About Multilingual Education

  • Multilingual Education Department

    At DPS, the many diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds that our students bring to the classroom enrich our schools. DPS believes every student’s home language and culture are assets that, combined with English language skills, help students achieve success in school and life.

    The Multilingual Education (MLE) department works with schools to create programs in which all students graduate valuing cultural and linguistic diversity and are able to use their native languages and cultures as assets.

    In alignment with DPS' vision, our team's vision is to ensure every Language Learner succeeds by providing the opportunity to achieve the knowledge and skills necessary to become contributing citizens in our diverse society. We believe that every single Language Learner can thrive -- not by accident, but by design.

    What we do

    Through our Accountability and Data Management, Program Design and Development, Program Implementation and Effectiveness and Strategic Initiatives teams we provide guidance, resources, training and support to ensure that all schools can provide equitable, rigorous learning environments for all of their Language Learners.

    We recognize the unique stories and voices of our multilingual students with home languages other than English and honor them by calling them Multilingual Learners (MLLs). We believe that developing home language skills help students stay connected with their family, culture and community. We support our students in further developing their native language proficiency both at school and at home, and honor this through the Seal of Biliteracy.

    Who we serve

    The Multilingual Education department serves all Language Learners in DPS, including MLLs with home languages other than English and students in our dual language and world language programs. 

    DPS has over 35,000 MLLs with home languages other than English in ECE to 12th grade. These students enrich the linguistic palette of our city with the sounds of more than 200 languages spoken across our district. Spanish is the home language for the majority of MLLs in DPS. Other widely-spoken languages include Arabic, Amharic, French, Mandarin, Nepali, Somali and Vietnamese.

    Over 17,000 students are enrolled in world languages at DPS schools. Languages taught include Arabic, Chinese, French, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Lakota. 

    DPS currently has 16 dual language/immersion schools instructing over 3000 students in either Spanish and English, Mandarian and English, or French and English.