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Goals of Two-Way Bilingual Immersion

Students will develop high levels of proficiency in their first language.

Students will develop high levels of proficiency in their first language. This goal means that native English speakers will develop high levels of listening, speaking, reading, and writing ability in English, and English language learners will develop these same abilities in their native language (e.g., Spanish). Neither group of students will have to forego development in the native language as second language proficiency improves.

All students will develop high levels of proficiency in a second language.

Native English speakers will have the opportunity to develop high levels of oral and written proficiency in a second language. English language learners will have the opportunity to develop high levels of oral and written proficiency in English. The English language development of English language learners will not be diminished because they are also receiving instruction in their native language. Two-way immersion programs are called additive bilingual programs for both groups of students: they give all students the opportunity to maintain and develop oral and written skills in their first language while they simultaneously acquire oral and written skills in a second language.

Academic performance for both groups of students will be at or above grade level.

Dual language programs maintain the same academic standards and curricula that are in place for other students in a school district. Academic requirements are not diluted for dual language students, and the same levels of academic performance are expected for them as for other students in the district. Evidence that this goal is attainable has been documented in empirical studies (Cazabon, Nicoladis, Lambert, 1998; Lindholm-Leary, 2001; Thomas Collier, 2002).

All students will demonstrate positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors.

Because TWI classrooms bring together students from different language, racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic backgrounds, they allow students to learn first hand about cultures that are different from their own. Research has shown evidence of positive cross-cultural attitudes being developed through TWI programs (Cazabon, Lambert, Hall, 1993; Freeman, 1998).  Other studies point to the dominance of the English language and the native English speakers (Amrein Peña, 2000; Carrigo, 2000; McCollum, 1999) in the TWI classroom, suggesting that particular attention may need to be paid to this goal.

Source: The Two-Way Immersion Toolkit