10. Are there different types of bilingual programs?

There are two main types of bilingual programs: (1) Transitional Programs and (2) Dual Language Programs. The main differences between these two types of programs are their goals, the populations for whom the programs were designed, and the length of time students spend in these programs.

Transitional Bilingual Programs aim for mastery of only ONE language, English. Student academic achievement is measured using tests in English, achievement tests or standardized tests in English. Awareness and appreciation of cultural similarities and differences between American culture and the cultures of the non-English speaking students in Transitional Bilingual Programs is another major goal.

Transitional Bilingual Programs serve exclusively non-English speaking students and Limited English Proficient (L.E.P.) students. English-only speakers may participate in these programs to the extent that they may attend content area classes together with L.E.P. students. These classes are usually called Specially Designed Academic Instruction in English (S.D.A.I.E.) content area classes or “Sheltered” content area classes.

Transitional Bilingual Programs may be “Early-Exit” or “Late-Exit” programs depending on how fast L.E.P. students are mainstreamed into content area classes with English-only pupils. In “Early-Exit” Transitional Bilingual Programs students are provided English Language Development lessons (E.S.L. lessons), academic and literacy instruction through their primary language, and S.D.A.I.E. until the L.E.P. students reach the Speech Emergence level of English language acquisition and development. Then, these Speech Emergence level L.E.P. students are mainstreamed into academic content area classes with English-only speakers. Early-Exit programs may, on occasions, mainstream L.E.P. students too soon. In such cases, these L.E.P. students run the risk of becoming “Limited Bilingual” students, that is, students who may be unable to continue to learn, continue to understand and develop content area concepts through English or through their own primary language. For these students, cognitive development stops when their language development stops due to mainstreaming.

In “Late-Exit” Transitional Bilingual Programs students reach the Intermediate Fluency level of English language acquisition and development, or become truly fluent in English, before they are totally mainstreamed into academic classes with English-only students. These students receive English Language Development lessons or E.S.L., academic and literacy instruction through their primary language, S.D.A.I.E., and partial mainstreaming into academic classes with English-only pupils as they go through the language acquisition stages of Pre-Production, Early Production, Speech Emergence and Intermediate Fluency. These students become “Partial Bilingual” students, that is, students who continue to learn and continue to understand and develop content area concepts through English only. They are successful academic achievers in mainstream content area classes, competing with English-only speakers.

Dual Language Programs goals are:

(1) Bilingualism, mastery of at least two languages, English being one of them.

(2) Biliteracy, mastery of reading and writing skills in two languages.

(3) High academic achievement as measured by achievement tests in English and in another language.

(4) Multiculturalism, and cross-cultural understanding. English-only pupils and non-English speaking pupils (L.E.P. students) participate in Dual Language Programs, from Kindergarten until they reach the 12th grade. The amount of time all students spend learning English and the other language, and learning through English and through the other language varies. In 50/50 Dual Language programs, all students spend 50% of the time immersed in English and 50% of the time immersed in the other language. At the beginning students may spend part of the day learning through English and part of the day learning through the other language, or one entire school day, alternating languages each day. The amount of time may increase progressively, from one day to two consecutive days, three days, a week, two weeks, one month studying exclusively in each language.

In 80/20 programs all students learn in the language of the non-English pupils 80% of the time, and all students study English 20% of the time. For example, all students may be immersed in the other language for four days and in English one full day each week. The amount of time learning through English increases progressively, to 70%/30%, 60%/40%, and, by the fourth grade all students are learning 50% of the time through English and 50% of the time through the other language. The 50/50 time allocation continues through all grades until students graduate.

In immersion programs all students (although primarily English-only speakers attend these types of programs) are totally immersed in the other language. Students learn to understand, listen, speak, read and write in the other language until the third or fourth grade. At that time, English is introduced and instruction continues through a 50/50 model until graduation from high school.

Presently, the parents of ALL 5.7 million public school students in California can sign “parental exception waivers,” thus insuring that their children receive bilingual education from Kindergarten until the 12th grade. If any parent of any public school student(s) in California wishes his or her child(ren) educated in English and in another language, from Kindergarten until the 12th grade, all that parent needs to do is visit the public school in which his or her child(ren) is enrolled and sign a “parental exception waiver” every year. Proposition 227 and State of California Board of Education regulations guarantee the rights of all parents to have their children educated in English and in another language for 13 consecutive years.

 

 


For more in-depth information, classroom demonstrations, and "coaching" of new and/or experienced teachers, Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK offers:

1. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
2. Cross Cultural Diversity - Multicultural Strategies
3. Effective Instruction for English Learners (L.E.P. students) Parts 1, 2, 3, 4
4. Promoting Academic Success in Language Minority Students
5. Cognitive - Academic Language and Vocabulary Development
6. Oral Language / Literacy Skills / Higher Order Thinking Skills
7. 50/50 Dual Language Programs: design, planning and implementation
8. The Structure of English / The Structure of Spanish
9. Transition: Introduction to English Reading

Web Site Programs for Teachers: Numbers 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9.
Web Site Programs for
Paraprofessionals: Number 3.
Web Site Programs for
New Teachers:
Enhanced Cultural Sensitivity - The Challenge of Students Diversity
Identifying / Responding to Students' Language Needs
Phonemic Awareness: Teaching English phonics to L.E.P. students
Relationship Between Reading, Writing and Spelling
Improving Reading Performance -- Building Oral Language Skills)

Write and e-mail any additional questions you may have, and Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will establish with you, your school or district a Technical Assistance Service Contract. Dr. CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK will answer all your questions promptly and to your satisfaction.

 

For information and credentials please click on the link below or contact directly:

CARMEN SANCHEZ SADEK, Ph.D.

Educational Consultant, Program Evaluator

National Board for Professional Teaching Standards, Certification (12/2006)

3113 Malcolm Avenue, Los Angeles, California 90034-3406

Phone and Fax: (310) 474-5605

E-mail:  csssadek@gte.net