Dual Language Program (English)

  • Program Mission

    The mission of Bensenville District 2’s Dual Language Program is to establish an environment that values multiculturalism and multilingualism, allowing students to excel in a global society.

    What is Dual Language?

    Dual language is a form of bilingual education in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages. Programs typically start in kindergarten and extend for at least five years. Programming may continue into middle school and high school. Dual language programs foster multiculturalism, multilingualism, and high levels of academic achievement through instruction in two languages. Two common program models are described below and based predominantly on the student language population served:

    • One-Way Dual Language:  All recommended students enrolled in this model are Spanish dominant speakers only. This model meets the State of Illinois requirements for bilingual education.

    • Two-Way Dual Language:  Students enrolled in this type of model include Spanish- and English-dominant speaking students as well as students who have proficiency in both languages at the time of enrollment. Two-way models have an equal (50:50) or near-balanced (70:30) number of Spanish- and English-dominant speakers. Implementation of the Two-Way Dual Language model is dependent on a sufficient number of English-dominant students enrolling into it. This model meets the State of Illinois requirements for bilingual education.

    New English-dominant speaking students cannot be accepted into this model after kindergarten because the kindergarten experience establishes critical Spanish foundational skills.

    Why Dual Language?

    Within dual language education, students develop high levels of multiculturalism, multilingualism, academic, and cross-cultural competencies through instruction in two languages. The effectiveness of dual language education has been well documented within and outside the United States over the years. For example:

    • Dual language programs are the only programs that assist students to fully reach and maintain high levels of achievement in both their first and second languages in all subjects through the end of schooling (Thomas & Collier, 2002).

    • English learners enrolled in dual language programs outperform English learners not enrolled in these programs in state assessments, as well as norm-referenced tests (Thomas & Collier, 2017).

    Curriculum and Instruction

    District 2’s Dual Language Programming follows the same curriculum as our general education classrooms and also embeds appropriate differentiation for students at various levels of learning; all curriculum aligns to the Illinois Learning Standards and combines foundational skills in all content areas.

    The District’s Dual Language Program follows an 80:20 language allocation model of instruction. In Kindergarten and first grade, classroom instruction begins with 80 percent in Spanish and 20 percent in English. Instruction in English gradually increases each grade level until fourth grade, at which time the language ratio becomes 50:50.

    Language Allocation Graph

     

    Participation Process

    1. The application window for participation in the Two-Way Dual Language model begins the first day of kindergarten registration, March 10, 2020, at both W.A. Johnson and Tioga Schools and continues throughout the registration timeline. Parents interested in enrolling their child into the two-way model will complete the District’s Letter of Intent in addition to all other kindergarten registration paperwork. (Click here for the sample BSD2 Kindergarten Dual Language Program Letter or Intent.)

    2. Staff reviews applications to determine that an equal (50:50) or near-balanced (70:30) number of Spanish- and English-dominant speakers can be established to effectively run the two-way model. 
        
    3. After reviewing applications, parents will be notified about their child’s placement.


    Implementation of the Two-way Dual Language model is dependent on a sufficient number of English dominant students enrolling in the program. In the case where more applications are received than the program can accommodate, a wait list will be created.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    1. Which schools in Bensenville District 2 offer dual language? 

      Bensenville District 2 offers Dual Language programs at both elementary schools: Tioga Elementary and W.A. Johnson School.

    2. How will my child be assessed?

      Students in the Dual Language program take part in the types of assessments as all students in the district, including all state mandated assessments. In addition, students are also assessed to measure the student’s trajectory towards biliteracy in Spanish and English. 

      In addition to the district progress report, there will be communication with parents through parent-teacher conferences, newsletters, and school events.
    3. How can I support my child at home if I don’t speak the language? 

      We encourage all families to read with their children every day for at least 20 minutes in the language spoken at home. Reading skills attained in one language benefit to second language development and transfer.  Teachers and administrators will provide additional materials, resources, and support for your student at school.  The district also hosts parent events focused on helping children at home throughout the year.

    4. When will my child become fluent? 

      Research has shown that learning a new language with fluency is a five- to- seven year process, and each child develops at their own rate.  Social language development can take from six months to two years.  In kindergarten, students are considered to be in the emergent stages of language development. 

    5. Will there be a wait list in case all spots are full in the two-way model? 

      Implementation of the Two-way Dual Language model is dependent on a sufficient number of English dominant students enrolling in the program. In the case where more applications are received than the program can accommodate, a wait list will be created.