English Learner Education

Dual Language Education Programs

Bilingual Education

Bilingual education is an umbrella term for many types of programs, including dual language programs (DLE), in which students receive instruction in two languages. All students, including English learners, develop high levels of bilingualism through sustained bilingual educational programs that:

  • provide sufficient and ongoing exposure to both languages of instruction for at least six years or more
  • ensure access to standards-aligned high-quality curriculum across the content areas; and
  • utilize pedagogical approaches aligned with current understandings of bilingual language and literacy development.

Two important principles of bilingual education contribute to successful programs. First, bilingual approaches should be used when working with ELs in order to allow students' cognitive and social emotional development to be continuous. As students are learning English and learning to do school work in and through English, they are engaged in age-appropriate learning tasks in their home language that are cognitively challenging and encourage critical thinking. Second, bilingual education programs take advantage of the phenomenon of transfer, in which students use knowledge and skills developed through one language when learning in another language. Bilingual educators leverage this phenomenon by strategically building on and extending skills and content learned in one language while teaching in the other language.

Dual Language Education

A Dual Language program is defined in the M.G.L. 71A, as "a model designed to promote bilingualism and biliteracy, cross-cultural competency, and high levels of academic achievement for both native English speakers and ELs from a single language background. Provided, however, that students shall develop and maintain their first language while adding a second language and shall receive the same core curriculum as all students in the state…(and) that the instruction for such students shall be provided in two languages throughout the program." Most importantly, dual language programs are additive bilingual programs because all students develop and maintain their home language while adding a second language to their repertoire.

According to the 3rd edition of the Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education (Howard et al., 2018), the term dual language refers to any program that provides literacy and content instruction to all students through two languages and that promotes bilingualism and biliteracy, grade-level academic achievement, and sociocultural competence—a term encompassing identity development, cross-cultural competence and multicultural appreciation—for all students. There are two

Two-Way Immersion

Two-Way Immersion (TWI) programs typically include approximately an equal number of students who are monolingual or dominant in English at the time of enrollment and students who are monolingual or dominant in the partner language at the time of enrollment. There may also be students who have proficiency in both languages at the time of enrollment. In TWI programs, no less than one third and no more than two thirds of the student population are monolingual or dominant in either English or the partner language at the time of enrollment.

Essential Features of Effective TWI Programs

The student body of TWI programs includes native English speakers and native speakers of the partner language who are learning English. These programs can be effective for students at varying proficiency levels in English and the partner language, students with special needs, and students who come from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds and educational experiences when they first enter the program.

The design of TWI programs allows students to master academic content while becoming bilingual, biliterate, and multiculturally competent. Although there is flexibility in how TWI programs are structured and implemented, certain features of TWI programs are essential. Essential components for TWI programs include:

  1. maintaining a minimum of 50% of the daily instructional time in the partner language (at the secondary level, this may vary);
  2. opportunities for students to integrate language and content instruction that are intentional and carefully planned;
  3. high academic expectations for all students; and
  4. initiating the program in the primary grades (PreK–K) and extending the program through at least the elementary school level (grade 5).

Two-Way Immersion Guidance

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Guidance for Defining and Implementing Two Way Immersion Programs

One-Way Immersion*

*Note: The Department will be working on One-Way Immersion Guidance this year. The information below is in draft form and will be finalized before the beginning of SY 2021-2022.

One Way Immersion (OWI) programs typically include native English-speakers or native speakers of the second language as most of the students enrolled. In OWI classrooms, instruction takes place in two languages, English, and the partner language. Students in this program use both languages to learn content and language simultaneously.

Essential Features of Effective OWI Programs

The goal of dual language immersion is to establish strong literacy skills in English and partner language in the early grades and produce fully bilingual, bi-literate students by the end of elementary school. For example, students whose primary language is Spanish would learn in English and Spanish in a one-way immersion program model. Another example would be for students whose primary language is English to learn together in Mandarin and English, or in French and English, etc.

The design of OWI programs allows students to master academic content while becoming bilingual, biliterate, and multiculturally competent. The One-Way Immersion model provides 50% of instruction in the partner language ( for example, Spanish) and 50% of instruction in English to Spanish-speaking learners. Teachers who provide instruction in these classrooms should have a bilingual endorsement.

Although there is flexibility in how OWI programs are structured and implemented, certain features of OWI programs are essential. Essential components for OWI programs include:

  1. maintaining a minimum of 50% of the daily instructional time in the partner language (at the secondary level, this may vary);
  2. opportunities for students to integrate language and content instruction that are intentional and carefully planned;
  3. high academic expectations for all students; and
  4. initiating the program in the primary grades (PreK–K) and extending the program through at least the elementary school level (grade 5).

What is the difference between One-Way Immersion (OWI) programs and Two-way Immersion (TWI) programs?

OWITWI
100% Students from the same language group50% from one language group and
50% English speakers
Taught by BE Endorsed Teachers and General education licensed teachersTaught by BE Endorsed teachers and General Education licensed teachers
Produce Fully Bilingual learners
(Additive model — Keeps developing and building on the native language while adding a second language)
Produce fully bilingual learners
(Additive model — Keeps developing and building on the native language while adding a second language)
50% of Instruction is in English and
50% in the partner language
50% of instruction is English and
50% in the partner language

Professional Development for Dual Language Education

Bilingual Education Online School Course for School Leaders Sessions RLO

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Bilingual Education Course for School Leaders (1): Why BDL Education Programs?
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Bilingual Education Course for School Leaders (2): Cultural Competency
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Bilingual Education Course for School Leaders (3): Principles of Bilingual Education
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Bilingual Education Course for School Leaders (4): How do I start a Bilingual Education program?
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Bilingual Education Course for School Leaders (5): Families and Communities Involvement

List of Dual Language Programs Download Word Document

Last Updated: April 8, 2021

 
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