Bi-lingual / Dual Language Programs

  • Dual Language programs in NYC public schools teach children the standard curriculum in English as well as in a second language.
  • Classes are taught in each language on alternating days.
  • The expectation is that students will become fluent in both languages taught.
  • Dual language programs are available in Spanish, Chinese, Russian, Korean, Haitian Creole or French. Your child can be a native English speaker or an English Language Learner (ELL) to enroll in a dual language program.
  • Most programs do some type of screening to be sure that a dual language program is an appropriate fit for your child.
  • Contact each school of interest to determine their policy regarding the enrollment of students from outside the catchment, or zone, for the school.
  • Enrollment is by application, and is not automatic even if your catchment school offers such a program.
  • Dual language programs seek to enroll 50% native English speakers and 50% should be native, or at least fluent, speakers in the other language being taught.

New dual language programs are opened each year. You can search for established and new dual language programs on the websites of Inside Schools or the NYC Department of Education.

An additional resource for families interested in French enrichment and bi-lingual school programs is Education Française à New York (EFNY) , a non-profit organization that keeps track of efforts to bring French language programs to schools and after-school programs in New York City.

Application Process

Every Dual Language program has its own established criteria to enroll students in their program. Most programs do some type of screening to be sure that a dual language program will be an appropriate fit for your child. They may even interview the parents to make sure they understand the program's curriculum and philosophy. Please contact each Dual Language program to find out how to apply.

Timeline for Applying to Dual language Programs

Remember: You are only guaranteed a seat in your zoned public school so it is important to visit the school to understand its strengths and challenges, learn how parents are engaged in the school, *and* apply during the stated time period.

September - December

  • Identify dual language school(s) you are interested in exploring.
  • Review the individual school websites and learn their admission process.
  • Attend scheduled open houses/tours to learn more.
  • If available, place your name on the list of interested families so that the school can communicate with you during the admission process.


  • Secure the application for each school according to their individual procedure: by phone, in person, or from their web site.
  • Complete and submit the application according to the specified timeline.


  • Participate in screening as required by school.
  • Learn outcome of application.