be split 50% in Spanish and 50% in English and they have to hit the program goals.

Another requirement for the portfolio is a live multimodal presentation, which included anything from memories, pictures, assignments, videos, or objects from their lives.

On April 9, students in the program participated in an event in which all the students from Akins and Travis presented some samples from their portfolios. They had to strategically incorporate English and Spanish into their presentations and discuss artifacts from their portfolios or projects. Those who passed this exam were awarded a Biliteracy Graduation Stole at a special ceremony that was held on May 21 at LBJ High School during the school district’s Latinos Academic Achievement Awards.