Curriculum Hot Topic
By Viviana Hall
Defining Dual Language:
Dual language is an approach that falls under the umbrella of bilingual education and features a “no exit” goal. In other words, the objective of the program is to always promote a path toward bi-literacy, making the dual language approach unique. Traditional bilingual education programs lead to either early or late exit by promoting the use of two languages only to develop English literacy. Dual language programs, however, encourage language and concept development in both languages.
Model A – When an unknown language is used to teach an unknown concept, it results in limited learning.
Model B – When a known language is used to teach an unknown concept, it results in concept development.
Model C – When an unknown language is used to teach a known concept, it results in language development.
Model D – When a known language is used to teach a known concept, it results in both concept and language mastery.
These four instructional models are based on the achievement goals of both content (acquisition of knowledge) and language (acquisition of receptive and productive skills).
The study of the four instructional models is used to highlight two basic principles:
1. To teach a NEW language, use a KNOWN concept.
2. To teach a NEW concept, use a KNOWN language.
These instructional models and principles establish the foundation for best practices in dual language models.
There are three factors that impact implementation practices:
monitoring content development
monitoring language acquisition
monitoring literacy skills in the students’ native language
Most districts count on summary assessments and language proficiency tests, which are generally state-mandated practices implemented as summative or benchmark checkpoints. Additionally, monitoring literacy skills in the students’ native language requires specialized progress monitoring resources that are efficient, reliable, and valid.
Using ISIP™ as a model, the Priority Report exemplifies a progress monitoring resource that groups students by skill and ability level, thus allowing teachers to connect instruction to students’ needs.
The Summary Report is a resource to analyze students’ progress in their native language compared to progress in their second language, allowing educators to prepare interventions based on language or literacy targets.
The Student Summary Handout is a tool that allows students, parents, and teachers to engage in meaningful conversations about the development of literacy skills and progress toward academic goals.
By combining instant data reporting and automatic progress monitoring, Istation provides a strong foundation for supporting implementation of dual language instructional goals in the classroom.