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 19,000 Emergent Bilinguals making up 34% of our student population.  These students represent over 69 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 support for these students. See the Enrollment page for more information.

Supporting English learners

We have multiple teams that support our Emergent Bilinguals academically, socially and emotionally:

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


This team makes sure that we are meeting the Texas Education Agency (TEA) expectations by identifying and supporting English Learners. In Garland ISD, the compliance team connects the State of Texas guidelines 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 student’s language needs, placing the student in the most appropriate language program and providing ongoing instructional support through language accommodations.


The goal of our ESL programs is for students’ to fully acquire English proficiency while simultaneously learning grade-level content. Our one-way and two-way Dual Language programs utilize students’ native language 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 bilingual and biliterate, achieve high academic achievement, and cross cultural proficiency.


All courses are taught by an ESL certified teacher, who is supported by our secondary team. 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 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 they are classified as Non-English Speakers or they are at the beginning level of 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 will be able to help ease the transition of newcomers and grow them at least one language proficiency level at the end of the school year. This first year is so crucial as it usually 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 our programs follow the Sheltered Instruction framework so that students learn academics and language well. Together, we develop and deliver the support of best practices for Emergent Bilinguals in content-area instruction. The two goals of sheltered instruction are to make content comprehensible and develop academic language. This means that Sheltered Instruction ensures that Emergent Bilinguals are prepared to learn grade-level material while learning English at the same time.  When a teacher “shelters” their instruction, students develop their English 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 learns both at greater levels.

Data Analysis

Our data analyst disaggregates data for Emergent Bilingual students districtwide, including 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 our analysis.

Social Work

Our social worker provides many services to 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: