• Dual Language FAQs

    What is Dual Language? 

    Dual language is a form of bilingual education in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages. Students in a Dual Language class become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural. In District 41, students will receive literacy instruction in both Spanish and English.  


    What is a Two Way Dual Language program?

    A kind of DL education that combines students from two language groups for instruction in both of their languages.  Students enrolled are native English speakers and students from another language background (Spanish in D41). 


    What are the benefits of a Dual Language Program? 

    Students in the Dual Language program have an opportunity to become highly proficient in the second language. They gain an appreciation of diversity and develop intercultural relationships. In addition, they acquire higher-order thinking skills and increased problem solving abilities. They will become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural. 


    What language will my child be learning? 

    Students in District 41’s Dual Language program will develop social and academic language proficiency in both English and Spanish.  


    What is District 41’s Mission?

    Our mission is to prepare students for an expanding global environment by accelerating academic excellence through the teaching of two languages. We foster the appreciation and understanding of multiculturalism.  


    What is the Vision for this program?

    The vision of the program is that students will be bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural. Students will exhibit high academic achievement in the content areas in both languages.


    What are the goals for students in the Dual Language program?

    Our students will

    • Develop high levels of language proficiency in both languages.

    • Academic performance for both student groups will be at or above grade level.

    • Demonstrate positive cross cultural attitudes and behavior.


    How do families apply to get into the Dual Language program?

    Interested families are expected to attend a Dual Language program information meeting in early March. Applications will be available at the schools or CSO, or online.


    *Students must be residents of District 41 and be registered for kindergarten in order to be considered for the D41 Dual Language program.


    What happens if there is a lottery?

    As interest in the Dual Language program continues to grow, there are sometimes more applicants than available spaces. In cases when this happens, we will follow the priority guidelines listed below.


    1. Siblings of students that are already enrolled in the Dual language program receive first priority: In rare cases, where there are not enough spaces for all siblings, then a lottery of siblings will be held.  

    2. Next, other students (ELs & NonELs) who reside in the Churchill attendance area. If interest is greater than spots available, a lottery will be held. 

    3. Finally, if there are still remaining spaces after all the above students are placed, students who reside in boundaries of D41 schools other than Churchill will be considered. 


    Why is the program beginning at kindergarten? 

    Research shows that the younger years are the optimal period for children to learn a second language. Before age 10, a child can acquire native language proficiency for accent, grammar and comprehension (Virginia Collier, 1992).


    What school will my child attend? 

    Children who are accepted into the Dual Language program will attend Churchill Elementary school. They will attend Churchill for Kindergarten through 5th grade.  


    What language will my child learn the content in?  

    Students will receive literacy instruction in both English and Spanish.  Social Studies will be taught in English, and Math and Science will be taught in Spanish. A cognate and word study will be embedded into units of study so that the students can make cross linguistic connections and be able to demonstrate their learning in both of their languages. 


    Why will my children learn Math and Science in Spanish?  Won’t they struggle on State Assessments?

    Math and Science as well as other contents will integrate cognate and word study so students can make cross linguistic connections related to academic, content specific concepts and skills. Because the model is structured this way, students will have been taught all the necessary skills assessed on state assessments. 


    What curriculum will be utilized by the Dual Language program? 

    Students in the Dual Language program will be instructed on the Illinois State Standards including the Illinois spanish language arts standards. Dual Language students will receive literacy instruction in both Spanish and English.  


    Will my child progress at a slower rate than students who are not in the Dual Language program? 

    Due to language learning, Dual Language students process learning at different rates.  This does NOT mean they are behind.  It simply means they meet linguistic and academic targets differently than monolingual students. 

    Can I change my mind after my child has begun the program and have them removed from the Dual Language program?

    We follow best practice research and do not recommend removing children from the program once they have begun.  Learning a language is a long-term commitment, and space is very limited within the program. We ask that once children are enrolled in the program that they remain in the program for the duration of their elementary years.   


    What can I do as a parent to get involved in the Dual Language program?

    There are many things that parents can do to be involved within the program.  Parents can volunteer within the classrooms, attend parent events, and promote their children’s learning of a second language.  They can also join the Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee. This committee meets at least four times a year to support parental involvement in the classroom, school, district and  community.


    What can I do to support my child with homework at home? 

    Teachers will do their best to ensure that they only send homework home that children can do independently. However, it will be important to provide a quiet space and time for them to work. In addition, ask your children questions about their work. The questions can be asked in the home language. Children answering questions in their home language about work they are doing in their second language will assist them in reinforcing and retaining the information they are learning. If your child is ever struggling with something that has been sent home, please contact the teacher.   


    What classes are available to my child once they enter Hadley Jr. High? 

    A curriculum has been created for students who will enter Hadley from the Dual Language program.  The curriculum will focus on advanced reading, writing, grammar, and research skills.  These courses will allow our students to be best prepared for classes at the high school level.   


    Will all students be placed into the same courses in high school?  

    Not necessarily. High school staff will ensure that the students are placed at a level that is appropriate to their individual needs and age-appropriateness.   


    If I have additional questions, who can I contact? 

    You can contact Juan Suarez at the Central Services Office at 630-534-7251 or by email at jsuarez@d41.org