A 'bridge' between English, Spanish: Waukegan District 60 adds new teaching approach to bilingual education

Gathered on the floor of their Washington Elementary School classroom, the third-graders turned to each other to talk about the difference between English and Spanish definitive articles.

Using words the students identified as necessary in order to understand what they’ve been learning about wolves, they talked about how while English consistently uses “the,” Spanish has different articles based on the gender of the word and whether it’s plural and singular.

“We have our English world, our Spanish world and then our bilingual world, which is where we bridge our two worlds together,” their teacher Erica Jacobo told them. The lesson Friday morning is a new approach Waukegan teachers are bringing to their dual language classrooms at the end of each unit, said Elisabeth Ambroiggio, Waukegan District 60’s director of bilingual and multicultural education.

The idea has “caught fire” with teachers who, along with building principals, are receiving professional development to help them with the teaching approach, Ambroiggio said.

Read more here: Chicago Tribune