Jump to content

Bilingual education

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In bilingual education, students are taught in two (or more) languages.[1] It is distinct from learning a second language as a subject because both languages are used for instruction in different content areas like math, science, and history. The time spent in each language depends on the model. For example, some models focus on providing education in both languages throughout a student's entire education while others gradually transition to education in only one language.[2] The ultimate goal of bilingual education is fluency and literacy in both languages through a variety of strategies such as translanguaging and recasting.[3]

Bilingual education program models


There are several different ways to categorize bilingual education models, one of the most common approaches being to separate programs by their end goal. This is the approach used below, though it is not the only possible approach.[4] For a more comprehensive review of different approaches to bilingual education worldwide see bilingual education by country or region and intercultural bilingual education.

Maintenance bilingual education


In a maintenance bilingual education program, the goal is for students to continue to learn about and in both languages for the majority of their education.[5] Students in a maintenance bilingual education program should graduate being able to have a discussion about any content area in either language.[6] Two common forms of maintenance bilingual education are two-way/dual language immersion and developmental (late-exit) bilingual education. Both programs are considered language immersion programs.

Dual language programs


A program that utilizes two languages, known as a dual language program, typically places students in classrooms with a mixture of native speakers for each language. One popular approach to dual language programs is the 90/10 model, where in the early grades 90% of instruction is conducted in the student's native language and 10% is taught in their second language. As the student advances, this proportion changes until an equal amount of time is spent on both languages. Another model, the 50/50 model, starts with an even distribution of instruction time between the two languages right from the start of the student's education.[7]

Late exit programs


In a late exit or developmental program, students all have the same native language. They tend to follow the 90/10 model described above and gradually transition from a majority of instruction in their home language to a more balanced split between languages as they progress through primary school.[8]

Bimodal-bilingual programs


In a bimodal bilingual program, students are taught in two languages in two different modalities, typically a spoken/written language and a signed language. This type of program is common at schools serving deaf and hard of hearing students.[9]

Transitional bilingual education


In transitional (early-exit) bilingual education programs, the goal is to provide education in a child's native language to ensure that students do not fall behind in content areas such as mathematics, science, and social studies while they are learning the new language.[10] Unlike in maintenance bilingual education programs, when the child's second language proficiency is deemed satisfactory, they transition to using only that language.[4] This approach is based on the common underlying proficiency model of bilingualism which posits that many of the skills learned in the native language can be transferred easily to the second language later.[11] While the linguistic goal of such programs is to help students transition to mainstream, single language classrooms, the use of the student's primary language as a vehicle to develop literacy skills and acquire academic knowledge also prevents the degeneration of a child's native language.[12]

English as a second language


English as a second language (ESL) programs are not considered bilingual education programs because they do not aim to have students become bi-literate in two (or more) languages. The goal of ESL programs is for English-language learners to learn English after having acquired one or more native languages. ESL is a supplementary, comprehensive English language learning program common in English-speaking countries and countries where English has an important role in communication as a result of colonialism or globalization.[13] One common approach in ESL programs is sheltered English instruction (SEI).

Bilingual education strategies




Translanguaging or language mixing is a strategy that emphasizes using all languages a student knows to support their learning. One example of this is allowing students to express themselves in either or both languages when discussing different academic content.[14] Practicing translanguaging can help students more easily switch between languages.[15]

Language separation


Language separation in a classroom refers to assigning a specific language for a particular time, content, or activity with the aim of helping students concentrate on developing their skills in that language. Bilingual programs often combine both language separation and translanguaging approaches to facilitate students in achieving bi-literacy.[16]



Instructional scaffolding can be used in all types of education, not only bilingual education. A teacher scaffolds instruction to provide the necessary support for students to learn the content. In a bilingual education classroom, this could look like pre-teaching content in the student's native language before teaching the same content in the second language.[citation needed]



In bilingual education, teachers may use different techniques to correct students' language errors. One such technique is recasting, which involves repeating the student's statement with corrections for any grammatical or pronunciation mistakes, akin to how parents assist their children in learning their first language. Another technique is explicit correction, where the teacher directly points out the error in the student's statement.[17]

Effects of bilingual education

Children's Bilingual Theater Dr Seuss Day
The bilingual French-speaking school Trung Vuong

This section focuses on the effects of bilingual education specifically, see Cognitive effects of bilingualism for information about the effects of bilingualism or multilingualism.

