Why has Huntley 158 opted to implement Dual Language?
The Dual Language program is the best model to serve the needs of our English Language Learner population. The District has previously served our EL population through Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) and Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI) offerings. While providing needed native-language instruction to ELL students, research has shown that the Dual Language model is a better instructional model and can help reduce the achievement gap seen both in our District and others between native English speakers and ELL students.
In addition, there is significant interest in the community from native English-speaking families in helping students develop the benefits of bilingualism, biliteracy, and cross-cultural competency that stem from Dual Language.
These findings and the plan for implementation were the result of a language review completed and approved by the Board of Education in 2017.
Benefits of Dual Language
Research has shown that in an increasingly globalized world, those who know both English and another language will have economic and political advantages. In addition, having an in-depth knowledge of another language has been shown to contribute to a cognitive benefit in creativity and metalinguistic awareness and enhanced cross-cultural understanding. Other research has shown that participants in Dual Language programs are more likely to stay in school and continue into postsecondary education.
A brief list of specific advantages:
- Ability to speak, read, and write fluently in English and Spanish.
- Increased level of cognitive capacity and critical thinking.
- Increased level of academic achievement for students enrolled in the program long-term.
- Improved cultural awareness and appreciation of our diverse community.
- Boosted social and emotional well-being in and out of the classroom.
These benefits hold for both English language learners and native English speakers enrolled in Dual Language.