Portland's Lent K-8 School runs a bilingual program in English and Spanish.

Portland’s Lent K-8 School runs a bilingual program in English and Spanish.

Rob Manning/OPB

Ashley is like tens of thousands of Oregon school children who come from households in which their parents speak languages other than English.

Those kids are a lot more likely to graduate if they master English by the time they’re in high school. But that might not be the only language worth considering in the globalized world these students will graduate into.

As she enters fifth grade, Ashley is well on her way to mastering English. But what about Spanish, the language her parents speak? And what happens when a child becomes more comfortable speaking a language other than the one used at home? 

Escuche el podcast en español: ‘No Hablo El Mismo Idioma Que Mis Padres’

In this episode of OPB’s “Class of 2025” reporters Roxy De La Torre and Rob Manning examine the benefits and challenges of offering English-only programs and bilingual instruction to help students like Ashley graduate on time.

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