Elementary Dual Language Program At Lincoln Elementary School

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I observed a 3rd grade dual language program at Lincoln Elementary School in Blue Island, Illinois. The philosophy of the program is to provide a well-rounded educational foundation that supports children’s academic, physical, and emotional growth, success, and commitment to others. They believe that if they can create a community in the classrooms, have high expectations for all students, and nurture their native language as well as their second language, the students will be successful. The program consisted of 2 classrooms. During the school day, 50% of the time the students are learning in Spanish—listening, speaking, reading, and writing. And the other 50% is spent learning in English. The English class teaches English/Language Arts, Math, and Social Studies. The Spanish class teaches English/language Arts, Science. The English teacher is not allowed to speak Spanish, not even to help out students. The Spanish teacher is not allowed to speak English, not even to help out students. However both teachers used the language they were not allowed to speak to teach cognates. The third graders were able to understand Spanish and English, respond in Spanish and English, and write in Spanish and English. This is not like a bilingual classroom where students are transitioning from Spanish to being proficient in English. They are all on different levels of proficiency, but all students read, write, listen, and speak in both languages. There were sixteen students in each
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