Dual Language Education Program

IMAGE: Dual language students

How our innovative dual language program works

DLEDelavan-Darien School District’s Dual Language Education (DLE) Program takes advantage of children’s natural language learning abilities. Our teachers use research-based best practices such as: Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design), Teaching for Biliteracy, the “bridge” strategy (used to connect both languages), thematic units and more, to teach language through content.

Our district offers the Two-Way Immersion model design called 90/10. Students receive 90% of the instruction in Spanish and 10% in English starting in 4-year-old kindergarten. Each year, the percentage of English grows incrementally until the language split is 50%/50% in 3rd grade.

The makeup of each class is either a 50% balance of English and 50% of Spanish speakers, or ideally, consists of 1/3 of English dominant speakers, 1/3 of Spanish dominant speakers and 1/3 of bilingual students.

When students serve as language models, they assist each other in developing social language skills in both languages.

Why choose dual language education?

Students develop bilingual and biliteracy skills in both English and Spanish. After gaining language comprehension skills, DLE students typically meet or exceed established norms for reading, mathematics and language development in both languages. Students also develop a deeper understanding of various cultures, and are more “employable” in the adult world because they can speak multiple languages.

Benefits of dual language education

  • On standardized tests, students perform as well as, and often better, than their peers in monolingual classrooms.
  • Students develop a positive sense of self and multicultural competencies.
  • Students stay engaged in literacy through uniquely designed science and social studies units.
  • Students develop brain connections that aid in learning additional languages.
  • Upon entering the workforce, students will have a distinct advantage over other monolingual job candidates.

Student Interest Form

Download our Student Interest Form and find out more about our Dual Language Education Program!