What are the critical components of the Dual Language Program?
- Classes are made up of both English and target-language speakers
- Instruction of District curriculum and academic standards through two languages
- Highly trained and committed quality teachers
- High standards where language instruction is integrated with challenging academic instruction
- Strong parent involvement
- Strong administrative support
- Integration with other school programs
- Cross-cultural emphasis
Will a second language interfere with my child’s English ability?
No. Research shows that students who achieve advanced levels of proficiency in two languages often experience cognitive and linguistic advantages when compared to monolingual students. Bilingual students perform better on tasks that require divergent thinking, pattern recognition and problem solving, and have higher levels of metalinguistic awareness.
How will my child understand if he/she does not speak the second language?
Teachers in the Dual Language Program are specially trained to make the information meaningful through the use of visuals, objects, gestures, and specialized instructional strategies. The students also help each other!
Do Dual Language students learn the same curriculum as the regular English program?
Absolutely! The standards and curriculum at AESD are the same as for all students and are held to the same rigor and standard. The only difference is the language of instruction.
Can a student enter the program after kindergarten?
Students requesting entrance to a DLI program after kindergarten are referred to as “late entry.” Late entry is possible at any grade if space is available and if the student meets minimum oral and written language proficiency requirements. To determine whether your student meets minimum language proficiency requirements please contact the school directly for assessment. To ensure your child’s success.
Will my child’s state testing results be affected since he/she is learning mostly in Spanish?
Students in the DLI program participate in all annual state assessments. Students with a home language survey indicating a language other than English participate in the California English Language Development Test (CELDT) each fall. Third-sixth graders participate in Smarter Balanced Summative Assessments in English Language Arts/Literacy and Mathematics (SBA) each spring. Fifth graders additionally participate in the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) each spring. Kathryn Lindholm-Leary’s research on Dual Immersion Programs indicate that by the end of elementary school and into middle and high school, the educational outcomes of bilingually-educated students (in late exit programs, dual language programs) were at least comparable to, and usually higher than, their comparison peers who did not participate in bilingual education. Historically as a group, students enrolled in ACSD’s DLI program have outperformed students in ACSD’s non-DLI settings. Individual student results vary, and instructional staff use multiple measures to ensure each student receives the differentiated instruction he or she needs.
What is the difference between a 90:10 and a 50:50 model?
The first number refers to the amount of instructional time initially spent for instruction in the target or non-English language in kindergarten. The second number refers to English. In a 90:10 model the amount of the target language decreases yearly as English increases until there is a 50:50 balance of the languages generally in grades four through six. A 50:50 model uses English and the target language for 50 percent of the time throughout the duration of the program.
Why is it okay to immerse English speakers in a language, but not Spanish speakers?
The English speaker is not at risk of losing the English language. English is spoken at home, in the community, and in the media. Two-way bilingual immersion programs are not replacing English with another language, but provide the students the opportunity to acquire a second language. Two-way bilingual immersion programs are additive programs in that a second language is acquired while maintaining the first language of the students.
Which model is more effective – 50:50 or 90:10?
Regardless of the model implemented, both models have been found to effectively achieve the goals of bilingualism and biliteracy; however, the 90:10 model has been shown to create higher levels of bilingualism. For specific research studies, consult the Center for Applied Linguistics FAQs.
What are the criteria for students to be in a two-way bilingual immersion program?
There are no specific criteria for students except parental choice.
Should students enter a two-way bilingual immersion program after first grade?
Usually two-way programs do not accept English-only speakers after first grade and English learners after second grade. Bilingual and biliterate students can enter the program at any time.
Can you include English learners of a language other than Spanish in a Spanish/English two-way bilingual immersion program?
English learners in a Spanish/English two-way bilingual immersion program should be Spanish speakers. However, speakers of other languages who are proficient in either Spanish or English could be eligible for enrollment in the program.
Must you have parallel materials in both languages in the content areas?
No, materials are acquired according to the language of instruction of the content area. For example, if the decision is made to teach math in Chinese and social studies in English, then the mathematics materials should be in Chinese and the social studies materials should be in English. The difference is in the language of delivery, not the content.
Does it cost more to implement a two-way bilingual immersion program?
Not necessarily. However, many successful programs have found that some extra funding is necessary to provide staff development and purchase materials in the target language, especially for library and research materials.
How is a two-way bilingual immersion program integrated with other programs at a school site?
The two-way program should not be viewed as a separate program. The school should develop a common vision of equity for all students that values the students language and culture. The same standards-based curriculum is taught in the two-way bilingual immersion program that is taught in other school programs. Staff development should be provided for all staff so that the philosophy and program goals are shared. Sufficient time must also be allocated to the specific needs of the two-way program staff.
How can “quality control?” be maintained in a two-way bilingual immersion program?
Ongoing monitoring of the program is very important. Time should be allocated for teachers to meet in grade-level groups and across grades to discuss program design issues and to interpret student data. These sessions can be facilitated by an administrator, resource teacher, or designated lead teacher who is knowledgeable in two-way bilingual immersion program design and instruction.
Do you need two teachers per classroom to implement a two-way bilingual immersion program?
No, one teacher who is proficient in the target language and English can successfully implement a two-way bilingual immersion program in the classroom. It is recommended, however, that teachers team teach for the language blocks of instruction, especially in the primary (kindergarten through second) grades so that students identify with a target language speaking model and an English-speaking model.
It is advantageous that during the first couple of years of the program, particularly during English instruction, teachers who understand the target language are used so that they can communicate with the target language speakers.
Do English learners get enough English instruction in a 90:10 model?
English time must be carefully defined and implemented. High quality curriculum and instruction are essential. Research shows that when programs are fully implemented according to the program design, English learners in 90:10 models score as well as or better than their peers in other programs in English tests. (Lindholm-Leary, (2001)Dual Language Education, Multilingual Matters LTD)
How can students who speak only English learn when they are instructed for up to 90 percent of the day in a language they don’t understand?
Understanding or reviewing the research on which these programs are based best answers this question. Two-way immersion programs are based on years of research from the foreign language immersion models in Canada designed for English speakers learning French. This model, in which English-speaking students have been instructed in French for up to 100 percent of their day, shows students perform as well as or better on tests of English than their English-speaking peers who have been instructed only in English. For more information on immersion programs, visit the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition . Fifteen years of results on two-way immersion programs show similar results.
Where can I get more information on two-way programs?
Two of the most extensive Web sites on two-way programs are the Center for Applied Linguistics and the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Education.