Selecting the right ELA program for your child

DPS believes every student’s primary language is an asset that, combined with English language skills, leads to success in school and life. Our English Language Acquisition (ELA) programs help students learn English as they study their core subjects. In an ELA program, students who are native speakers of languages other than English, and not yet proficient in English, are supported by teachers specially trained to instruct English learners. English learners in DPS who participate in an ELA program until they are able to fully participate in mainstream classes have higher graduation rates and reading assessment scores. We strongly encourage all parents of English-language learners to select an ELA program to support their child’s learning.

Regardless of which program you choose, your child will receive dedicated English Language Development support and instruction in content areas from qualified teachers. If your child qualifies for ELA services, you will work with an ELA expert at your child’s school to select an ELA program by completing the Parent Permission Form. As a parent or guardian, you choose the services you want your child to receive. Click on a video below to learn more.

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ELA Program Options

Transitional Native Language Instruction (Bilingual)
Schools designated TNLI

This program is for Spanish-speaking students. Students are instructed in Spanish and English. As students learn more English, the proportion of English instruction increases, leading to literacy in both languages. More than 30 years of research shows that this kind of program helps children master English more quickly and demonstrate increased proficiency over the long term than in programs where only English is spoken.

Teachers are fluent in Spanish and are specially trained to teach your child English. Instruction in TNLI schools is guided by research-based Language Allocation Guidelines, which determine the percentage of instruction time in each language.

To select this program, choose Option 1 on the Parent Permission Form.

TNLI Program Brochure for Parents
Read the DPS Language Allocation Guidelines

English As a Second Language
(Schools designated ELA-E)

In an English as a Second Language program, classes are taught in English by teachers with special training to help students become fluent in English. Your student will also receive special instruction in English Language Development. These programs are intended for speakers of all languages.  To choose this option, select Option 2 on the Parent Permission Form.

Download ELA-E/ESL Program Brochures

Dual Language
(Schools designated Dual Language)

In dual language programs, students are taught in two languages throughout their elementary or secondary education. Currently, all dual language programs in DPS are taught in Spanish and English. Click here for more information about Dual Language programs.

ELA Programs by School

Click below to view a list of schools and the ELA program(s) they offer.

What if my school does not offer the ELA program I want for my child?

If the ELA program you choose is not available at your nearest school, your child may attend an ELA Zone School that offers your choice of program. Parents may also use the school choice process to select any DPS school that best meets their student's needs.

Learn more about ELA Zone Schools »

ELA Parent Options Video (English)

ELA Program Brochures for Parents

Bilingual (TNLI) Program

For students who are primarily Spanish-speakers

English as a Second Language (ESL) Program

For all students who speak languages other than English