Benefits of bilingual education


The most obvious benefit of bilingual education is proficiency and literacy in two (or more languages).[18] Fluency in multiple languages can lead to increased employment options[19] as well as create more opportunities for intercultural communication.[20][21]

Bilingual education can also support minority language speakers by communicating the value of their home or heritage language, resulting in increased self-esteem.[22][23] Additionally, bilingual education models have been shown to improve student engagement and attendance as parent involvement in school activities.[24][25]

Bilingual education supports students in becoming literate in both languages, which has been shown to increase reading scores for students in both languages.[25][26] Researchers have proposed that this could be due to students in bilingual programs having an increased awareness of languages and their writing systems.[21]

While there has been significant research on the "bilingual brain," research specifically on how bilingual education impacts brain structure and activation is fairly limited. Though much of the research on bilinguals shows that the benefits of bilingualism are maximized when children are exposed to multiple languages at an early age,[27] as they are in many bilingual education programs.[28] However, some initial research has shown preschool children in bilingual education programs have similar brain activation patterns in response to known and unknown languages as adults who have been learning a second language for several years.[29]

Disadvantages of bilingual education


In many English-speaking countries, standardized tests are in English, so there is a push to maximize the time spent learning English. Proponents of this framing advocate for Structured English Immersion in which students spend the majority of their day learning about English and in English with scaffolded supports based on their current English knowledge.[30]

Bilingual education requires teachers to be fluent and literate in both languages, as compared to English as a second language programs that only require teachers to have English fluency and literacy.[31][32]

Bilingual programs for language revitalization


Bilingual education can also support language revitalization efforts in countries with endangered languages.[33] These dormant languages are heavily intertwined with the culture, place and identity of the subsequent community, so the creation of bilingual programs to help re-awaken the endangered languages is extremely beneficial. Generally speaking, the official primary and secondary languages of a country are favored for bilingual programs, but there have been emerging bilingual programs to re-introduce an endangered language to a community.[34] These education policies are fundamental to a communities' and next generation's identity development. An example that hindered this is that of the residential schools of Canada. Children were punished severely for speaking their mother-tongue, which has caused generational trauma among a plethora of Indigenous persons who attended these schools throughout the country.[34] However, learning from events such as these, has helped spread awareness of language revitalization.

Bilingual programs for language revitalization are tricky; each language is different, and there is a lack of educational resources and training for teachers in that specific language. Furthermore, there is not enough research done on what the goal for bilingual programs is: is it cultural acknowledgment or bilingualism?[35] Quite often there is a clash between the government educational policies and the actual implementation of said policies.[35] That being said, there has been tremendous progress of working bilingual programs, one being in New Zealand. The Māori community in the Te Kōhanga Reo region created an early language childhood program that includes traditional customs of the culture.[36] The program takes advantage of having native speakers while also recognizing that new and upcoming speakers can help the language adapt to more modern times.[36]

Thanks to the emerging language revitalization programs, more communities can break free from an accommodation norm – feeling threatened to speak their native language due to political tensions, such as colonialism that still persists throughout most nations.[37] The question of whose language and knowledge is more valuable should no longer linger with the help of these bilingual programs.[34]

