What is a Dual Language program? 

    Dual Language is a form of bilingual education in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages. The purpose of the Dual Language Program is to offer instruction across all content areas to provide students with the opportunity to develop a deep academic proficiency in two languages, which will give them the tools to become highly sought-after bilingual professionals in today's more globalized world (Thomas and Collier). 

    What is a Two Way Dual Language program?

    The Two-way Dual Language program is a choice program. The class will be composed of students whose heritage language is Spanish and also English dominant speakers (this population may have another language spoken in the home besides English, ie. Polish, Gujarati, Urdu, etc.). The program is not available at all home school sites, so participants attend Churchill Elementary School. 

    What are the languages of instruction offered in the D41 Dual Language program? 

    The D41 Dual Language program is an English/Spanish program. Students in D41’s Dual Language program will learn academic and social language in both of these languages.  

    What school offers a Dual Language program? 

    The D41 Dual Language program is housed at Churchill elementary. Students attend Churchill for Kindergarten through 5th grade.  

    What are the goals for the Dual Language program?

    • Students will work towards performing at grade level or above academically in both English and Spanish.
    • Students will develop high levels of proficiency in English and Spanish in the four language domains (listening, speaking, reading, and writing).
    • Students will demonstrate positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors. 

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

    Families interested in enrolling their incoming kindergartner in the Spanish/English Dual Language Program can indicate so by completing a Dual Language application after completing the kindergarten registration process that begins January 22nd, 2024. This application should be completed and submitted by February 22nd, 2024 to be entered into the Dual Language Lottery. Please note that indicating interest in the Dual Language Program does not guarantee acceptance into the Dual Language program.  Also, acceptance to the Dual Language program does not guarantee enrollment into the AM/PM preference.

    All Dual Language applicants are required to complete a home language survey during registration.  Multilingual students are required to participate in a language screening assessment to determine English Learning services eligibility.  Monolingual English-speaking students do not need to be screened.

    *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?

    Selection for participation in the Dual Language Program is prioritized in the following order:

    1. Siblings of current DL students. 
    2. Students residing in Churchill boundaries.
    3. Students in other D41 schools boundaries.

    The public Dual Language lottery will be hosted virtually at 6:30 p.m. on April 3rd, 2024.  Confirmation emails and lottery details will be sent to parents who have indicated interest through the application process and have completed the D41 registration. The names of students not selected for immediate entrance into the program due to capacity will be placed on a waiting list based in the order in which their names were drawn in the lottery. All names received will be drawn to determine the waiting list order. 

    Please note that indicating interest in the Dual Language Program does not guarantee acceptance into the Dual Language program.  Also, acceptance to the DL program does not guarantee enrollment into the AM/PM preference.

    Will transportation be provided for Dual Language students?

    All Churchill residents who qualify for transportation will receive bus transportation. This applies to Dual Language students as well. Non-Churchill residents accepted into the program as English Learners will qualify for bus transportation.  Non-Churchill residents accepted into the program as English Speakers (Non ELs) do not qualify for transportation and must provide their own transportation.  

    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).

    How will a 50/50 program operate?

    We will open two kindergarten classes for the 2024–25 school year. Since D41 offers half-day kindergarten, one class will be in the morning (AM), and the other in the (PM). Language of instruction will alternate daily. 

    In grades 1-5, for the two classrooms, one of the teachers will be Spanish-speaking, and the other will be English-speaking. The students will change classes halfway through the day — thus switching the language of instruction. The class size will be very close to our current kindergarten section. 

    Students will receive literacy instruction in both English and Spanish.  Math will be taught in Spanish.  Bridging lessons will be embedded into units of study and during a language block, so that the students can make cross-linguistic connections and be able to demonstrate their learning in both of their languages across content. 

    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.  

    How is the learning progress different for bilingual students when compared to monolingual students? 

    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 and at a different pace 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.  

    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, regardless of the language. 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.   

    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