Overview of Language Services in District 33
As of September 2019 Illinois State Board of Education has expanded the terminology of English Learners (ELs) to Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) as well as the term of Multilingual Learners (MLLs). As for the purpose of this guiding document, students learning English will be referred to as ELs, Emergent Bilinguals and Multilingual Learners.
West Chicago School District 33 enrolls approximately 1,900 students who are classified as English learners or Emergent Bilinguals (EBs) in grades Kinder through 8th grade. Federal and State statutes, as well as West Chicago Elementary District 33 policies, provide the basis and structure for the State mandate; Bilingual Education for students of the same language classification, Spanish. D33 offers a Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) for language learners who are not enrolled in the dual language classrooms.
The main purpose of both Bilingual Education Programs; the Dual Language Program and the Transitional Program of Instruction is to enable Emergent Bilinguals to become competent in comprehension, listening, speaking, reading, and writing through the development of literacy and academic skills in English. Both programs emphasize the mastery of English language skills as integral parts of the academic goals for all students to participate equitably in school.
The type of Bilingual Program used in District 33 is the Dual Language Program (One Way and Two-Way) and the Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI). The Bilingual Program must comply with the Illinois School Code and with District 33’s mission and program goals. Therefore, it is important that all staff be responsible for the instruction of Emergent Bilinguals and be familiar with and follow the prescribed guidelines as set by the state and district.
District 33 provides all Spanish speakers with the opportunity to enroll in a dual language model of instruction; the available research on Dual Language has been found to be the best program for Emergent Bilinguals enrolled in a One-way or Two-Way Dual Language Program from preschool through fifth grade. As of the 2020-2021 school year, in middle school, sixth and seventh grade students from the One-Way and Two-Way programs are merged together and receive Dual Language instruction in Language Arts and Social Studies. By the 2021-2022 school year, the Dual Language program will expand to eighth grade as the Two-Way Dual Language strand phases out in eighth grade.
Translanguaging Practices as defined by Dr. Ofelia Garcia, “the process whereby multilingual speakers utilize their languages as an integrated communication system. It is the only way to create meaning while learning. It is the one thing that everyone needs to do in order to successfully develop their languages, develop their ways of knowing, to develop content, develop their social-emotional identities and for society to develop to a more just and equitable society.”
Cross-linguistic Connections: thinking and talking about language; and, in the case of biliteracy, understanding relationships between and within languages. Intentional, direct and explicit attention from the language of instruction to the other about how the languages are similar and different.
Students New to the Country
As part of our learning community we welcome students from around the world to participate in a learning environment in each of our schools in the district. We work together in partnership with various professionals to provide the services and experiences needed for the students of West Chicago School District 33. Each of our schools welcome students with similar guidelines so that we provide and support students and their families.
Dual Language Program:
- Promotes bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism for participating students. Students begin the program in kindergarten and will be literate in reading, writing, and speaking in both English and Spanish by the end of 8th grade.
- The One-Way Dual Language Program is in the preschool and each of the elementary schools.
- The Two-Way Dual Language Program is currently housed at Gary School.
- Leman Middle School has expanded the One-Way Dual Language Program to seventh grade in 2020-2021. A strand of Two-Way Dual Language is in eighth grade this school year.
Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) English as a Second Language (ESL)
The Transitional Program of Instruction is a mandated program to serve students from low incidence language backgrounds. The program provides support to help students succeed in academic subjects and learn English. The methodology of English instruction makes connections to the home language to the greatest extent possible and focuses on language development through meaningful experiences within content areas.