Dual Language Programs Essay Example
Dual Language Programs Essay Example

Dual Language Programs Essay Example

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  • Pages: 7 (1793 words)
  • Published: November 11, 2017
  • Type: Case Study
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In 2005, Cornish noted that the global apprehension about rising deculturation is a result of various factors including high mobility, swift changes in societies, economic growth and more. This trend has influenced education by leading to deculturation for individuals who move to foreign countries with diverse languages and cultures or those whose traditional cultures have been replaced by immigrant cultures. The United States of America has also been impacted by this shift which has necessitated adaptations in the educational system to accommodate students from different cultural backgrounds.

As per the Census Bureau's March 2007 data, Hispanic immigrants make up the biggest percentage of immigrants in the United States at 48.3%. To serve this growing population, public education has introduced dual language (DL) programs which aim to help both Hispanic students learn English and American students learn Spanish. DL is a


teaching approach that covers literacy and content in two languages.

DL programs, which aim to achieve bilingualism, biliteracy, academic achievement equal to that of students in standard programs, and cross-cultural competence, make use of the partner language for at least 50% of the instructional day from kindergarten through at least five years. According to Banks' literature review (2003), creating awareness and understanding of multiple cultures among students is a crucial step towards educating them as multicultural citizens. Banks defines multicultural citizens as individuals who can acknowledge and validate the rights and requirements of other citizens while maintaining their commitment to both their own culture and the national culture.

In our present state of cultural expansion, it is imperative to educate students about how their cultures can have national and global impacts. It is also important to teach

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them about how international events may affect them. According to Banks (2003, 11), cultural attachments that are non-reflective and unexamined can hinder the development of a cohesive nation with specific national objectives and policies. The United States has always been a country composed of diverse cultures; however, with the increased arrival of Hispanic immigrants, we have witnessed some cultural transformations. While some may perceive cultural awareness as a betrayal of the country, becoming multicultural citizens can actually strengthen the nation. Banks (2003) warns that a nation that marginalizes cultural groups runs the risk of cultivating alienation and prompting these groups to prioritize their own concerns rather than the national goals and policies.

For the success of a country, it is crucial to obtain knowledge, attitudes, and skills. Education provides the basis for this by allowing students to thrive in an assorted culture that encompasses variations in ethnicity, race, language, religion, and culture. Wiley (1997) analyzed language diversity and literacy and negated four misconceptions. The initial misconception was invalidated with evidence from past and present times illustrating that the English language is not at risk.

According to 1997 S. Census data, approximately 13.8% of the population spoke a language other than English in 1990, indicating that although English is dominant in the United States, the country can be classified as multilingual.

False beliefs about literacy suggest that only proficiency in English is true literacy, but this is not accurate. Illiteracy should not be assumed simply because someone cannot read or write in English since immigrants may still possess linguistic abilities and thus be literate. These individuals are competent in languages other than English but may restrict themselves to the


Wiley (1997) states that minority groups in the US demonstrate three literacy patterns: proficiency in their native language, fluency in a second language, and biliteracy. There is a common belief that non-English speakers lack interest in learning English, which results in low levels of literacy. However, Wiley argues the opposite by pointing out that many non-English speakers actively seek to acquire English literacy. This is reflected nationwide as Proposition 63 in California had over 40,000 adults on waiting lists for English lessons. Additionally, it has been repeatedly proven false that immersion through English-only instruction is the most effective way to promote English proficiency.

According to current research, bilingual education is generally more effective than the English-only approach for both children and adults (Wiley, 1997). Scholars in language studies agree that minority children should be viewed as an opportunity to develop bilingual adults. DL education enables students to become bilingual and biliterate. Collier & Thomas (2004) distinguished between two types of DL learning education: one-way programs, where only one language group is taught through two languages.

An illustration of this phenomenon involves two groups of students: one proficient in English but lacking their heritage language, the other proficient in Spanish and starting to acquire English. Collier & Thomas (2004) note that this is not limited to Spanish communities, but is also observed along the U. S.-Canada border (Franco-American heritage) and in American-Indian schools.

The second form of DL education is two-way programs. These programs encourage native English-speaking pupils to join their bilingual and English Language Learning (ELL) classmates in an integrated bilingual classroom, making it possible for students of all language abilities, including those who solely speak English,

to enroll. Ideally, this program should have 50% of students from each language background, according to Collier & Thomas (2004).

Both dual language programs may have varying classroom dynamics, but they share fundamental principles. To ensure effectiveness, students should undergo a minimum of six years of bilingual instruction with separate languages. Collaborative learning should be used alongside the core academic curriculum and high cognitive demand (Collier & Thomas, 2004). The US Department of Education introduced these relatively new programs in response to a federal effort related to education after the reauthorization of ESEA in 1994 (Garcia & Jensen, 2006). The ultimate goal is for students to achieve competency in two languages.

