CPS Pathways Towards the Seal of Biliteracy

Congrats to our students that earn the pathway towards the seal of biliteracy! Please see below to learn more about the program and for a short video about this years’ winners.

What is the Illinois State Seal of Biliteracy?

The State Seal of Biliteracy is a recognition given to high school seniors who have studied and can exhibit the ability to communicate in two or more languages (including English) by their senior year of high school. The Seal is highlighted on the high school diploma and serves as a statement of accomplishment for college admission and future employment. To build on the success of the District’s State Seal of Biliteracy program, the Chicago Public Schools Office of Language and Cultural Education (OLCE) introduced in the 2017-2018 school year the CPS Seal of Biliteracy Pathway Award, a program for elementary middle school students to be recognized for being on their way towards earning the State Seal of Biliteracy through their enrollment in a bilingual, dual, and/or world language program.


What is the CPS Seal of Biliteracy Pathway Award?

The CPS Seal of Biliteracy Pathway Award recognizes 5th and 8th grade students enrolled in a language education program that provides a pathway to the State Seal of Biliteracy in 12th grade. This recognition is not solely based on a students’ current language proficiency, but also in the continuing development of that language throughout the course of their elementary and middle school years in preparation for high school. Current enrollment in a Bilingual, Dual Language or World Language program is a requirement to participate

in this program.


The CPS Seal of Biliteracy Pathway Award is intended for current 5th and 8th graders who are on a pathway to earn the State Seal of Biliteracy by being enrolled in either a bilingual, dual, and/or world language program, including both students who are native English speakers as well as current or former English Learners (ELs). Current languages offered through the assessment include: Arabic, Chinese (Cantonese, Mandarin Simplified and Traditional), French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. As you know, LaSalle II students took the Avant STAMP 4s (8th graders) and 4e (5th graders) to assess where they are in their language learning journey.


How does a student earn the CPS Seal of Biliteracy Pathway Award?

At the Elementary Middle School level, the CPS Seal of Biliteracy Pathway Award is given to:

  • 5th graders who score “Novice Mid” (2 or higher in each language mode) in the STAMP 4Se for all of our languages 
  • 8th graders who score “Intermediate Low” (4 or higher) in the STAMP 4S for French and Spanish and Novice High for Arabic and Chinese

Link to 2021 LaSalle II Awards

Ramadan in our Arabic Classroom

Ramadan is a very special month in the Arab World and it is celebrated by the majority of Arabs and Muslims around the world. Ramadan is a holy month that features 30 days of fasting from dawn to dusk.

In our Arabic classroom, students are learning about Ramadan as an important part of the Arabic culture. This year students are learning about Ramdan via Edpuzzle. Students are also introduced to significant events that happened during Ramadan and how it is celebrated by Arabs. Some of the important events that happen during Ramadan are family gatherings for Iftaar time, the joyful media throughout the wholke month, Showing generous donations, decorations in the streets everywhere. Lanterns with different shapes are the main symbol for Ramadan that must be seen in every street. In our classroom, our in-person students will be making paper cuts lanterns and Remote learners will be decorating and coloring different lanterns via Jamboard to celebrate Ramadan as a part of the Arabic language culture.  

Ensemble Español Partnership

The Ensemble Español Spanish Dance Theater celebrates Spain in America through performance, arts education, and community programs that bring the dance, music, and song of Spain to U. S. audiences. For over 45 years, the organization has shared the rich history and contemporary importance of culturally specific art, and maintains this commitment for artists, students, and art lovers the world over.

Due to our enthusiastic past partnerships, Ensemble Español selected LaSalle II for a free artist-in-residency to 3rd and 6th graders! They have been working with our artist-in-residence Amanda Saucedo, an Ensemble Español company dancer who serves as the Resident Teaching Artist and CPS All-City Performing Arts Program Spanish dance instructor. Students began the classes at the beginning of third quarter during remote learning and are continuing during hybrid. Each homeroom dances in a different room while their friends dance at home. Class begins with a warm-up followed by dance lessons and then ends with a yoga cool down. Pictured here are our third graders learning a jota from Galicia, Spain.

