Dual-Language Education: Everything You Need to Know
This refers to language education programs, which aim to make students strong enough to present themselves as candidates for competitive jobs in a multi-lingual, globalized world. Each school has its own distinct ways of ensuring this objective. For example, in some schools, teachers could engage in teaching in English for half of the school day while utilizing the remaining half of the school day for tutoring in another language.
Another added advantage of this educational system is that it attracts middle-class families to poorer school environments where dual-language education is practiced when they might have otherwise been repelled.
The biggest advantage of dual-language programs is that all students develop and maintain their native language while adding another language to their repertoire. There’re two basic classroom models of dual-language education. These include:
One-way immersion programs: These programs typically include native English speakers or native speakers of another language as the majority of the students enrolled. In the classrooms, instruction is delivered in two languages: English and the second language. Students use both languages to learn language and content simultaneously.
Two-way immersion programs: These programs typically include approximately an equal number of learners who’re dominant in English or monolingual at the time of enrollment and learners who’re dominant in the partner language or monolingual at the time of enrollment. There may also be learners who’re proficient in both languages at the time of enrollment.
Whether students are enrolled in a one-way immersion program or a two-way immersion program, they can acquire complete proficiency in both languages. However, there’re also other benefits for young learners. These include:
Higher empathy: Being raised as bilingual teaches children to learn how to assess their environment to know which language to speak. Studies have shown that language learning contributes to young kids’ social and emotional development.
Improved attention: In learning to be bilingual, kids have to learn how to actively switch their focus from one language to another depending on the environment that they’re in. It helps to improve their focused attention and their ability to switch between tasks in the long term.
Better problem-solving: When learning two languages, kids must learn to consume information as concepts while practicing their applications. This develops their problem-solving ability further than just learning how to put information together.
Greater cultural acceptance: In today’s dual-language classrooms, diversity has become the norm. Students become comfortable with children from other cultures and backgrounds early in life.