language] in all subjects and to maintain that level of high achievement, or reach even higher levels through the end of schooling. (Thomas & Collier, 2002, p. 7)
Statements like those quoted above come from a variety of sources and reflect the growing interest in and support for a type of bilingual education in which all students develop full proficiency in their first language and high levels of proficiency in a second language. Although this type of program has been given different labels, in this article we use the term dual language education programs.
Researchers in literacy, bilingualism, and second language acquisition; teachers: teacher educators; and policymakers have taken an interest in these programs because they promote success for both language-majority and language-minority students. English language learners (ELLs) who have failed in various types of English as a second Language and transitional bilingual education programs have made phenomenal gains in dual language programs (Lindholm-Leary, 2001; Thomas & Collier, 2002). In addition, native English speakers in these programs, despite learning through two languages, excel in their native English, scoring higher than peers studying only in English (Lindholm-Leary).
Dual language programs are based on an orientation toward language that Ruiz (1984) has termed language as resource. Ruiz contrasts this orientation with earlier approaches that viewed language as a problem and then viewed language as a right. Ruiz points out that regarding language as a resource serves as a better orientation for language planning for several reasons:
It can have a direct impact on enhancing the language status of subordinate languages; it can help to ease tensions between majority and minority communities; it can serve as a more consistent way of viewing the role of non-English languages in U.S. society; and it highlights the importance of cooperative language planning, (pp. 25-26)
Dual language programs have raised the status and importance of languages other than English in many communities across the United States. In some communities they have eased tensions between groups who speak different languages. The programs have helped build crosscultural school communities and crosscultural friendships among students and parents, relationships that probably would not have developed without the programs. Dual language programs raise the status of languages other than English because as native English-speaking children become bilingual, parents and students alike see the value of knowing more than one language. Finally, as community leaders, school board members, school administrators, and teachers work together to design and implement dual language programs, cooperation among groups enriches all parties (Freeman, Freeman, & Mercuri, 2005).
Dual language programs are not new in this country. The Spanish-English Coral Way program in Florida and the French-English Ecole Bilingue in Massachusetts were implemented in the 1960s. However, the interest in dual language education has increased dramatically in the last 15 years (Howard & Christian, 2002). In the spring of 2004, the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) listed 283 dual language programs in 24 states, including 100programs in California (the list can be found at http://www.cal.org/twi/directory/). It is extremely difficult to keep track of the number of dual language programs, in part because of their rapid growth. In addition, the CAL