Dual Language Program

The four primary goals of Dual Language education are bilingualism, biliteracy, high academic achievement and cultural competency.

KidsDual language education, as defined by national organizations such as the Center for Applied Linguistics, the Illinois Resource Center, and Dual Language Education New Mexico, is an enriched educational program in which students learn a new language through immersion in that language while studying grade level curricular content.

Our model was designed with guidance from Dr. Linda Espinosa and features BRIDGING and MODELING BILINGUALISM with co-teaching (we do not do roller-coaster or 1 language, 1 teacher and switch models). Grades Offered and Placement Powell offers Dual Language in grades PS through 5th grade. Upon enrolling their children in Powell, parents may select to place them in the Dual Language program or in the traditional English only/ESL inclusion program. If students enroll at Powell after grade 1, the student must take an entrance assessment – a certain level of proficiency will determine if the child is able to be placed in the Dual Language program; and parents sign the acknowledgement form.

Language distribution:

Powell’s Dual Language program is a 50/50 program. Beginning in Kindergarten, scholars receive 50% of all content instruction in Spanish Family Engagement Nightand 50% in English. PS/ PK scholars will benefit from a Spanish language arts block which will introduce them to Spanish reading concepts and a 60% (English)-40%(Spanish) model according to current best practice for PS/PK. All scholars will receive daily instruction in language arts/social studies and math/science in both languages. The language arts/social studies (humanities) and math/science are blocked in order to develop integrated curricula showing the connections with the standards. Instruction will be offered in both languages with the Spanish and English instructors collaborating on units, daily objectives, and common assessments and portfolio standards-based projects.

DCPS requires that all scholars receive 120 minutes daily of language arts instruction. Since most reading skills transfer across languages (ie. a scholar who learns to summarize the main idea in Spanish will also be able to summarize the main idea in English), scholars in Dual Language programs will switch languages by week A/week B and rotate portfolio projects. This will average to be a scholar being able to receive 60 minutes daily of English language arts instruction plus Fundations (30 minutes) and 60 minutes daily of Spanish language arts instruction.

Similarly, DCPS requires that scholars receive 90 minutes daily of mathematics instruction. At Powell ES the scholars receive 120 minutes as mathematics is blocked with science. This time should also be divided equally between the two languages.

Our effective dual language program includes:

  • A minimum of 50% of content area instruction offered in the target language with equal cognitive weight in both languages
  • Instruction in the four language domains (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) as well as math/science in both languages throughout all grades
  • An articulated separation of languages by time
  • A commitment to building a long term student of both languages
  • Qualified instructors with at least near-native fluency in the languages of instruction and knowledge of language development practices
  • Appropriate and equitable materials available in both target languages.