cpz 3822SPRINGFIELD – Dual language education may soon be more accessible to Illinois students, thanks to a new measure sponsored by State Senator Cristina H. Pacione-Zayas.

“Dual language instruction can be transformative for a student, expanding their future career opportunities and strengthening their connection to their culture and develop a global view,” said Pacione-Zayas (D-Chicago). “Improving our dual language offerings will help young people become more well-rounded and have a better understanding of themselves and the world.”

Currently, Illinois supports bilingual education programs by maintaining an advisory council on bilingual education, which reports to the Illinois State Board of Education. However, this council is only required to provide recommendations to best support students and families participating in ESL, or English as a Second Language. While these recommendations are important, this council could use its insights — as  an important table of academics with expertise in various programs of bilingual education — to also  study dual language instruction across the state and provide recommendations on how to support these programs.

House Bill 3822 would require the Illinois Advisory Council on Bilingual Education to issue a report to the General Assembly on how to incentivize, improve and expand dual language instruction in schools. The report will include recommendations for expanding dual language programs and instruction, a strategic plan for scaling these programs, planning to build the supply of qualified teachers, and establishing standards for measuring student progress. This report can then be implemented to increase sustainable dual language education programs throughout the state.

“We know that bilingualism is a valuable asset in today’s global society,” said State Representative Abdelnasser Rashid (D-Bridgeview), who introduced the initiative in the House. “This bill will help build a path for all students to have access to high-quality dual language programs, which benefit their academic achievement, enhance cultural preservation, and prepares students for success in the workforce.”

House Bill 3822 passed the Senate on Thursday.

Category: Press Releases

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