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71 Languages

atl Foreign Language Week graphicDistrict 49 families speak a total of 71 different languages.

For National Foreign Language Week, we asked Grant Geis, D49 CLED Coordinator, about the importance of recognizing these languages.

“District 49 recognizes the various languages used across our district because they reflect the diverse, unique backgrounds of our community and the broader global community,” Geis said. “All languages carry unique messages about each other's culture, values, and history. By recognizing the diverse languages in our community and bridging differences through meaningful communication with one another, we strengthen our bonds to our shared mission and vision in District 49.” 

What is the major role of D49's CLDE Department? 

“The Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education Departments core mission is to support multilingual learners who are acquiring English in addition to their native language,” Geis said. “Through our dedicated CLDE team, we provide quality instruction, impactful professional development, and caring community support to make English language acquisition more efficient and effective.” 

As the number of non-English speaking families entering our district increases, what does that mean for students?

“The growth in our diverse languages and cultures gives our students an opportunity to connect with other students that have unique experiences and knowledge that, in turn, enriches academic discourse in the classroom,” Geis said, “Students are kind, curious and empathetic, and learning beside students who have these differing languages only increases those natural attributes.” 

National Foreign Language Week was first recognized in 1957.

D49 has one elementary school dual language immersion program to develop proficiency in Spanish and English. For more information click here: www.d49.org/OWL