DL programs offer high-quality instruction to students who primarily speak languages other than English and also provide second language instruction for English-speaking students. According to Garcia & Jensen (2006), DL immersion is an exceptional model for academic success among all students, as demonstrated by a study conducted by the Center for Applied Linguistics. The study found that DL students achieved oral fluency in English by third grade and produced writing samples in English comparable to those of native speakers by fifth and sixth grades, indicating the importance of achieving proficiency in multiple languages. With DL programs, students can develop Spanish as a second language at an early age while continuing to improve their English skills, while Spanish-speaking students can enhance their native language abilities while developing English proficiency.

Participation in a DL program provides social and academic benefits for all students in our multicultural and multilingual country. As per Thomas & Collier (2003), native-English speakers who took part in the program attained higher scores on the Stanford9

than those who followed mainstream programs. The program also significantly improved reading comprehension skills of English learners enrolled for 5 years, with percentile scores of 51 compared to non-DL English learners at 34. Furthermore, native English speakers scored between the 63rd to 70th percentile on the Stanford9, while mainstream English speakers scored around the 50th percentile (Thomas & Collier, 2003).

Enrolling in a DL program not only yields academic advantages but also encourages social development, as students are exposed to diverse cultures and expand their viewpoints. Effective leadership is essential for DL programs and multicultural education. Aguirre-Baeza (2001) outlined key characteristics that principals, administrators, and teachers should embody, such as embracing constructivism and collaborating with educators, staff members, learners, and community stakeholders to share leadership responsibilities.

Educators must ensure that all participants in the program share a common vision. To connect with the community, faculty and staff should attend meetings and ceremonies at community events. When hiring personnel, leaders should strive for diversity as it will benefit the DL program. According to Aguirre-Baeza (2001), rejecting bilingualism denies the existence of a global economy, individual ethnicity, and opportunities to enrich American culture. In summary, multilingualism and multiculturalism have become crucial aspects of our social reality due to globalization.

As immigrant students come from a range of linguistic backgrounds, it has become increasingly pressing to recognize and validate this diversity in the classroom. ESL and second language learners have typically been subjected to low academic expectations by teachers and administrators, who have failed to appreciate their non-dominant language knowledge and skills. This not only harms the academic achievements of immigrant children, but also gives rise to various social inequalities

within the school culture, as Banks (2003) has noted. Research conducted in the US and other countries consistently demonstrates that instruction in two languages benefits both ELL students and native English speakers.

Research shows that merely increasing the amount of English-only instruction does not result in better English achievement among students learning English. On the contrary, those who excel in their native language also tend to perform well in English. Establishing a strong foundation in the student's primary language is crucial for improving performance in English (Aguirre-Baeza, 2001; Collier ; Thomas, 2004; Garcia ; Jensen, 2006; Thomas ; Collier, 2003). Implementing Dual Language (DL) programs can help schools reduce one-fifth to one-sixth of the achievement gap for ELLs yearly (Aguirre-Baeza, 2001). Although some misconceptions surround second-language acquisition - whether it be Spanish for English speakers or English for ELLs - most individuals agree that learning another language holds academic, personal and professional advantages.

Although some worry that immigration to the United States could lead to a decline in American culture, we can actually enrich our society and heritage by celebrating diversity and learning multiple languages. In today's economy, which is dominated by the global market, it is crucial for young students to acquire literacy in languages other than English. By teaching our children to value and honor different cultures, beliefs, and languages, we can adjust to an economy that extends beyond national boundaries. Rather than bemoaning loss of culture, America should embrace multiculturalism.

The article by Aguirre-Baeza (2001) discusses effective leadership in creating two-way dual language schools, as well as references the work of Banks, J. This is found in Educational Horizon, volume 79 issue 4 on pages

167-170. The text is enclosed within a paragraph HTML tag.

Retrieved from www.newhorizons.org on March 28, 2008: Educating Global Citizens in a diverse world (2003).

According to Collier and Thomas (2004), dual language education is remarkably effective for everyone.

The article titled "Futuring: The exploration of the future" by E. Cornish was published in volume 2 issue 1 (pages 1-20) of the NABE Journal of Research and Practice.

Bathesda, MD's World Future Society is represented by Garcia, E. E. and Jensen, B.

Retrieved on March 27, 2008 from http://nieer.org, the article titled "Dual-Language programs in U. S. schools: An alternative to monocultural, monolingual education" was published in 2006.

Thomas, W. P., and Collier, V. P.

(2003) "The Advantages of Dual Language" is an article by T. Wiley published in EducationalLeadership, Volume 61 Issue 2, pages 61-64.

There is an article by G. (1997) available on www.cal discussing misunderstandings concerning language diversity and literacy in the US. It was accessed on March 27, 2008.


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