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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Development and Maintenance of Two-Way Immersion Programs: Advice from Practitioners


As an effective and increasingly popular educational approach, two-way immersion (TWI) programs have grown remarkably in the past 15 years. CREDE's "Two-Way Immersion" project, conducted at the Center for Applied Linguistics, has kept track of TWI growth and determined effective program implementation practices. Information on TWI programs is published online in the Directory of Two-Way Bilingual Immersion Programs in the United States (2000) at

The Directory provides detailed program and demographic information for 250+ programs that a) provide content and literacy in English and a minority language, b) integrate students from the two language groups for at least half of the school day, and c) have a roughly equal balance of language majority and language minority students. To collect this information, CREDE researchers sent out questionnaires to the primary contacts for these TWI programs (principals, bilingual coordinators, or teachers), which included open-ended issues, such as:

1. What are the most important factors in the success of your program? 2. What challenges have you faced while establishing your program? How have you dealt with them? 3. What advice can you offer new two-way programs that are starting up?

This brief will summarize the responses given to these questions and provide recommendations supported by CREDE's research and technical assistance.

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