See also



  1. ^ Wright, Wayne E.; Boun, Sovicheth (April 9, 2015). The handbook of bilingual and multilingual education. Wiley. p. 56. ISBN 978-1-119-00549-0. OCLC 1064689899.
  2. ^ "Bilingual Education". Renaissance. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  3. ^ "The Benefits of Bilingual Education | BVIS HCMC". www.nordangliaeducation.com. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  4. ^ a b Baker, Doris Luft; Basaraba, Deni Lee; Polanco, Paul (2016). "Connecting the Present to the Past: Furthering the Research on Bilingual Education and Bilingualism". Review of Research in Education. 40: 821–883. doi:10.3102/0091732X16660691. ISSN 0091-732X. JSTOR 44668638. S2CID 151975015.
  5. ^ Kester, Ellen (January 16, 2020). "Bilingual Education Models". Bilinguistics. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  6. ^ "Bilingual Education". Renaissance. Retrieved November 18, 2022.
  7. ^ "The Rich Promise of Two-Way Immersion". Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. December 1, 2004. Retrieved November 28, 2022.
  8. ^ "Program Models and Services" (PDF). Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. April 2015.
  9. ^ Zamsha, Anna; Adamiuk, Nataliia (August 11, 2021). "Principles of designing bimodal-bilingual educational environment for the deaf and hard-of-hearing learners". Knowledge, Education, Law, Management.
  10. ^ "Program Models and Services" (PDF). Washington State Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. April 2015.
  11. ^ Baker, Colin; Wright, Wayne E. (2017). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism (6th ed.). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. p. 158. ISBN 9781783097203.
  12. ^ Durán, Lillian K.; Roseth, Cary J.; Hoffman, Patricia (April 1, 2010). "An experimental study comparing English-only and Transitional Bilingual Education on Spanish-speaking preschoolers' early literacy development". Early Childhood Research Quarterly. 25 (2): 207–217. doi:10.1016/j.ecresq.2009.10.002. ISSN 0885-2006.
  13. ^ "Definition of English as a Second Language (ESL)". ThoughtCo. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  14. ^ "Five Fundamental Strategies for Bilingual Learners". HuffPost. December 23, 2015. Retrieved November 28, 2022.
  15. ^ Shie, Amanda (November 1, 2022). "Translanguaging Views and Practices of Indiana Dual-Language Bilingual Education Teachers". The Journal of Purdue Undergraduate Research. 12 (1). doi:10.7771/2158-4052.1568. ISSN 2158-4052.
  16. ^ Johnson, Susana Ibarra; García, Ofelia; Seltzer, Kate (2019), DeMatthews, David E.; Izquierdo, Elena (eds.), "Biliteracy and Translanguaging in Dual-Language Bilingual Education", Dual Language Education: Teaching and Leading in Two Languages, Language Policy, vol. 18, Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 119–132, doi:10.1007/978-3-030-10831-1_8, ISBN 978-3-030-10831-1, S2CID 181968262, retrieved November 28, 2022
  17. ^ Fleta Guillén, M. Teresa (2018), Schwartz, Mila (ed.), "Scaffolding Discourse Skills in Pre-primary L2 Classrooms", Preschool Bilingual Education: Agency in Interactions Between Children, Teachers, and Parents, Multilingual Education, vol. 25, Cham: Springer International Publishing, pp. 283–309, doi:10.1007/978-3-319-77228-8_10, ISBN 978-3-319-77228-8, retrieved November 28, 2022
  18. ^ "Bilingual Education". American Federation of Teachers. September 2, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  19. ^ "Rethinking Bilingual Instruction". ASCD. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  20. ^ Baker, Colin; Wright, Wayne E. (2017). Foundations of bilingual education and bilingualism (6th. ed.). Bristol, UK: Multilingual Matters. p. 311.
  21. ^ a b "The Benefits of Bilingual Education | American University". soeonline.american.edu. May 19, 2020. Retrieved November 16, 2022.
  22. ^ Kong, Peggy A.; Yu, Xiaoran (July 3, 2019). "Bilingual education for a harmonious multiculturalism: the importance of policy discourse for students of ethnic minority groups in China". Multicultural Education Review. 11 (3): 190. doi:10.1080/2005615X.2019.1664017. ISSN 2005-615X. S2CID 204391713.
  23. ^ Cummins, Jim; Early, Margaret (2011). Identity texts: The collaborative creation of power in multilingual schools. Trentham Books. p. 38.
  24. ^ Collier, Virginia; Thomas, Wayne. "The Astounding Effectiveness of Dual Language Education for All" (PDF). NABE Journal of Research and Practice. 2.
  25. ^ a b Kamenetz, Anya (November 29, 2016). "6 Potential Brain Benefits Of Bilingual Education". NPR.org. Retrieved April 10, 2021.
  26. ^ Burkhauser, Susan; Steele, Jennifer L.; Li, Jennifer; Slater, Robert O.; Bacon, Michael; Miller, Trey (September 2016). "Partner-Language Learning Trajectories in Dual-Language Immersion: Evidence From an Urban District". Foreign Language Annals. 49 (3): 415–433. doi:10.1111/flan.12218.
  27. ^ Mohr, Kathleen A. J.; Juth, Stephanie M.; Kohlmeier, Theresa L.; Schreiber, Kayleen E. (January 2018). "The Developing Bilingual Brain: What Parents and Teachers Should Know and Do". Early Childhood Education. 46 (1): 11–20. doi:10.1007/s10643-016-0833-7. ISSN 1082-3301. S2CID 254472010.
  28. ^ Petitto, Laura-Ann (November 12, 2009). "New Discoveries From the Bilingual Brain and Mind Across the Life Span: Implications for Education". Mind, Brain, and Education. 3 (4): 185–197. doi:10.1111/j.1751-228X.2009.01069.x. PMC 3338206. PMID 22545067.
  29. ^ Hidaka, Souta; Shibata, Hiroshi; Kurihara, Michiyo; Tanaka, Akihiro; Konno, Akitsugu; Maruyama, Suguru; Gyoba, Jiro; Hagiwara, Hiroko; Koizumi, Masatoshi (May 1, 2012). "Effect of second language exposure on brain activity for language processing among preschoolers". Neuroscience Research. 73 (1): 73–79. doi:10.1016/j.neures.2012.02.004. ISSN 0168-0102. PMID 22387480. S2CID 11078360.
  30. ^ "The Case for Structured English Immersion". ASCD. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  31. ^ "What Is the Difference Between ESL and Bilingual Education? | UT Permian Basin Online". online.utpb.edu. November 3, 2020. Retrieved November 17, 2022.
  32. ^ Bilingual education. Noel Merino. Farmington Hills, Mich. 2016. ISBN 978-0-7377-7624-9. OCLC 946078540.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  33. ^ Malone, Dennis L. (September 1, 2003). "Developing Curriculum Materials for Endangered Language Education: Lessons from the Field". International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. 6 (5): 332–348. doi:10.1080/13670050308667790. ISSN 1367-0050. S2CID 143777688.
  34. ^ a b c De Costa, Peter I. (September 3, 2021). "Indigenous Language Revitalization: How Education Can Help Reclaim "Sleeping" Languages". Journal of Language, Identity & Education. 20 (5): 355–361. doi:10.1080/15348458.2021.1957684. ISSN 1534-8458. S2CID 237494378.
  35. ^ a b Becerra-Lubies, Rukmini; Mayo, Simona; Fones, Aliza (September 14, 2021). "Revitalization of indigenous languages and cultures: critical review of preschool bilingual educational policies in Chile (2007–2016)". International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism. 24 (8): 1147–1162. doi:10.1080/13670050.2018.1563584. ISSN 1367-0050. S2CID 150805366.
  36. ^ a b The green book of language revitalization in practice. Leanne Hinton, Kenneth L. Hale. San Diego. 2001. ISBN 978-90-04-26172-3. OCLC 871223335.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link) CS1 maint: others (link)
  37. ^ Ife, Anne (August 1, 2012). "Democratic policies for language revitalization". Current Issues in Language Planning. 13 (3): 225–230. doi:10.1080/14664208.2012.722379. ISSN 1466-4208. S2CID 145361148.

