About Second Language Programs

  • English Learner Programs

    District 15 welcomes families from all over the world to our learning community. As required by the state of Illinois, District 15 provides programs to meet the linguistic and academic needs of students whose native language is other than English—English Learners (ELs). The purpose is to accelerate English language literacy and value each child’s social and cultural knowledge while creating bilingual and bicultural individuals. The most current demographic report from the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) (2017) indicates that 24% of students in the District qualify for second language services although more than 46% of our students report that a language other than English is spoken in the home (Fall Housing, ISBE, 2017-18).

    Currently, the district services families from more than 70 different languages. The vast majority is Spanish speaking followed by Polish, Korean, Japanese, and Telugu. Per state regulations if an attendance center has 20 or more students who qualify for EL services and speak the same language, a district is mandated to establish a Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) program for those students. Further assessment determines what those services may look like in a district. Currently, D15 offers bilingual programs in accordance with state mandates in Spanish, Polish, Japanese, Telugu, Tamil, and Bulgarian.   

    For our Spanish speaking ELs, we use the dual language one-way model following the Literacy Squared (Escamilla et al., 2014) framework. Dual language one-way serves ELs from the same language background with the goal of bilingualism and biliteracy. Within this framework, English language development (ELD) begins in kindergarten with 45 minutes of ELD daily (80/20) and increases to 60 minutes for grades 1 and 2, 90 minutes of ELD in grade 3, and 2 hours of English Language Arts (ELA) in grades 4-6 with Science and Social Studies taught in Spanish. Students from the dual language one-way dual program enter our Spanish for Native Speakers class for grades 7 and 8. Because the enrollment for the other mandated bilingual programs is limited at each grade level, the district implements a TBE program using the collaboration model and uses co-teaching or small group pull-out instruction with native language support as needed. 

    When there are 19 or fewer students who qualify for the EL program who speak the same language in one attendance center, the district implements a Transitional Program of Instruction in English using the collaboration model in accordance with ISBE regulations.  Core academic subjects are taught in English with non-EL students. Services are provided using specific strategies for ELs in a co-teaching or pull-out model.

    Qualifying for EL Services:

    The Home Language Survey is required as part of the school registration process. If a language other than English is spoken in the home and indicated on the Home Language Survey, the child must be screened for English language services within 30 days after the student's enrollment in district. The Illinois State Board of Education prescribes the assessment instrument and the qualifying scores for entrance. For students entering kindergarten and the first semester of grade 1, the WIDA MODEL test is given. For students entering the second semester of grades 1-8, the WIDA Screener is given.

    For more information, please visit: https://www.isbe.net/Pages/English-Learners.aspx

    Two-Way (Spanish) Dual Language Program

    District 15's Two-Way (Spanish) Dual Language program is a two-way language immersion where students are taught literacy and curriculum in both Spanish and English beginning in kindergarten. The two-way dual program consists of native speaking Spanish students and students who speak English or another language in the home. The two-way dual program begins in kindergarten with 80% of the instruction in Spanish and 20% in English. Each year the Spanish instruction decreases by 10% and the English increases by 10% until grade 3 when each language is taught 50% of the day and continues until grade 6. The program will be available to 2019-20 kindergarten students and housed at Jane Addams Elementary and Winston Campus Elementary Schools. 

    The goal of the Two-Way (Spanish) Dual Language program is to develop bilingualism, biliteracy, academic achievement, and cross-cultural competencies for students. 

    Students whose home school is Jane Addams Elementary or Winston Campus Elementary School (host sites) will be given preference into the program. 

    For more information, please visit Second Language Services / Two-Way (Spanish) Dual Language Program (www.ccsd15.net/SDL).


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All About Second Language Programs

October 12, 2017