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Tag: dual language

U46 looks to second year of dual language journey (Sun-Times Media)

STREAMWOOD — The students carefully filled in the blanks in the sentences on the flipboard at the front of the classroom with a blue marker: The “a” in “Hola.” The “mi” in “amigos.” “Cumpleaños” in the blank that followed “feliz.”

When finished, it read, “Hola, amigos. Hoy es el cumpleaños de Abisai. Feliz cumpleaños. Vamos a leer sobre los estaciones.”

In English: “Hello, friends. Today is Abisai’s birthday. Happy birthday. Let’s read about the park.”

Harley Stary, a kindergartner with close-cropped blond hair, and his classmate Sebastian Montes, wearing a striped hoodie and a shock of dark hair across his forehead, finished the note from their teacher: “Con cariño (with affection), Maestra Berman.”

Moving on to the next activity Monday morning, teacher Claudia Berman asked, “¿Estás listo?” She motioned with a thumbs-up to make sure her meaning was clear.

That’s because half the students in Berman’s kindergarten class came just a semester ago to Glenbrook Elementary School in Streamwood speaking only Spanish, and half only English.

Glenbrook is one of seven elementary schools in School District U46 that offer two-way dual language, a program that the state’s second-largest school district expanded this year as it transitions all its services for Spanish-speaking English Language Learners to a dual language model. And it may be the only school district in the country to do so, according to U46 Dual Language Coordinator Patricia Makishima.

Makishima, Glenbrook Principal Cheryl DeRoo and others in the Elgin school district’s ELL department recently updated the U46 Board of Education about the district’s transition to dual language.

“This is unheard of,” Makishima said.

“It has really showed how teachers and students are ready to learn. It’s been fascinating watching students learn that second language. It’s just so thrilling seeing kids build that community of friendship and just try to help each other.”

For the rest of the story, read U46 looks to second year of dual language journey (Sun-Times Media).

Photo credit: Andrew Nelles for Sun-Times Media.
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C’ville school, Judson team up for a dual education experience (Sun-Times Media)

CARPENTERSVILLE — “I didn’t pass!” one boy murmured as he and his classmates in his second-grade dual language class set down their pencils Tuesday at Liberty Elementary School here.

The class was doing “rocket math,” trying to complete as many math problems as possible in a minute. Tuesday’s goal was “treinta y cinco,” or thirty-five, correct answers.

Tatiana Reinbrecht circled the classroom, peeking over students’ shoulders and “starring” the worksheets of students who had met that goal. She pulled two boys aside to work on math problems together.

“Cinco menos uno?” she asked. That’s five minus one.

Jack Greenwell answered, then corrected himself: “Four! Cuatro!”

But Tatiana isn’t the boys’ teacher.

Tatiana, 17, is one of six student volunteers from both Jacobs High School in Algonquin and Judson University in Elgin taking part in Community Unit School District 300’s dual language program at Liberty.

And those volunteers are an added support as that program has expanded to include fourth grade this school year.

“I think it’s fantastic to be able to utilize our resources in the community,” Liberty Principal Amanda Edwards said. “It’s such a hard economic time for education; to be able to tap into those resources without spending and finances is the most resourceful and beneficial for our kids.”

Those partnerships started last school year when Cameron Monti’s son Caden was in kindergarten in the dual language program at Liberty. Monti, of Carpentersville, called it “a concerned parent response.”

There were 32 students in Caden’s class, with one teacher and no aides, he said. That made it the largest of the district’s dual language classes.

And, Monti said he knows “when you have a smaller class size, you foster a better learning environment.”

“I told the teacher if they need help, I would do anything I could there,” he said.

For the rest of the story, read C’ville school, Judson team up for a dual education experience (Sun-Times Media).

Photo credit: Dave Shields for Sun-Times Media.