English Learners


Elmhurst is a diverse community that is home to over 57 home languages. The top most spoken languages other than English are: Spanish, Malayalam, Polish, Urdu, Greek and Arabic. As the English Learner (EL) population continues to grow, our EL and Bilingual programming will continue to change and improve in order to best meet the needs of all our students. Culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) students offer a wide variety of attributes that enrich our classrooms. The goal for all of these students is to continue to foster their native language development, while at the same time learning academic content and the English language. This focus on biliteracy will ensure that our students are truly prepared for college, career and life as global citizens.

Identifying English Learners (EL)

According to Illinois Administrative School Code, each district in the state is required to screen all new, enrolling students who have been determined to have a language other than English used in the home. Once an additional language has been indicated, the district is obligated to screen any school-aged students of that family with the state mandated screening instrument. The results of the screening instrument are used to determine English Language level, and subsequently, eligibility for EL services. The District offers three types of EL programs.

EL Programming in Elmhurst

Elmhurst currently offers three types of programs for EL/Bilingual students: Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI), Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE) and Dual Language (One-Way Immersion at Madison, Two-Way Immersion at Conrad Fischer).

Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI)

Elmhurst 205 offers English as a Second Language (ESL) instruction in all schools that house EL students. ESL instruction is currently named Transitional Program of Instruction (TPI). Buildings that offer TPI have ELs of various backgrounds, but do not have greater than 19 students of the same language. Generally, EL students receive English instruction through push-in support within the classroom environment.

Dual Language Program

The Dual Language Program in District 205 is a Two-Way Immersion Spanish-English program housed at Conrad Fischer Elementary School. Eventually replacing the TBE program, the dual language program delivers instruction in both Spanish and English throughout the day. All Conrad Fischer students are eligible to participate, and applications are available to incoming Kindergarten students throughout the district. 

Transitional Bilingual Education (TBE)

The Transitional Bilingual Program (TBE) in District 205 uses Spanish as the native language to instruct students who are learning English. The amount of native language instruction is determined based on each individual student's English language proficiency. This program is offered in schools where there are 20 or more students of the same language group.

In all types of programs, students are entitled to 3 years of enrollment, but actual duration of services varies, depending on student performance on state mandated assessments.

For more parent resources, please visit the ELL Resources page.