Dual Language Information

New Bedford Public Schools

Dual Language Education (DLE) Program

The NBPS prides itself in providing exceptional services for its students. As a result, a committee was created to research Dual Language Education programs. After research and guidance from the Multi-state Association of Bilingual Education (MABE), NBPS launched a Dual Language Education program in the school year 2018-2019. This district program, located at the Alfred J. Gomes Elementary School, has seen a growth in interest throughout the city. 


Students in the program will gain proficiency in two languages - Spanish and English.  The goals of the program (also referred to as the ABC’s of DLE) are: 
Academic achievement

2. Bilingualism and biliteracy 3. Socio-Cultural competency


In the DLE Program, students learn in English and Spanish everyday using the 50/50 model - 50% of instruction is in English and 50% of instruction is in Spanish.  There is a complete separation of the two languages where one English teacher uses English only in the classroom and one Spanish bilingual teacher uses Spanish only in the classroom. 

Spanish is the second most spoken language in the U.S  as well as the second most spoken language in New Bedford Public Schools (27.5%).  For this reason, fluency in Spanish and English opens the door for many career opportunities in the U.S. and abroad.


The DLE program utilizes the Into Reading/Arriba La Lectura series, a comprehensive Reading and Language Arts series curriculum for language instruction in both languages and the Ready Math curriculum is used for math instruction.  Students are assessed in order to show progress and plan for instruction in both languages.  Students are regularly assessed in both languages, even if they are stronger in one language.  This allows teachers to plan appropriate lessons and inform parents of student progress.  Some assessments are conducted in Spanish, and others are in English.  Additionally, writing samples are collected in both languages.


  • Fluency- Students will develop fluency in english and spanish ln the domains of speaking, reading, writing, and listening
  • Cognitive development- The brains of Dual Language Learners (DLLs) are always active, getting intense exercise from the constant switching between two language systems. For this reason, it is often easier for DLLs to develop critical thinking skills, problem solving skills, and adaptability.
  • Individual and social benefits- Bilingual students develop a positive sense of self as well as positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors. While in the program, students are exposed to and gain an appreciation for other cultures.


Parents register their children for Kindergarten at the Family Registration Center located in the Paul Rodrigues Administration Building.  During that time, they receive information about the DLE program. When parents become interested in the program, they can schedule a time for their child’s screening to determine proficiency in the child’s native language. In addition, parents are required to fill out a bilingual continuum and a COSA (Change of School Assignment) form. Parents are encouraged to attend a parent information session located at the Alfred J. Gomes Elementary School, where they have the opportunity to receive further information about the program as well as meet teachers in the program.  

There are 50 entry seats available in Kindergarten.  All students’ names are entered into a lottery and 50 students are chosen to be part of the DLE Kindergarten group. The lottery is held on a predetermined date and parents are notified of the results either by mail or by phone.  All other students are placed on a waiting list.


Parents and families play a very important role and have a significant impact on student success. Children thrive when they feel supported by parents, families, caregivers, and educators. It is beneficial to all when an active parent-school partnership is nurtured with the understanding that participation and attendance are essential.

DLE classroom teachers are in constant contact with families through a variety of means such as:

  • Phone calls
  • Emails
  • Letters
  • Flyers
  • Apps

Teachers keep parents informed on daily activities and situations at school as well as special events. Communication in the parents’ language plays a vital role in building a community of support for multilingual children. Once a child enters the DLE program, it is in the best interest of the student to remain in the program. All students in the DLE program stay together from Kindergarten to grade 5 (for a total of six years). In order for this to happen, family commitment is required.