September 22, 2022
LANCASTER, Texas -- Teachers at Houston Elementary are adding another set of tools to their teaching toolbox by participating in training sessions with one of the creators of the Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Model led by the Lancaster ISD Emergent Bilingual Department.
The two-day professional learning session allowed for Dr. Richard Gomez, the creator of the Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Model, to teach his model to Lancaster ISD bilingual educators. It marks the first time the district has done a dual language model training for teachers.
“Having one of the creators teach the model to our bilingual educators is a great opportunity,” said Brenda Corpus, Director of Emergent Bilingual, LOTE, and Community Engagement in Lancaster ISD. “We are excited to bring this training to Lancaster ISD because it will bring numerous benefits to both the students and the teachers.”
The Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Model assists school districts in creating the best possible learning environment to ensure their students' success academically. Second-grade bilingual teacher Ana Padron says implementing the training methods will require a lot of prep work, but it will be worth it.
“The work we’re doing now will help our students advance above and beyond their grade level expectations,” said Padron. “I’ve already rearranged my classroom, and I’m restructuring my lesson plans, so the students do more writing each day. I know the students will grow in this area, and I can’t wait to see their progress.”
Dr. Richard Gómez and Dr. Leo Gómez developed the Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Enrichment Model in 1995. The Gómez brothers have spent the last 20 years evaluating and perfecting their dual language education model, which is implemented in more than 700 schools nationwide.
“The great thing about this model is that it works for every student from Pre-K through twelfth-grade, and it’s not only for emergent bilingual students,” said Dr. Gomez. “General education classrooms also see the benefits because the model is not tied to any one language.”
Gomez says the research-based best practices provide a mechanism for teachers to help students learn and perform at their best.
After participating in the first training day, Houston Elementary principal, Daniel Hernandez, said the best practices would bring continuity to the students as they advance to each grade level.
“The classroom environment is one aspect that will aid in student learning more effectively,” said Hernandez. “The classrooms are arranged the same, or very similar, and it takes one thing off the student’s plate. It’s one less thing they have to worry about, so they can come into the classroom and focus more on instruction.”
Houston Elementary will implement the one-way model during the 2022-2023 school year, and the Emergent Bilingual Department’s goal is for teachers to implement the two-way model during the 2023-2024 school year. Additionally, the district will eventually expand the Gomez and Gomez Dual Language Model to all campuses.