Bilingual education

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Bilingual education involves teaching academic content in two languages, in a native and secondary language with varying amounts of each language used in accordance with the program model. The following are several different types of bilingual education program models:

  • Transitional Bilingual Education. This involves education in a child's native language, typically for no more than three years, to ensure that students do not fall behind in content areas like math, science, and social studies while they are learning English. The goal is to help students transition to mainstream, English-only classrooms as quickly as possible, and the linguistic goal of such programs is English acquisition only.
  • Two-Way or Dual Language Immersion Bilingual Education. These programs are designed to help native and non-native English speakers become bilingual and biliterate. Ideally in such programs in a U.S. context, half of the students will be native speakers of English and half of the students will be native speakers of a minority language such as Spanish. Dual Language programs are less common in US schools, although research indicates they are extremely effective in helping students learn English well and aiding the long-term performance of English learners in school. Native English speakers benefit by learning a second language. English language learners (ELLs) are not segregated from their peers.[1]
  • Another form of Bilingual Education is a type of Dual Language program that has students study in two different ways: 1) A variety of academic subjects are taught in the students' second language, with specially trained bilingual teachers who can understand students when they ask questions in their native language, but always answer in the second language; and 2) Native language literacy classes improve students' writing and higher-order language skills in their first language. Research has shown that many of the skills learned in the native language can be transferred easily to the second language later. In this type of program, the native language classes do not teach academic subjects. The second-language classes are content-based, rather than grammar-based, so students learn all of their academic subjects in the second language.[citation needed]
  • Late-Exit or Developmental Bilingual Education. Education is in the child's native language for an extended duration, accompanied by education in English. The goal is to develop literacy in the child's native language first, and transfer these skills to the second language.

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