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Dual Language Research

Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_language" Categories: Education theory | Language education

Dual language

Dual language is a form of education in which students are taught literacy and content in two languages. The majority of dual language programs in the United States teach in English and Spanish, although increasing numbers of programs use a partner language other than Spanish, such as Arabic, Chinese, French, Hawaiian, Japanese, or Korean. Dual language programs use the partner language for at least half of the instructional day in the elementary years.

Dual language programs generally start in kindergarten or first grade and extend for at least five years, although many continue into middle school and high school. These programs aim for bilingualism (the ability to speak fluently in two languages), biliteracy (the ability to read and write in two languages), academic achievement equal to that of students in non-dual language programs, and cross-cultural competence. Most dual language programs are located in neighborhood public schools, although many are charter, magnet, or private schools.

Types of Dual Language Program

There are four main types of dual language programs, which mainly differ in the population:

  • 1.

    Developmental, or maintenance, bilingual programs. These enroll primarily students who are native speakers of the partner language.

  • 2.

    Two-way (bilingual) immersion programs. These enroll a balance of native English speakers and native speakers of the partner language.

  • 3.

    Foreign language immersion, language immersion or one-way immersion. These enroll primarily native English speakers.

  • 4.

    Heritage language programs. These mainly enroll students who are dominant in English but whose parents, grandparents, or other ancestors spoke the partner language.

The term "dual language" is often used interchangeably with two-way immersion. Other variations on dual language include "dual language immersion," "dual immersion," and "dual enrollment". The term bilingual education has somewhat fallen out of favor among dual language practitioners, but it is still used to refer to any program that uses two languages for instruction.

Dual language programs are different from transitional bilingual programs, where the aim is to transition students out of their native language and, in the United States, into English as quickly as possibly, usually in three years. This is sometimes referred to as subtractive bilingualism since

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