• Dual Language Program - FAQ

    Dual Language FAQ's en Espanol --- Dual Language Resources

    What is Dual Language?
    Dual language is a form of education in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages. Students in a Dual language class become bilingual, bi-literate, and bi-cultural. The make- up of the class is approximately 50% native English speakers and 50% native Spanish speakers. In District 41, students will receive literacy instruction in both Spanish and English.

    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, bi-literate and bi-cultural.

    What language will my child be learning?
    Students in District 41’s Dual Language program will learn Spanish.

    What is District 41 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, bi-literate, and bi-cultural. 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

    • Perform at or above grade level in all content areas in both English and in Spanish.
    • Develop high levels of proficiency in reading, writing, listening and speaking in both languages for advanced placement courses in high school.
    • Engage in a rigorous curriculum that is aligned to the Common Core.
    • Increase cognitive skills and academic abilities that will transfer to overall higher achievement.
    • Cultivate a lifelong love for language learning and an appreciation for cultural diversity.

    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 February. Applications will be available at the meeting.
    *Students must be residents of District 41 and be registered for kindergarten in order to be considered for the 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.
    - Siblings of students that are already enrolled in the Dual language have first priority: In rare cases, where there are not enough spaces for all siblings, then a lottery of siblings will be held.
    - Next, other students who reside in the Churchill attendance area. If interest is greater than spots available, a lottery will be held.
    - 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 does the program begin at kindergarten?

    Research shows that the younger years are the optimal years 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 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 imbedded into the math and science units so that the students learn the academic vocabulary necessary to be successful on English math and science assessments.

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

    Math is symbolic and Science is hands-on. Students will learn how to read in both Spanish and English so they will not have difficulty with word problems. In addition, Math and Science embed a cognate and word study so students can learn the academic English words in Math and Science. Because the model is structured this way, students will not struggle on State assessments. They will have been taught all the necessary skills to be able to perform at or above grade level on assessments. We will also progress-monitor student achievement in Math and Science to ensure students are prepared for these high stakes tests.

    What curriculum will be utilized by the Dual Language program?

    Students in the Dual Language program will be receiving the same standards-based curriculum that all students receive in District 41. The only difference will be the language in which that they are learning the content and the fact that 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?

    No, the Dual Language program is taught using the same standards based curriculum that all students receive in the District. Through the use of research based strategies and interactive approaches students learn the academic content while developing the use of both languages. Their educational experience will be enhanced by the learning of two languages simultaneously.

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

    We do not recommend pulling your children out of 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 child’s learning of a second language. They can also join the Bilingual Parent Advisory Committee. This committee meets four times a year for the purpose of increasing parental involvement in the classroom, school, district & 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, parents can ask their children questions about their work. The questions can be asked in the native language of the home. Children answering questions in their native language about work they are doing in their second language will assist them in reinforcing and retaining the information they are learning. Parents should contact their childrens' teacher if their children with an assignment.

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

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

    Will all students place into the same courses in high school?

    Not necessarily. Students will take a placement test upon entering high school to ensure they are placed at a level that is appropriate to their individual needs.

    If I have additional questions, who can I contact?

    You can contact Theresa Ulrich at Central Office at 630-534-7251 or by email at tulrich@d41.org.