Emergent Bilinguals (EB) are a diverse group of students who range from beginning  to long-term. These students have a language other than English as their primary or home language.

We use sheltered instruction to ensure our students have equal educational opportunities. Our multilingual students are able to participate in a variety of services and programs that will help them become skilled in academics and language.

About our program

Garland ISD currently services over 20,000 Emergent Bilinguals making up 40% of our student population.  These students represent over 70 languages spoken with the most common being Spanish, Vietnamese, Amharic, Arabic and Malayalam. 

Our department goal is to support the district’s mission, vision, and values to ensure the success of our multilingual learners.   Every action we take is designed to create equitable opportunities for students to master content and language. 


Enrolling in the district

When first enrolling in Garland ISD, all students whose first language is other than English will enroll via the Student Services office rather than at a campus. This allows for language testing and other supports to be made for these students. See the Enrollment page for more information.

Supporting Emergent Bilinguals

We have multiple teams that support our Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) affective, linguistic and cognitive needs:

  • Compliance
  • Elementary
  • Secondary
  • Parent & Family Engagement
  • Newcomer
  • Sheltered Instruction
  • Data Analysis
  • Social Work


This team makes sure that GISD is meeting the Texas Education Agency (TEA) expectations by identifying and supporting English Bilinguals. In Garland ISD, the compliance team implements the State of Texas guidelines, (primarily Chapter 89, subchapter BB)  to ensure that Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) plans are documented and executed to meet the needs of each student through the Language Proficiency Assessment Committee (LPAC).  Our Compliance team is here to connect the state expectations for Emergent Bilingual students by identifying students’ language needs, placing the student in the most appropriate language program and providing ongoing instructional support through linguistic accommodations.


The goal of our English as a Second Language (ESL) program is for EB students’ to fully acquire English proficiency while simultaneously learning grade-level content. Our one-way and two-way Dual Language programs (DLI) utilize students’ native language (Spanish or Vietnamese) to develop grade-level content knowledge, while simultaneously developing the English language so students reach full proficiency in both languages. The 3 goals for DLI are for students to become fully bilingual and biliterate, high academic achievement, and socio-cultural proficiency.

3 pillars for dual language education in Garland ISD


All courses are taught by an ESL certified teacher, who is supported by our secondary team. The 3 goals for DLI are for students to become fully bilingual and biliterate, high academic achievement, and socio-cultural proficiency. With the exception of our Spanish DLI program, all courses are designed to provide grade level intensive instruction in English for grades 6-12. Educators are trained to use sheltered instruction strategies to develop student’s English language proficiency in listening, speaking, reading, and writing. Educators also value the academic and cultural experience of the student, and use that as positive leverage for learning.

Parent & Family Engagement

Our goal is to strengthen parent/family and community engagement so that schools and families work together as equal partners and Emergent Bilinguals meet the same challenging state academic standards that all students are expected to meet. Through research in family engagement, ongoing professional development, alignment to Title III Part A and alignment to the district goals, we work to support the families of Emergent Bilinguals, their schools, and teachers to build dual-capacity.


Most GISD newcomers are students who are in their 1st year in the United States and classified as Non-English Speakers or are at the beginning level of English language proficiency.  The ultimate goal as we support Newcomers is to ensure that by correct identification, program placement, teacher training, and provision of resources, we can help ease the transition of newcomers and grow them at least one language proficiency level by the end of the school year. This first year is crucial as it paves the road on how our Emergent Bilingual students will continue to thrive and become successful in their next years as students in the United States.

Sheltered Instruction

We pride ourselves in making sure all our language programs follow the Sheltered Instruction framework so that students master both academics and language well. Together, we develop and deliver the support of researched based best practices for Emergent Bilinguals in content-area instruction. The two goals of sheltered instruction are to make content comprehensible and develop academic language. Sheltered Instruction ensures that Emergent Bilinguals are prepared to learn grade-level material while learning language at the same time.  When a teacher “shelters” their instruction, making content more comprehensible, students develop their second language proficiency because they are using it within the context of what they are learning. The result is that both content and language are supported and the student masters both at higher levels.

Data Analysis

Our data analyst disaggregates data for Emergent Bilingual students districtwide, including those with shared services such as GT, SPED, Economically Disadvantaged and other special populations. This data is then organized into easily interpretable formats to be shared with departments and campuses. Finally we use this data to draw conclusions and recommend actions to departments and campus leaders based on meaningful analysis.

Social Work

Our social worker provides many services to EB students, families, and staff. Our social worker provides crisis intervention, develops intervention strategies to increase academic success, assists with conflict resolution and anger management. Our social worker is specifically dedicated to Emergent Bilingual students and helps them develop appropriate social interaction skills, assists the students in understanding and accepting self and others. We also examine factors in the home, school and/or community that are impacting a student’s education success and then assist in reducing those barriers to learning.

Contact us

For more information, contact: