Acting on the recommendations of the Bilingual Education and World Language Commission, Chicago Public Schools will fundamentally redefine language education to prepare our students for success in the highly skilled, multilingual workforce of a global city like Chicago. Grounded in research that shows that learning two languages leads to higher achievement for all students, our initiative aims to reduce the achievement gap between English language learners and other students by supporting all students in becoming bilingual regardless of which language they start with, and by addressing language education more comprehensively, including academic literacy and English language arts along with bilingual education and world language.
We are acting on the recommendations of the BEWL Commission, which recommended that CPS:
- Include language education, and the perspectives of language learners, in its overall strategy
- Develop strong, sustainable district-wide pre-K through 12th grade language education programs
- Use innovative strategies and incentives to develop a diverse workforce to meet the language education needs of the district
- Create new enrichment, support and extended learning programs in language education
- Adopt rigorous performance management practices to monitor and evaluate language education
To address these recommendations, CPS will:
BUILD CAPACITY for language education by:
- Creating opportunities to support teachers in obtaining the bilingual education approval and ESL endorsements
- Engaging a university partner to develop a multi-tiered language education professional development plan and coursework, as well as professional development
- Exploring ways to provide language software and other e-learning opportunities, like Rosetta Stone, to content-area teachers of ELLs
CREATE and PILOT several new programs, including:
- Dual Language Pilot Program: Designed for native English speakers and native Spanish speakers with the goal of developing students who are fully biliterate in both English and Spanish, the pilot began implementation this fall. Pilot schools are Calmeca, Carson, Whittier and Volta.
- Heritage Language Program: Will enable students who are English speakers but whose families speak a language other than English to maintain or reclaim their heritage language and develop it through formal instruction in 15 to 20 schools.
- International Newcomer Center: Roosevelt High School will institute an International Newcomer Center for refugee students and immigrant students who have been in the country less than 3 years, based on successful national models. 21 students are currently enrolled and 50 are expected by the end of the year.
SUSTAIN and ALIGN these efforts by:
- Establishing periodic language education institutes for educators to ensure continuous learning, as well as professional learning groups and other opportunities for educators
- Adjusting programming and pilot expansion efforts based on two years of evaluation work already complete
- Integrating online language learning for students and teachers with other e-learning offerings district wide
- Hosting a June 2011 symposium on language education for all CPS educators
- Participating in state and national efforts, collaborations and conferences to learn, expand and build our offerings and extend our reputation as a leader in language education.
To view some of the documents provided on this page, you need Acrobat Reader. If you do not have this program, click download Adobe Acrobat Reader now and follow the instructions.