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the first language is typically lost as English is acquired. Dual dual language programs are considered to promote "additive bilingualism", meaning that students' primary language is developed and maintained as a second language is added.

Instruction in Dual Language Programs

Dual language programs vary in the kinds of instruction they provide, but generally implement many of the following features:

  • language arts instruction in both program languages

  • instruction on literacy skills like phonics and fluency along with opportunities to read literature in both languages

  • sheltered instruction strategies in both languages

  • ability grouping for targeted purposes, with frequent reassessment based on strengths and weaknesses on different skills

  • separation of languages, where the teacher will only speak one language at a time without translating, while allowing students to use native language resources such as peers and bilingual dictionaries

  • ample time for student interaction (such as through the use of cooperative learning), allowing students to practice their new language skills with their peers

Dual language teachers also incorporate practices that should be in place in any classroom that includes linguistically diverse students:

  • Teaching content so that it interests and challenges bilingual students

  • Communicating high expectations, respect, and interest in each of their students

  • Understanding the roles of language, race, culture, and gender in schooling

  • Engaging parents and community in the education of their children

  • Becoming knowledgeable about and developing strategies to educate bilingual students and to communicate with their families

  • Seeking and obtaining the professional development needed to engender these attitudes, knowledge bases and specific instructional skills (Garcia, 2005).

In regard to lesson planning, dual language teachers should focus on creating lessons that:

  • proceed from whole to part

  • are learner centered

  • have meaning and purpose for students and connection to their present lives

  • engage groups of students in social interaction

  • develop both oral and written language

  • show faith in the learner in order to expand students’ potential (Freeman & Freeman,


Other important tips for educators teaching bilingual or multilingual students include organizing content around themes, providing students with choice, starting the learning process with

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