World Languages at Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD
No one will dispute the notion that over the past decade the American economy has taken on a more global look. America's economy has become internationalized, and communication anywhere in the world has become instantaneous. The global economy has already arrived, and how it will have evolved when our students enter the marketplace is speculation. One thing is certain: we have to teach our students how to think and how to communicate at levels which will give them an edge against others around the world with whom they will be competing for jobs. The state of Texas now requires two years of language study for its graduates. Hurst-Euless-Bedford has long offered the multiple languages of Spanish, French, and German as well as American Sign Language and in 2007-08 expanded the foreign language department into a World Languages Department. Because of a visionary superintendent and Board of Education, HEBISD is meeting the economic and social challenge by offering the International Business Initiative which has introduced two Asian languages to HEBISD, Mandarin Chinese and Hindi, the first and second most spoken languages in the world, respectively. The U. S. State Department has identified both Hindi and Mandarin Chinese as "critical need languages" for those involved in international and state department business. Hindi and Mandarin Chinese are being offered as a School of Choice at Central Junior High School to 7th graders and 8th grade students with one level being added every year through level five. Out-of-district students may apply to transfer to Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD to join this exciting program. No fees are involved. The district also offers Spanish Immersion as a School of Choice at two of our elementary schools. Students begin in first grade receiving instruction in Spanish for all content areas. The goal is to produce students who have a working knowledge of the language by the time they enter junior high school. In junior high they will enter the AP Spanish Language Middle School program which will offer them high school advanced Spanish and an opportunity to take the Spanish Language AP test to earn college credit. Currently the AP Spanish program is being offered to native speakers at Hurst Junior High, as well. Both L. D. Bell High School and Trinity High School have chapters of Junior World Affairs Council and regularly attend functions in Dallas and Fort Worth where international ambassadors, world leaders, and other dignitaries speak. Hurst-Euless-Bedford ISD constantly has eyes toward the future as well as an intention to give our students every advantage, especially in the area of world languages, to excel in the global marketplace.