Center for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence
Two-Way Bilingual Education: Students Learning Through Two Languages
- Author(s): Christian, Donna
- et al.
In a growing number of schools in the United States, students are learning through two languages in programs that aim to develop dual language proficiency along with academic achievement. These two-way bilingual programs integrate language minority and language majority students and provide content area instruction and language development in two languages.
A study of over 160 schools between 1991 and 1994 provides a picture of the current state of two-way bilingual education in the United States. Two-way programs typically share the goals of bilingual proficiency, academic achievement, and positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors, but they vary a good deal in the approaches and strategies they use to work toward those goals. A host of local factors affect such issues as student enrollment, program features and design, and instructional features.
Emerging results of studies of two-way bilingual programs point to their effectiveness in educating nonnative-English-speaking students, their promise of expanding our nation's language resources by conserving the native language skills of minority students and developing second language skills in English-speaking students, and their hope of improving relationships between majority and minority groups by enhancing cross-cultural understanding and appreciation.