Dual language program kicks off in Hudson after COVID-19 delay


Dual language program kicks off in Hudson after COVID-19 delay
Alice Millette listens to her teacher Susana Cabrita. (Photo/Laura Hayes)

HUDSON – Farley Elementary School’s dual language program offers students the ability to learn Portuguese, beginning from a kindergarten level. 

Due to COVID-19 related delays, the program was not able to begin until 2021 but it has now gained rapid success within the Hudson community. 

“Last year we had forty spots open for this program and still have a wait list of over twenty kids,” Director of World Language Ana Pimentel said. 

Students will begin their school day in Portuguese class where they learn Portuguese literacy along with related content from social studies or science. 

This includes learning not only the language, but also cultural aspects of Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries. For example, some sections of the curriculum teach students about specific plants and animals that are native to Portugal. 

While students are in their dual language class, they are encouraged to only speak in Portuguese, this includes when they speak to their teacher and peers. 

However, Farley’s program provides knowledge beyond the walls of the classroom. 

“There are so many benefits, for example, having awareness of other languages and cultures, building self-identity and confidence,” said Director of English Learner Education Wendy Anderson.  

The benefits of bilingualism are long lasting and assist in the students’ future education, careers, and life experience. 

“We know for example that students in dual language programs, especially when they get to fifth through eighth grade, perform just as well or even above average then monolingual programs,“ said Pimentel.

As Hudson has a large Portuguese population, their dual language program helps further connect the students to both their cultural backgrounds and roots as well as that of their friends and neighbors. 

“We have a lot of heritage speakers, kids whose first language is English but are from a Portuguese family. This program gives them the opportunity to speak with their grandparents in their grandparents first language,” said Pimentel. 

Anderson expressed her pride in “being able to honor the background of heritage speaking families.”


Portuguese Minister of Education visits Hudson dual language program

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