Education Matters: Dual-language program is personal for this local teacher

Education

FRESNO, Calif. (KSEE) – The Office of the Fresno County Superintendent of schools is honoring one of its own for her work in teaching young children another language. For this teacher, their commitment to the dual language program is personal.

The office’s highly rated dual-language program at the Lighthouse for Children. It is for pre-school students ages 3 to 5.

“What we offer here is a 50-50 program,” explained teacher Eva Rosa Zinzun. “We do provide some support in English language development, but also give that component in the Spanish language.”

Some of these children come from homes where Spanish is spoken, others come into the classroom with no Spanish at all, but they are soaking up the language like sponges.

Master teacher Maritza Ceballos is passionate about teaching young children a second language, knowing herself what it is like to enter a classroom not speaking the language. She believes it takes a special kind of teacher to help students who are learning a language they are not familiar with. She has also worked with the Fresno language lab to develop a learners toolkit that is being used statewide for those who teach dual-language learners.

Research shows that students in dual language programs have greater success in school – and it boosts their problem-solving and listening skills. There is the added benefit of having students growing up being bilingual.

For her innovative work, Ceballos was named Fresno County Superintendent of School’s employee of the month.

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