U46 elementary schools boosting dual-language programs
In one second-grade classroom at Harriet Gifford Elementary School here, a group of girls spelled words for Principal Joe Corcoran — words like “thunder.”
“Thunnn-derrr,” Corcoran sounded out the word for the girls.
Another group of boys took turns reading a story with teacher Gregorio Posada about a snowman melting in the sun.
“Kids will come with different levels of proficiency,” Posada said. “You try to help them where they are.”
The students are in Elgin School District U46’s English as a Second Language, or ESL, program in which they spend part of their day in Posada’s bilingual classroom. When they closed their “Moving into English” textbooks, they moved back into Spanish for matemáticas, counting out yellow blocks to complete subtraction problems the teacher had written on an overhead projector.
Gifford is one of 29 elementary schools in District U46 that now have Transitional Bilingual Education programming in place.