What is a Dual Language Program?
Dual language education programs integrate native English speaking students with native Spanish speaking students for academic instruction, which is presented in both languages. Social and academic learning occurs in an environment that values the language and culture of all students and sets high standards to ultimately achieve academic success in Spanish and English.
Classrooms are composed of native English speakers and native Spanish speakers. The language used for instruction is also broken down by a 50/50 ratio. Fifty percent of classroom instruction is provided in English and fifty percent of classroom instruction is provided in Spanish. The goal is for all students to read, write, listen, and speak two languages equally well by the end of the program.
The dual language model creates an additive bilingual environment, which allows students to acquire a second language while maintaining and developing their native language. The curriculum of the program is the same as in the general education program. All academic areas: reading, language arts, math, science, and social science, are taught in both Spanish and English.
The diversity at Greater Brunswick Charter School provides an ideal platform for all students to have the opportunity to learn and develop a second language. Through the dual language program, students are exposed to rigorous curriculum while also having the opportunity to learn a second language.
What are the Goals of the Dual Language Program?
One of our goals at Greater Brunswick Charter School is “To prepare all students to become productive, responsible and contributing members of our changing global society by providing a nurturing environment that rigorously promotes the realization of individual potential.” Students in the dual language program are presented with the social and cognitive benefits of bilingualism. They gain a second language, a broader vocabulary, and multiple views of the world, (Cazabon, Lambert, & Heise-Baigorria, 2002). In order to acquire these benefits, the program sets out to accomplish the following goals:
· Develop high levels of proficiency in Spanish and English
· Achieve grade level academic performance in Spanish and English
· Develop children who will be more competitive in the global economy
· Take advantage of the optimal window of learning a second language during the primary years
· Give students an upper edge in high school, college, and the workplace
· Develop bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism
· Develop positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors