Two-Way Immersion Program (TWI)
Evanston/Skokie School District 65 is excited to offer kindergarten through fifth grade students the opportunity to participate in the Two-Way Immersion (TWI) dual-language magnet program. The bilingual and bicultural program uses both the English and Spanish languages for instruction, learning, and communication. To ensure a high quality educational experience for all students, TWI classrooms are balanced with both native English speakers and Spanish-speaking English Learner students.
Goals of the program include bilingualism/ biliteracy, high academic achievement, and increased cultural competence. Extensive research on second language acquisition and bilingual program design has proven to be the most effective model for educating English Learners (Collier and Thomas, 2009).
As part of our TWI community, our dedicated teaching staff foster the development of bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural skills that will support students in our ever-changing global society. Our goal is to help students achieve academic excellence in multiple languages and attain a multicultural understanding and appreciation of different cultures.
Our TWI Schools
Kindergarten through fifth grade students at Dawes, Dewey, Oakton, Washington, and Willard elementary schools participate in the Two-Way Immersion program. There is one TWI class per grade level at each school with the exception of Washington which has two TWI classes per grade. In the 2018-2019 school year, the TWI program was expanded to both kindergarten classrooms at Dr. Bessie Rhodes School of Global Studies. With a longstanding commitment to global studies and the celebration of diverse cultures, Bessie Rhodes is set to become the district’s first wall-to-wall Two-Way Immersion School by 2027, while retaining a global studies focus. Currently, the only school that is set to offer TWI in the middle grades. The program will expand to the next grade level each school year as the first kindergarten classes move on.
A TWI Community
Enrollment in the TWI program should be a commitment made by the family for the duration of a child’s elementary education. When students reach middle school (with the exception of those enrolled at Bessie Rhodes), families are asked to recommit to the program by enrolling students in the district’s Spanish for Spanish Speakers class.
As with all educational programs, the home- school connection is critical. Families are encouraged to remain active in their child’s education and help to foster cross-cultural appreciation by exposing them to both the English and Spanish languages.
All TWI classrooms teach the same robust curriculum as general education classrooms; the main difference is that teaching and learning takes place in both English and Spanish. Curricular goals and expectations are aligned across District 65. Dual language teachers have full command of both English and Spanish languages and hold bilingual and English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsements.
Benefits of Bilingualism
Participation in District 65’s Two-Way Immersion dual language program, will have long-term educational, cognitive, sociocultural, and economic benefits (American Councils for International Education). Some of these benefits include:
- Development of increased meta-cognitive skills and cognitive flexibility.
- Skill development in collaboration and cooperation with their peers.
- Language, academic, and cultural benefits.
- Work with authentic language models on a daily basis.
- Better preparation for the global workforce.
Commitment to Equity
The foundational principles of the TWI program align to our commitment to equity for all students in District 65 and include:
Honoring and building upon the strengths and assets of every student.
- Providing all students with resources, opportunities and supports needed to ensure preparation for success in high school and beyond.
Attracting and retaining a workforce that is diverse in skills and experience and reflects the demographic diversity of our students.
- Implementing culturally relevant teaching practices that reflect the contributions and perspectives of all people.
The Two-Way Immersion Dual Language Program serves both Spanish-speaking English learners (EL) and native English speakers. The program is available to students in all District 65 attendance-area schools.
Native English Speakers - Families of incoming kindergarten students may apply for enrollment in the Two-Way Immersion (TWI) Dual Language Program. Incoming kindergarteners who are not offered a TWI seat are automatically placed on a waitlist. A limited number of seats may become available during first grade (the final opportunity for a student to enter into the TWI program).
Native Spanish Speakers - The TWI program is available to native Spanish spakers in grades K-5. Native Spanish-speaking students recieve a language assesment during the registration process to determine TWI placement eligibility. Families of students who speak Spanish but are English-speaking dominant are encouraged to submit a regular application for the TWI program.
For specific questions regarding the Two- Way Immersion (TWI) dual language magnet program, please contact the District 65 Bilingual Services Director at (847) 859-8104 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For information about the application process and student enrollment, please visit our registration page, call (847) 859-8065, or email email@example.com.