It is the vision of Berwyn North School District 98 Dual Language Program that students acquire a second language with an appreciation of all cultures. Development of a second language will nurture a student’s self-confidence, talents, and cognitive flexibility as they become future leaders responding to diverse perspectives. Biliteracy will empower our students to engage and find success in an ever-expanding global society. This will enhance their capacity to achieve their personal, academic, and civic potential in order to be college and career ready.
What is our Dual Language Program?
- After intensive research and planning, our Dual Language program began in the 2017-18 school year. The program started at the PreK and K levels at all of our elementary schools
- Dual language education programs integrate native English speaking students with native Spanish speaking students for academic instruction, which is presented in both languages. Social and academic learning occurs in an environment that values the language and culture of all students and sets high standards to ultimately achieve academic success in Spanish and English.
- Students of our program consist of native Spanish speakers, native English speakers, bilingual students that use both languages at home, and students who speak a different language at home. Classroom instruction will be 50% of the day taught in Spanish and 50% of the day taught in English. The program, first and foremost, serves English Learner. For non-English Learners, acceptance to the program is on a first-come, first-served basis.
What are the student goals of the Dual Language Program?
- Gain language, academic and cultural benefits
- Work with authentic language models on a daily basis
- Develop skills in collaboration and cooperation in a multicultural environment
- Be better prepared for the global workforce
- Participate in a rigorous academic program that accelerates their learning
- Develop a high linguistic and academic proficiency in two languages
- Develop positive cross-cultural attitudes
What is our Program Commitment?
Teachers and Administrators commit to:
- Set high expectations, which will engage all students in preparation for college success.
- Engage parents in the learning process to ensure success for all students.
- Instruct both Spanish-dominant students and English-dominant students in the same classroom, since this interaction is vital to the two-way immersion concept.
- Prepare and deliver instruction in two languages in order to consistently challenge student learning and achievement.
- Acknowledge: It is important to acknowledge that students need time to reach high levels of proficiency in a second language. Many years of study are required for students to realize the academic achievement benefits of well-implemented dual-language programs.
- Time: Learning a new language takes time. On average, a person takes between 5-7 years to learn a language.
- Commit to supporting your child in the Dual Language Program for a period of at least 5 years.
- Promote bilingualism:
- Elevate the status of both languages with your child.
- Go over the benefits of being bilingual.
- Remain positive and calm when your child is feeling frustrated in their non-native language.
- Communicate with your child’s teacher for support or concerns.
What does Research Say About Dual Language Education?
Multiple benefits exist for acquiring a second language during the primary years. Some of the benefits of learning a second language during the elementary years include:
- Children have the ability to learn and excel in the pronunciation of a foreign language (Krashen, et al., 1982)
- Participation in early foreign language shows positive results in areas of standardized testing (Armstrong & Rogers, 1997) Children who had studied a foreign language show greater cognitive development (Hakuta, 1990)
- Foreign language study has shown to increase listening skills, memory, and a greater understanding of one’s own language (Lapkin, et al., 1990)
- Children studying foreign language have an improved self-concept and sense of achievement in school (Caine & Caine, 1997)
- Children develop a sense of cultural pluralism, openness, and appreciation of other cultures (Met, 1995)