Report: Dual-language programs in U.S. schools: An alternative to monocultural, monolingual education
Report » Dual-language programs in U.S. schools: An alternative to monocultural, monolingual education
Eugene Garcia, Bryant Jensen
Arizona State University
"Dual Language (DL) programs are relatively new in the United States. After the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1994, a large federal effort related to the education of dual language students was launched. It was at this point that the US Department of Education promoted the development of educational programs whose goal was dual language competency for both language minority students speaking a non-English home language as well as for students whose home language was solely English. These programs were designed to create dual language competencies in students without sacrificing their success in school or beyond. Unique among program alternatives, the goals of DL are to provide high-quality instruction for students who come to school speaking primarily a language other than English and simultaneously to provide instruction in a second language for English speaking students. Schools offering DL programs thus teach children language through content, with teachers adapting their instruction to ensure children’s comprehension and using content lessons to convey vocabulary and language structure. Striving for half language minority students and half native English-speaking students in each classroom, DL programs also aim to teach cross-cultural awareness. Programs vary in terms of the amount of time they devote to each language, which grade levels they serve, how much structure they impose for the division of language and curriculum, and the populations which they serve."