Onslow County educational program promotes bilingual learning

ONSLOW COUNTY, NC (WITN) – The majority of Ms. Diana Albarracin’s class is taught entirely in Spanish.

“They’ve been with me for three years, so they’ve already reached the point of being fluent in Spanish because for the past two years they’ve been studying all their subjects in Spanish.”

The children of Albarracin’s class go to school at Carolina Forest Elementary School and are in their dual language Spanish immersion program.

The program allows them to learn Spanish from the start of their studies.

“Your brain is more elastic when you are young and these children have entered the program when it is precisely the window for them to learn a second language. “

Dr Chris Barnes, executive director of Onslow County Schools’ Teaching and Exceptional Children Services, said all but one of his children are participating in the program.

He saw firsthand the benefit of learning early.

“When the oldest was in high school, the second or third year student gave her Spanish lessons. “

Onslow County Schools’ Cultural Arts and Global Leadership Director, Dr Lisa Peele, said the lessons of the program extend beyond language and culture.

“They are also exposed to different countries and they have full global education opportunities.”

Albarracin uses his skills to empower young minds to become citizens of the world.

“I keep telling them that you have a super power, your super power is that you are bilingual, you know how many people are bilingual in the world? And I make a big deal out of it because it’s such a huge thing that you can fully communicate in another language.

According to Dr. Peele, approximately 280 students participate in the bilingual language immersion program and 250 are elementary students in five elementary schools in Onslow County.

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