[Institution of Affiliation]
The dual-language education was formerly referred to as bilingual education. It implies to an academic program which entails teaching students in two languages. The dual-language education is employed as a way of making sure that the non-English speaking students, as well as students who lack proficiency in English, are provided with equitable opportunities to enable them to complete their education successfully. The design of such programs is meant to foster a simultaneous development of fluency in English, content knowledge as well as academic language (Lindholm-Leary, 2012). The dual-language education programs apply two languages in the literacy as well as content instruction for every student.
For instance, such programs in the United States mainly apply English and a partner language. In most cases, the program applies Spanish as the partner language. The programs typically offer the same academic content while addressing similar standards to other educational programs. The instructions incorporated into the programs are offered in both languages that have been applied over a long duration. They may be applied from kindergarten all through to the fifth grade. The instructions provided in the partner language typically covers at least 50 percent of the overall time spent in the program (Carrigo, 2000). The dual-language education has a particular program called the two-way immersion education.
The two-way immersion program is a type of dual-language education which combines students emanating from two different language groups. The system provides instructions to such students through applying both languages. The popularity of the system has increased tremendously since it has existed for almost forty years. In the initial twenty years of the approach, the overall count of the new educational programs was relatively lower than in the current times. There were only thirty programs that existed during the mid-1980s. The trend has changed since there has been a tremendous increase in the number of such programs over the previous fifteen years (Lindholm-Leary, 2012). The recent estimates produced in 2005 from the Center for Applied Linguistics documented a total of 315 programs. Most f such programs are Spanish/English applied in the public elementary learning institutions.
The two-way immersion programs entail the inclusion of two student groups that are fairly equal. The two groups comprise of students who are native English speakers as well as another group who are learners of the English language. The latter may be native speakers of other languages including Chinese, Korean, and Spanish among others. The approach incorporates both languages in two ways (Carrigo, 2000). The implication is that both languages are applied in providing instructions while involving two groups of students. One group is composed of native English speakers while the other is Spanish in most cases.
An integration of the programs is initiated whereby the native English speakers, as well as the learners, are combined to receive a core academic instruction such as mathematics, social studies as well as science. The students are not only grouped together for sessions such as physical education and music. The core academic instructions are offered in the two languages. The approach has two models which include the “90/10” and the “50/50.” The “90/10” approach implies that in the first one or two years, 90 percent of the instruction is provided in the partner language and the remaining 10 percent is offered in English (Lindholm-Leary, 2012). As the student advance in the primary grades, the percentage of instruction in the partner language declines as that of English increases gradually. In the fourth or fifth grade, the proportion of instruction in both languages is maintained at 50/50 as well as in all the other grades.
Effectiveness in Student Learning
The program aims at ensuring that the students also gain proficiency in the partner language. The implication is that the writing, listening, speaking as well as reading skills of both groups of students are improved in both languages. The approach allows the two groups of students the chance of maintaining and developing oral as well as written skills in their first language as well as simultaneously acquiring the same skills in the second language. Both groups develop their native languages as they gain proficiency in a second language (Carrigo, 2000). The academic performances of the two groups of students are improved to the grade level or even above such levels.
The dual-language approaches hold to the same academic standards and curricula which are applied to the entire group of students within a school district. The implication is that the required academic performance is not lowered for the dual-language students. Such levels of academic excellence and standards are applied to all the students across the school district. Previous research works have indicated that such levels of academic performance are attainable. The students are likely to portray positive cross-cultural attitudes as well as behaviors. This is because students from different socioeconomic, language as well as racial backgrounds learn together in one class (Lindholm-Leary, 2012). When the two-way immersion programs are properly implemented they are likely to become the most impressive education programs that are available in America.
Carrigo, D. (2000). Just how much English are they using?: teacher and student language distribution patterns, between Spanish and English, in upper-grade, two-way immersion Spanish classes (Doctoral dissertation, Bell & Howell Information and Learning Company).
Lindholm-Leary, K. (2012). Success and challenges in dual language education. Theory Into Practice, 51(4), 256-262.