A Guide to Dual-Language Education

Schools all over the world teach their students using dual-language educational programs. These institutes are designed to meet the needs and wants of students who are not proficient in the home language of the country in which they live. 

If you do not know what is meant by the term ‘dual-language,’ you have come to the right place. Below, we will be discussing exactly what dual-language education incorporates and a few of its primary forms and features. 

What Is Dual-Language Education?

Dual-language refers to educational programs that are taught in two different languages. This type of education has been around for more than 200 years. However, it only began to grow in popularity about 50 years ago. 

With that being said, the use of dual-language education in public schools has declined massively in the last couple of years. This is mostly due to conflicting research on its benefits and ideological and pedagogical disagreements.

As we have already mentioned, this type of education is designed to cater to foreign students‘ needs. For example, if a student from Spain moves to the United States, they will not be as proficient in English as the other students. For this reason, they could attend a dual-language educational institution. Here, they will be taught in Spanish and English, improving their understanding and language capabilities. 

The Main Forms Of Dual-Language Education

  • Transitional Programs. These programs teach the students in their home or first language for a couple of years before transitioning into English-only lessons. 
  • Maintenance Programs. This type of program will provide the students with concurrent instruction throughout their school years. 
  • Two-way Enrichment Programs. These programs teach all students in two languages in an attempt to develop bilingual fluency. 

The Main Features Of Dual-Language Educational Programs

  • Bilingual Teachers And Staff Members. Schools will need to hire teachers and staff members who can speak the foreign language. This will make it possible for the dual-language students to communicate and work with their educators in their home language. 
  • Culturally Relevant Learning Materials. The teachers should create and make use of culturally relevant learning materials in their lessons. This will make it much easier for the dual-language students to understand the work that they are taught. 
  • Dual-Language Assessments. Dual-language students should be questioned in their home language when they are not directly working on their language proficiency. For example, if they are writing a maths exam, the questions should not be in English, as language proficiency is not the point of the paper. 

Concluding Thoughts

Dual-language educational programs are designed to meet the needs of students who do not speak English as their first language. These courses allow the students to complete their academic work while improving their English. There are various forms of dual-language education, such as maintenance programs, transitional programs, and two-way enrichment programs.

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