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Dual Language Education

Dual Language Education (DLE) Programs begin in either preschool or kindergarten and are implemented through eighth grade.

CPS Dual Language Programs are currently offered in select neighborhood schools, charter schools, and magnet schools. Students in DLE Programs include those identified as English Learners (ELs), non-English Learners (non-ELs), or heritage language learners.

One-way dual language programs provide instruction in two languages and serve mostly ELs, former ELs, and heritage language learners in the same classroom.

Two-way dual language programs aim for a 50:50 balance of ELs/heritage language learners and non-ELs in the classroom. If this ratio cannot be met, each language group should account for at least one third. Students serve as language models to each other as they acquire the second language. Like one-way programs, two-way dual language programs provide instruction in two languages and include a mix of ELs, non-ELs, and heritage language learners in the same classroom. 

In both types of DLE Programs, students receive core instruction (language arts, math, science, social science) through a second language with the goal of all students becoming bilingual and biliterate in both Spanish and English. In addition to core instruction, all ELs enrolled in a DLE Program receive English Language Development instruction, and all native-English-speaking students receive Language Development instruction in the partner language (e.g., Spanish Language Development) to improve their proficiency in the new language. It is recommended that students in the dual language program continue in the program through at least sixth grade so that they have a greater opportunity to develop literacy skills and fluency in both languages.


  • Perform at or above grade level in all academic areas in both languages
  • Demonstrate positive cross-cultural flexibility and behaviors

Program Benefits

  • Engage in a learning environment that develops bilingualism, biliteracy, and cultural understanding among English Learners and non-English Learners
  • Potential to obtain the State Seal of Biliteracy upon high school graduation

Learn More

To learn more about DLE Programs, contact the Office of Language and Cultural Education.

Language and Cultural Education


773-553-1931 (Fax)

42 W. Madison St.
Chicago, IL 60602