Dual Language

language

DRAW Dual Language Program

Program Content and Design

Draw Academy offers a Dual Language immersion program.  The Academy serves predominantly second language       at-risk population.  The students’ families are mainly from Latin American countries, the Middle East and Africa.  The school is multi-age and multi-leveled.  The grades are grouped as follows:  Kindergarten; First/Second; Third/Fourth/Fifth; Sixth/Seventh; and Eighth.  For more information, please refer to our web page, www.drawacademy.org, and click on the “About us” link.

  1. A little bit of history:

 

Dual Language programs in the United States began in the 1960’s, and it includes both language majority and language minority children.  The program aims for students to speak fluently (bilingualism), read and write in two languages (biliteralism).  The language majority in the United States is English, and in our school, the partner language is Spanish.  Dual Language programs like this are used around the world.  In Europe for instance, many people learn 3 to 4 languages fluently, and they begin it at school.  It is a priority for them to be able to communicate with the neighboring countries, so among the languages they learn are English, French, German, Italian and Spanish.  Another example is Canada, where the Dual Language program creates a fluent population of English and French speakers.  Years of research show that Dual Language program makes students perform academically higher, develops self-esteem, appreciate cultural diversity and several other linguistic, socio-cultural and pedagogical benefits.

The following paragraphs outline the rationale of a Dual Language Program, were extracted from Dual-Language Programs In U. S. Schools – An Alternative To Monocultural, Monolingual Education, Eugene E. Garcia and Bryant Jensen from the Arizona State University (draft 1/17/06)

Dual Language (DL) Immersion public school policy is relatively new in the United States. After the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) in 1994, a large federal effort related to the education of dual language students was launched.

It was at this point that the US Department of Education promoted the development of educational programs whose goal was dual language competency for both language minority students speaking a non-English home language as well as for students whose home language was solely English. These programs were designed to create dual language competencies in students without sacrificing their success in school or beyond.

Unique among program alternatives, the goals of DL are to provide high-quality instruction for students who come to school speaking primarily a language other than English and simultaneously to provide instruction in a second language for English speaking students. Schools offering DL programs thus teach children language through content, with teachers adapting their instruction to ensure children’s comprehension and using content lessons to convey vocabulary and language structure. Striving for half language minority students and half native English-speaking students in each classroom, DL programs also aim to teach cross-cultural awareness. Programs vary in terms of the amount of time they devote to each language, which grade levels they serve, how much structure they impose for the division of language and curriculum, and the populations which they serve.   There are two widely adopted models of language division: the 50:50 and the 90:10 models. In the 50:50 model, instruction is given half the day in English and half the day in non-English native language (i.e., target language) throughout the grades. In the 90:10 model, children spend 90% of their kindergarten school days in the non-English minority language, and this percentage gradually decreases to 50% by fourth or fifth grade. These two models are shown in the figure below.

  1. Theoretical Foundation

The installation of DL programs is based on a strong theoretical rationale and supported by empirical research findings concerning both first and second language acquisition (Genesee, 1999). This rationale grows out of socio-cultural theory which maintains that learning occurs through naturalistic social interaction (Vygotsky, 1978). That is, the integration of native English speakers and speakers of other languages facilitates second language acquisition because it promotes natural, substantive interaction among speakers of different languages. Furthermore, at least four theoretical and empirically sound points that follow are made in favor of DL programs.  First, research indicates that “academic knowledge and skills acquired through one language pave the way for acquisition of related knowledge and skills in another language” (Collier, 1989; Genesse, 1999). In other words, children who are taught and achieve academically in their native language are more likely to experience comparable, sustained achievements in a second language.
Second, English skills—when learned as a second language—are best acquired by students who first have strong oral and literacy skills in their native language (Saunders and Goldenberg, 1999; Lanauze and Snow, 1989). Thus, English language learners (ELL) are more likely to acquire oral and written English skills when native language skills have been firmly established.  Third, DL programs enable native English speakers to acquire advanced second language skills without compromising their first language development or academic achievement (Genesse, 1987; Swain and Lapkin, 1982).  Finally, language skills are acquired best when used as the means of instruction rather than just the focus of instruction. High-quality DL programs provide the opportunity for children with diverse linguistic backgrounds to learn academic content while simultaneously learning and exploring a second language in a shared educational space.  (end quote)

  1. Why teaching a Dual Language Program?

The following paragraphs were extracted from Dual Language programs, Two Voices One World, by Mr. Raymond Sanchez and Ms. Mirla Puello.

Dual Language Program develops bilingualism and biliteracy in English and Spanish integrating English Language Learners (ELLs) with English speakers (proficient in English) and promoting cultural sensitivity

    1. The goals of a dual language program
  1. Students will develop proficiency in their first language.
  2. Students will develop proficiency in their second language.
  3. Academic performance for both groups of students will be at or above grade level.
  4. All students will demonstrate positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors that will help them function in

                   a global society.

