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Elementary School

The Montgomery County Public Schools ELD program is designed to empower Emergent Multilingual students to master academic English to thrive in school, college, careers, and as global citizens. The education of students learning English as a new language is a collaborative responsibility shared by the ELD teacher, the classroom teacher, all other appropriate MCPS staff, as well as the Emergent Multilingual Learner.

English Language Development in:

  • Prekindergarten:

    Early Childhood Learners are in language rich-environments. Many students are dual language learners who simultaneously develop their home language while developing English in child care settings. All staff supporting Pre-K work to employ multiple modalities to increase language development. Staff implement instruction using the WIDA Early Years framework which promotes equitable early care and education opportunities for young multilingual children.
  • Kindergarten through Grade 5:

    Students who receive English Language Development services receive direct language instruction while receiving support to successfully access grade level content. Classroom teachers provide emergent multilingual learners with supports to access grade level content using academic English.

Students with Limited or Interrupted Formal Education (SLIFE)

Students who receive a SLIFE designation in grades three through five enroll at the home school, accessing grade-level instruction with same-age peers. Students are assigned a SLIFE Coach who will provide professional learning and coaching to build the capacity of general education and English Language Development (ELD) staff to support the language and academic needs of SLIFE. SLIFE Coaches may model and co-teach lessons, attend planning meetings, advocate for and model equitable, culturally responsive practices, and collaborate with case-management teams to care for the academic, social, and emotional well-being of SLIFE and their caregivers.

How Emergent Bilingualism Is Taught in Elementary School

There are various instructional models that can be effectively implemented in an elementary school’s English Language Development program. Services can be implemented across all content areas. Students develop their interpretive (reading and listening) and expressive (writing and speaking) skills through the integration of language and content.   

In a co-teaching model, the English Language Development teacher works alongside the general education teacher to provide academic language scaffolds within instruction that builds and supports core content. Collaborative instructional models provide opportunities for emergent multilingual learners to engage in academic discourse around rigorous academic content furthering their language development while increasing student achievement, motivation, and engagement. 

In a plug-in model, the English Language Development teacher instructs students in the general education classroom. This may include co-teaching the whole class with the certified classroom teacher or instructing small groups of emergent multilingual students during independent work/center time.

In a pull-out model, the English Language Development teacher instructs emergent multilingual students outside of the general education classroom, to provide targeted language instruction to students entering or emerging in their English language proficiency. 

At any level of English language proficiency, a combination of instructional models may be implemented to take advantage of the benefits of the various models to provide access to grade level content.


The TWI program in MCPS is grounded in The Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education.  The county curriculum/ curricular resources, scope and sequence are adjusted to meet the interdisciplinary biliteracy unit approach used in the TWI schools. Grade level standards remain the focus of instruction in the target language and English. MCPS currently offers Two-Way Immersion programs (Spanish/English) at six schools:

TWI School Principal Grades School Contact Number
Brown Station ES Ms. Marquetta (Renee) Singleton K-5 (240) 740-0260
Kemp Mill ES Dr. James Bernard Prek-5 (240) 740-5970
Gaithersburg ES Ms. Paula Summers K-2* (240) 740-4900
Oakland Terrace ES Ms. Elissa Royall K-5 (240) 740-4880
Rolling Terrace ES Ms. Rosa (Isabelle) Mensah K-5 (240) 740-1950
Washington Grove ES Dr. Amy Alonso Prek-5 (240) 740-0300

*Gaithersburg ES  will continue to roll up implementation each year with all grade levels implementing TWI by the school year 2026-2027. 

We believe that emerging bilingual students learn best when provided daily language development and daily literacy instruction that focuses on oracy, reading, writing, and metalanguage development in both program languages. We believe that English Language Arts (ELA)/English Language Development (ELD) and Spanish Language Arts (SLA)/Spanish Language Development (SLD) are explicitly connected and mutually reinforcing. Therefore, instruction is strategically planned and delivered through literacy, language, and content across both languages.

While individual school schedules may vary, all programs follow a 50/50 content and language allocation model. In a 50/50 model, students spend 50% of their day learning in Spanish and 50% of their day learning in English. Two-way immersion follows a standards-based instructional model grounded in the 4 +1 language domains (reading, writing, listening, speaking, and making metalinguistic connections) with intentional cross-linguistic transfers between Spanish and English. In order to successfully develop biliteracy skills, we engage students through standards-based interdisciplinary units.

For more information regarding TWI programming, please click here.


Two-way Immersion in MCPS is a whole-school model program open to students living within the boundaries of the six schools.  The TWI program is not a lottery program. Incoming K-1 students who live within the boundaries of the six schools are automatically enrolled in the TWI program regardless of language spoken at home. Students in grades 2-5 transferring into a TWI school must meet at least one of the following criteria:

  • The student’s Home Language Survey includes Spanish and the student is eligible to receive English Language Development services, including those where English and/or Spanish is spoken at home.
  • The student recently exited English Language Development services. A recently exited student is defined as a student who has officially exited ELD services and is being monitored for the first 2 years after they have exited receiving services.
  • The student is transferring from a One-Way or Two-Way Immersion program where the target language is Spanish. The student must have been enrolled in the program at least the prior 2 years.

If the transferring grade 2-5 student does not meet the criteria, the family will need to complete the Two-way Immersion Partner School Assignment form that is available only at the TWI school site. The principal and/or registrar will communicate the process for the student’s  enrollment into a partner school that is similar in demographics and in proximity to the TWI school.