Student Support

Language and Cultural Support

Language Development and Cultural Supports for English Language Learners

Archdiocesan Schools are committed to meeting the cultural and language needs of our students. Research shows that students learn best when the home language and culture is supported and honored. It strengthens the identity of children and their families and provides a strong sense of community and belonging. The Office of Catholic Schools works with various Catholic University partners to follow best practices and implement research based strategies to support all students.

  • When students enroll for the first time in a school, families are given a Home Language survey to complete to determine if a language assessment is necessary to determine language supports.
  • Newcomer (newly arrived immigrant) students may, in many cases, be supported in our schools. However, families are strongly encouraged to work with school staff to determine the level of supported required for individual students.
  • Faith and Cultural celebrations are honored and encouraged in schools to promote academic learning and to help all students thrive and cultivate connection to their families and home countries.

Early Childhood Language Programs

Select schools throughout the archdiocese are participating in an exciting Early Childhood Language Program (ECLIP) where the home language is taught daily to students in Pre-Kindergarten through first grade. Most of the ECLIP teachers are native speakers and all receive monthly professional development through the Alliance for Catholic Education from the University of Notre Dame. All classroom resources are vetted and are culturally responsive. Parents are encouraged to register students starting in preschool to support the literacy success in one of three target languages.

  • Spanish Instruction: Chicago - Annunciata, St. Bede the Venerable, Epiphany, St. Ferdinand, St. Gall, Immaculate Conception - Exchange, St.  Mary of the Angels, St. Mary, Star of the Sea, Our Lady of Guadalupe, St. Pius V, Pope Francis Global Academy, Queen of the Universe. Suburbs: St. Albert the Great - Burbank, St. Thomas of Villanova - Palatine, St. Zachary – Des Plaines.
  • Polish Instruction: St. Zachary – Des Plaines, St. Ferdinand - Chicago
  • Chinese-Mandarin Instruction: St. Therese School - Chicago

For more information and to inquire if space is available, please contact your preferred school directly.