  1.   Rationale of a dual language program
      1. Eradicates the Achievement Gap.

        2.   Additive bilingual environment for all students.
3.   Second language be acquired by language minority students (ELLs) when first language established.
4.   Second language be acquired by language majority students (English speakers) through immersion in
second language.
5.   Knowledge learned through one language facilitates second language acquisition.
6.   Students will benefit from cognitive advantages with development of bilingualism and biliteracy.
7.   Response to change in demographics.

                  1.      C.    Benefits of a dual language program

       1.    Enhances academic and linguistic competence in two languages.
2.    Development of skills in collaboration & cooperation
3.    Appreciation of other cultures and languages
4.    Cognitive advantages
5.    Increased job opportunities
6.    Expanded travel experiences
7.    Lower high school dropout rates (ELL)
8.    Higher interest in attending colleges and universities (ELL)

  1. Children who know more than one language have intellectual, educational, personal, social and economic advantages that continue throughout their lives.
  1. On the intellectual aspect, research shows that knowing more than one language increases a person’s thinking ability.  Bilingual individuals have greater mental flexibility and use those skills to their advantage in understanding math concepts and solving word problems.
  2. From the educational perspective, preliminary research shows that on academic achievement tests, both EP students and ELLS in Dual Language programs perform as well as, or better than, their peers who receive all their instruction in English.
  3. Personality wise, developing a child’s first language helps the child to value his or her culture and heritage, thus contributing to positive self-image.
  4. Finally, socially, when the native language is maintained, important links to family and other community members are preserved and enhanced. (end quote)

Program Coverage

The goal at DRAW Academy is to create fluent, bi-literate, cross-cultural and high achieving students.  The instruction of the curriculum is done 50 % in English and 50% in Spanish. The target language is used for instruction a minimum of 50% of the time.  The program provides a continuum of eight years of dual language instruction to participating students. Focus of instruction is the same core academic curriculum for all students.  Classroom includes a balance of students from both language groups who participate in instructional and social activities together.  Positive interactions among students are facilitated by use of strategies such as cooperative learning and differentiated instruction.

Program Implementation

DRAW Academy fosters the belief that all students have a right of a good education, and we strive to provide it to our students with our Dual Language Program.

In Pre-K the primary goal is to encourage social and language skill development, with hands-on experiences.  Teachers set the stage based on monthly themes centers or activities in both English and Spanish.

Pre-K monthly objectives:

month

Leap Frog School house

Vocabuláminas
(Hampton-Brown)

1

All About School

En la escuela

2

All about Me

!Vengan a jugar!

3

Home and Family Life

Mi familia

4

My neighborhood

Por todo el barrio

5

All kinds of Animal

De colas y patas  !Oinc! !Cuac! !Muuu!

6

Everyone can help

Dentro de casa

7

Nature Near and Far

Aire y sol

8

Good food, Good fun

!A comer!

9

All around Town

Rueda que rueda

The Dual Language Program from Kindergarten to Eighth grades involves several components.  First, the students work in English and Spanish Centers or activities daily.  The Math, Science and Social Studies Centers alternate every six weeks from English to Spanish or vice versa:

Dual Language Content Area Rotation

Mathematics Center

Science Center

Social Studies Center

First Six Weeks

English

English

Spanish

Second Six Weeks

Spanish

Spanish

English

Third Six Weeks

English

English

Spanish

Fourth Six Weeks

Spanish

Spanish

English

Fifth Six Weeks

English

English

Spanish

Sixth Six Weeks

Spanish

Spanish

English

Second, the students participate in an hour of Spanish Language Arts on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Third, DRAW Academy supports the students’ achievement in both languages with different programs to increase the children’s ability to learn and master Texas Education Agency’s Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills, which are the States objectives by grade level:

DRAW Academy Programs

English

Spanish

TAI (Team Accelerated Instruction) Math

X

Renaissance Place –Accelerated Math

X

Orchard Reading Software

X

Mountain English Language Arts

X

Scientific Learning Reading Assistant

X

X

Living with Science

X

X

Mountain Math

X

X

Junior Great Books

X

X

Daily Tutorials

X

X

Response to Intervention

X

X

After-school Program

X

X

Saturday Tutorials

X

X

Finally, each grade level works on a school’s theme project component.  The project is researched and presented by the students in English.

Assessments are based on observation, program generated, oral reports, products presentations and activities’ rubrics.  Hence, grading is qualitative from Pre-K through 5th grade, while is quantitative from 6th through 8th grade.

Program Assessments

DRAW Academy utilizes TAKS to evaluate the achievement in English, and it is researching various Spanish standardized aptitude tests to use as benchmark and official annual assessment of Spanish language acquisition.