Program Q&A

Below you will find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the DLBE program. Click on the question to jump to the answer. If you have a question that is not answered, please click here to pose your question, and we will get back to you ASAP.

To see a running Q&A of additional questions posed by parents, go to this page.

Q. What does “two-way dual language” mean?

Dual language refers to learning simultaneously in two different languages. In our case, this will be English and Spanish. What makes the model “two-way” is the fact that native speakers of each language will be learning side-by-side so that both groups serve as language models at different times. The goal is to foster biliteracy in all students.

Q. What are the overall goals of the two-way dual language bilingual education program (DLBE)?

  • High academic achievement across all content areas for all students

  • Biliteracy and bilingualism for all students

  • Cultural proficiency for all students

Q. What are the advantages of learning content in two languages simultaneously?

Research consistently points to the following advantages for bilinguals:

  • enhanced cognitive skills;

  • superior developmental patterns;

  • ability to employ necessary cognitive and social strategies;

  • use of situational clues to understand what is happening;

  • enhanced abilities in divergent thinking (the understanding that there is more than one way to look at a problem, and therefore more than one solution is possible)

  • ability to think flexibly and abstractly about language;

  • enjoyment of linguistic possibilities;

  • early emergence of the concept that there are multiple ways to express the same idea;

  • transfer of skills and knowledge from one language to another.

Q. What is the curriculum of DLBE?

Please visit our curriculum page for the most up-to-date information about the dual language program curriculum and how it will be implemented.

Q. What is the schedule, and which subjects will be taught in which language?

Please visit our curriculum page for the most up-to-date information about the dual language program schedule and how it will be implemented.

Q. What will happen to those students whose families choose not to enroll in DLBE?

Students whose families choose not to enroll in DLBE will be placed in the traditional class at the grade level. We will continue to ensure that students have opportunities for academic and social integration across the grade level through encore classes, recess, lunch, grade-level benchmark lessons, culminating activities, and special events.

Q. What are your indicators for academic success?

We presently assess students’ academic performance throughout the year. Formal assessments are scheduled and administered district wide. We will continue to use a range of tools to assess content knowledge and language proficiency in English and Spanish. For example, we will administer universal screeners in English and Spanish (e.g. AIMSweb) and developmental reading assessments (e.g. BAS in English and Spanish; EDL in Spanish). We will also administer assessments of math computation skills that require no language and other common district assessments to monitor progress not only in content knowledge but also vocabulary development in that particular content area.

Instruction and assessment are integrated processes. It is critical that students are not subjected to an inordinate amount of formal assessments simply because they are receiving instruction in two languages. For this reason, the teacher’s on-going formative assessment processes will yield valuable information to monitor student progress in content and language.

Q.  Is there evidence to demonstrate that DLBE increases achievement across all the disciplines?

Studies of two-way dual language bilingual education programs show that all students benefit from this model of instruction, leading to higher achievement in language arts and mathematics. Specifically, English-dominant students who participate in two-way dual language immersion programs consistently perform as well as or better than their monolingual peers in English-only programs. The same is true for students of the language minority (Collier and Thomas, 2003, 2009; Marian, Shook, and Schroeder, 2013). In several site visits, we observed classrooms where students in the middle school grades were consistently participating in advanced or accelerated programs across the content areas.

Q.  What will the cohorts look like based on participation?  

We will continue to adhere to the district policy of class size as we plan for this program. As a school and district, we consistently strive to create heterogeneous cohorts and classes. Based on participation of the dual language program, we will continue to create cohorts with the same mindset as we would for traditional class cohorts.

Q.  About 16 years ago, MKES had a dual language program.  What happened to this program?

The program was disbanded after two years because it was not meeting the goals and intended outcomes of a successful program.  While the intent was for the right reasons, there was minimal research, planning, and clear communication of what this program would provide for students.  There was an absence of leadership, dedication of resources, fluctuating state mandates, and lack of integrated language rich opportunities for learning.

Q.  Moving forward, what does the program look like?

The schedule in Grades 1-5 will maintain a 50/50 balance of instruction in each language. As students delve more deeply into project-based learning and extended writing assignments in a particular content area in the upper grades, teachers will give careful consideration to language distribution in their unit planning.

At Fox Lane Middle School, DLBE students will continue their study of Spanish in Grade 6 in an advanced Spanish Language Arts course. DLBE students will also receive their social stuides instruction in Spanish. The DLBE social studies course will be taught by a certified social studies teacher with the bilingual extension.

Q.  Does this program cost the district more because you have to hire more bilingual teachers?

While our bilingual population continues to grow and bilingual instruction is mandated, we would need teachers to teach students regardless of the implementation of a dual language program.  We will hire differently as we are now looking for outstanding dually certified teachers in elementary education with a bilingual extension.  Hiring will change in the future and how we assign teachers to MKES will look different.

Q.  What is the process for enrolling our child?

After having several parent meetings beginning in November, we will explain the process of enrolling students to this program.  Parents will receive all the information necessary to make an informed decision.

Q.  Once my child is enrolled in the dual language bilingual education program, will there be support for parents navigating a new language in our home?

Yes.  We will schedule monthly meetings based on parent needs, as well as updating the dual language webpage to include resources applicable as they continue to support their child throughout this program. We have also started a RESOURCES page on this site.

Q. If I miss a meeting, how can I stay informed?

All agendas and relevant information will be linked to the school website at

Q.  When are the next parent meetings?

Please see the "Key Dates" area in the left margin of the page, or visit the updates page for upcoming meetings, and information from past meetings.