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Biliteracy for a Global Society: An Idea Book on Dual Language Education (2000)

This document asserts that dual language education is a program that has the potential to promote the multilingual and multicultural competencies necessary for the new global business job market while eradicating the significant achievement gap between language majority and language minority students. The appeal of dual language programs is that they combine successful educational models in an integrated classroom composed of both language majority and language minority students, with the goals of bilingualism and biliteracy, academic excellence for both groups, and multicultural competencies. Topics covered include the following: the educational needs of students in the global economy, dual language education programs and their key features, the three research-based premises underlying dual language education (a second language is best acquired by language minority students when their first language is firmly established and that a second language is best developed by language majority children through immersion in that language; knowledge learned through one language paves the way for knowledge acquisition in the second language; students need to reach a certain level of native language proficiency to promote higher levels of second language development and bilingual proficiency), different dual language education models, the effectiveness of dual language education programs, and considerations in their implementation. Results demonstrate that the model works because students learn the communications skills and multicultural competencies to work on multicultural teams--the kind of skills prized in a global economy. Dual language education is not a panacea; variations in outcomes demonstrate the importance of carefully planned programs, well-trained teachers, strong leadership, and administrative support. (KFT)

  • Contributor: Lindholm-Leary, Kathryn Corp Author National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education Washington D. C.

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