• English Learning Services (EL)

    D41 English Learners services aim to ensure that all linguistically diverse students receive a quality education that enables them to succeed academically, close the achievement gap, and attain proficiency in English within a culturally supportive environment. 

    On Being Bilingual

    All students need fully developed capacities to read, write, speak, listen, and use language strategically and effectively. As our world becomes more global and connected, the development of language and literacy skills in both English and a second language provides significant educational and career advantages. 

    EL Identification

    During the registration process, all families receive a Home Language Survey. If another language is spoken in the home, we are required by the Illinois School Code to screen students for the EL program. Students are recommended to be in the EL program based on the results from the state's required English language screener assessment. The test measures the student’s ability to listen, speak, read and write in the English language. 

    English Learning Programs

    • The ESL program (TPI) supports English Learners in acquiring English language proficiency and skills necessary in the areas of reading, writing, listening and speaking. The goal of this program is English language development.
    • The Dual Language (TBE) is a form of bilingual education where students are taught literacy and academic content in two languages (English and Spanish).  The goal of this program is bilingualism and biliteracy and biculturalism.

    Both Dual Language and English as a second language classrooms focus on the development of English language skills while learning school subjects such as language arts, math, science and social science. In a Dual Language classroom, students who speak spanish and English work with a teacher who provides instruction in both languages. Dual classes are available for English Learners who speak Spanish via application. An English as a second language classroom has children who come from different language backgrounds. Parents who speak Spanish may choose to put their child in an ESL classroom instead of a dual classroom. ESL classes are taught in English.

    Students benefit academically by being in dual language and ESL programs. Teachers use special teaching techniques to provide instruction. Lessons focus on learning vocabulary and developing reading and writing skills, while developing academic concepts. The teachers are providing students with opportunities to speak, listen, read and write in all subject areas. Teachers use a wide variety of visual aides and hands-on activities to ensure students’ understanding.

    English Assessments

    All English Learners are assessed annually for English proficiency growth and academic progress. The ACCESS test is used to assess English language proficiency, while the IAR test is used to assess academic achievement in English.  Additionally, D41 uses a variety of academic measures to monitor the progress of all learners.

    Language Acquisition

    It typically takes between 5-7 academic years to learn another language (Collier, V.P, & Thomas, W.P, 1997). Every child is different and, regardless of the type of EL program they are enrolled in, it can take five years or less for students with a strong foundation in their native language to learn another language and up to nine years or more for students who do not possess a strong understanding of their native language.

    There are four major components that drive language acquisition for school: sociocultural, linguistic, academic, and cognitive processes. For students with a primary language other than English, these interdependent processes---cognitive, academic, and linguistic development---must occur in a supportive sociocultural environment through both their first language and their second language to enhance student learning (Collier, V.P, & Thomas, W.P, 2007). The scope of D41 EL Programs adheres to these principles.