Staying Connected in the Target Language

Last quarter in Spanish class 3rd grade students learned and practiced food vocabulary and discussed their personal food preferences. To showcase their speaking skills, students recorded and uploaded a Flipgrid video sharing which fruits and vegetables they love, like and absolutely don’t like! Although students currently are not able to applaud and engage with their peers in person, we can still stay connected! To celebrate their classmates speaking activities and to make connections, students watched their classmate’s videos and then recorded and/or wrote responses in Spanish to offer feedback. I am so proud of all our students’ hard work, creativity and continued resilience.

Learning About Food in French

The sixth grade French students have been working hard during their mealtime in the French-speaking world unit! They started out the year exploring dishes and restaurants in the French-speaking country of Senegal in Western Africa. The students researched recipes and created Flip Grids describing their preferences of the dishes. We digitally traveled across the world at the beginning of quarter two, and their culinary studies have now taken them to the French-speaking Caribbean islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The students are learning about local foods and products that can be purchased from markets and how to navigate these beautiful places to purchase fresh ingredients. I am so proud of the language, effort, and enthusiasm that these students are bringing to French class!

Accomplishments for our French Students

French students in grades 4th-8th participated in the National French Contest/Le Grand Concours in February. Students studying French in all 50 states and abroad take a written test and compete against students with similar educational backgrounds. We are so proud of our students who were nationally ranked this year! And a special congratulations to LaSalle II’s first ever gold winner, Reyna K. Félicitations!

HONORABLE MENTION:

  • Dezeray G.- 8th Grade
  • Lyric N.- 8th Grade
  • Ryan C.- 7th Grade
  • Aris M.- 6th Grade
  • Niza T.- 6th Grade
  • Kelema G.- 5th Grade
  • Grace B.- 4th Grade
  • Abraham C.-  4th Grade
  • Karina S.- 4th Grade


BRONZE:

  • Myah S.- 6th Grade
  • Kaleigh H.- 4th Grade

SILVER:

  • Damaris R.- 6th Grade
  • Jacob A.- 4th Grade
  • Logan K.- 4th Grade 


GOLD:

  • Reyna K.- 7th Grade (pictured below)

Culinary Arts in French

Middle school students studying French went to Alliance Française this month for a scrumptious field trip. The students worked with a French culinary instructor to make a delicious French meal that included a salad with home-made vinaigrette, Croque-Monsieur sandwiches, and Madeleine cookies. The students did an awesome job cooking and at the end were able to enjoy the meal they prepared with their classmates. Miam-miam!

LaSalle II Students in China!

Our 8th graders are currently in China for their exchange trip! We can’t wait to hear about all of their adventures when they return. 

Bringing the World To Our Students

Bringing the World To Our Students

During the first four weeks of the new school year, our LaSalle II Chinese Program introduced China to our kindergarteners. The photos show how happy the 5-year children are holding flags of US and China as they dance and sing Hello to China and Hello to the United States. First graders were introduced to eight countries around the world.  Notice how they enjoy locating countries on the world map. Our seventh graders performed in a dance program at the 2019 Chinese Cultural Festival on September 28th at Whitney Young High School.  All of these students had a good time and said it was a lot of fun.  Bobby and Sophia commented that learning to coordinate with each other as members of a team was a valuable lesson. Natalie and Eleanor mentioned that they put a lot of hard work into practicing but they learned a lot of “cool things” about Chinese culture. This is the third time these students had an opportunity to bring what they learned in class to an outside audience. 

8th Grade Spanish and French Art Gallery Walk!

After exploring artists and styles of both French Impressionism and Spanish Cubism, students were challenged to select a local or global theme and demonstrate it through their own artwork. Students selected themes ranging from: pollution, climate change, poaching, domestic violence, depression, religious intolerance and many more. Students presented their artwork in the target language to their respective classes, and then participated in a gallery walk where they had the opportunity to see and discuss their peers’ artwork in the other language class. We are extremely proud of their creativity, insightfulness, and collaboration demonstrated through this project! Happy graduation to our 2019 8th grade class!