With more than 67,000 Dallas ISD students speaking Spanish in their homes, the need for bilingual teachers and educators is great.
Research has proven that teaching English Language Learners effectively means teaching them in both languages. However, with students entering the district at 4 years old, this means that pre-K (among other students) are having to learn both English and Spanish at the same time, something that often can hinder or hold a young child back.
Jessica Carter, a Speech-Language Pathologist, has seen this problem in many young Dallas ISD students.
“As they grow they can develop a speech impediment or problem, and this can definitely cause a setback in their academic career,” Carter said.
This is one of the reasons that Dallas ISD has teamed up with UT Dallas’ School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences. The Callier Center for Communication Disorders provides training and experience to its graduate level Speech Language Pathology students by placing them in three Dallas ISD schools with the highest need. This includes Maple Lawn, J.W. Ray, and Onesimo Hernandez elementary.
The ultimate goal is to provide training and experience to its graduate level Speech Language Pathology students, some of whom will fill the vacancies left by the district’s retiring class of current Speech Language Pathologists, also referred to as SLPs.
Adilene Romero, a student in the UT Dallas speech pathologist program and also a Dallas ISD graduate, understands the importance of giving back to the Dallas ISD community.
“It’s a great thing to be able to use what I am learning and give back to my own district,” Romero said.
In addition to using graduate students, the district is also introducing high school students to the very much needed career through a program. The School of Health Professions has established a Speech Language Pathology program for any student interested in proceeding on the specific career path.