FAQ about Dual Language
If my child speaks Spanish at home why do they need to learn Spanish at school?
Studies show that learning content in your first language while learning the second language results in increased academic success. Additionally, students can learn English in school while enriching their Spanish.
If my child speaks English at home, how will learning Spanish help them?
There are numerous studies on the academic, cognitive, and social benefits of being bilingual. Learning Spanish at school will support their learning in English, and will provide them additional benefits of being educated in two langages.
Will my child fall behind in learning basic skills?
Students who are learning in both languages in a high quality environment are more likely to be able to close the achievement gap (Thomas & Collier, 1997). This is one of the reasons Telpochcalli is continually working to strengthen our dual language instruction. Being a dual language program by itself will not ensure that our students are meeting the standards but Thomas and Collier’s (2007) research points to the long term gains. Students in well implemented dual language programs even outperform native English speakers by 12th grade (Thomas & Collier, 1997).
Who will participate in the dual language program?
All students at Telpochcalli are part of the dual language program and will learn in Spanish and English.
How did Telpochcalli develop its bilingual program?
Telpochcalli Elementary school is located in the Little Village Neighborhood in Chicago. The school was founded in 1993 as a school-within-a-school focused on Mexican Art and Culture and a respect for the primarily Mexican community’s culture and language. The school began with a maintenance model of bilingual education. The goal of the school was to educate students through a system that respected their backgrounds and families. Overtime the neighborhood and school have changed and the goals have been modified. As more students enter the schools with a wide range of language skills in Spanish and English, the school’s staff have worked extensively in defining what model of bilingualism will best support our students.
Why is 90% of instruction in Kindergarten in Spanish?
Studies show that for a dual language program to be successful it is best to immerse students in the minority language in the country first, in this case Spanish. Students will learn English and the long term benefits of beginning with a strong Spanish base have been found for students whose home language is Spanish and those whose home language is English.