Further reading

  • Anderson, Barbara A., and Brian D. Silver, "Equality, Efficiency, and Politics in Soviet Bilingual Education Policy, 1934–1980." American Political Science Review, Vol. 78, No. 4 (December 1984), pp. 1019–1039
  • Baldauf, R.B. (2005). Coordinating government and community support for community language teaching in Australia: Overview with special attention to New South Wales. International Journal of Bilingual Education and Bilingualism, 8 (2&3): 132–144
  • Carter, Steven (November 2004). "Oui! They're only 3." Oregon Live.com
  • Crawford, J. (2004). Educating English Learners: Language Diversity in the Classroom (5th edition). Los Angeles: Bilingual Educational Services (BES).
  • Cummins, J. & Genzuk, M. (1991). Analysis of Final Report: Longitudinal Study of Structured English Immersion Strategy, Early Exit and Late-Exit Transitional Bilingual Education Programs for Language-Minority Children. USC Center for Multilingual, Multicultural Research.
  • Dean, Bartholomew (ed.) (2004), "Indigenous Education and the Prospects for Cultural Survival", Cultural Survival Quarterly, (27) 4.
  • del Mazo, Pilar (2006). "The Multicultural Schoolbus: Is Bilingual Education Driving Our Children, and Our Nation, Towards Failure?" [2006 Education Law Consortium]. The article is available at: https://web.archive.org/web/20160303214202/http://www.educationlawconsortium.org/forum/2006/papers/delMazo2006_1.pdf
  • Dutcher, N., in collaboration with Tucker, G. R. (1994). The use of first and second languages in education: A review of educational experience. Washington, DC: World Bank, East Asia and the Pacific Region, Country Department III.
  • Gao, Helen. (November 2004). "Fight over bilingual education continues." The San Diego Union-Tribune.
  • Gonzalez, A. (1998). Teaching in two or more languages in the Philippine context. In J. Cenoz & F. Genesee (Eds.), Beyond bilingualism: Multilingualism and multilingual education (pp. 192–205). Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters.
  • Grimes, B. F. (1992). Ethnologue: Languages of the world Dallas, TX: Summer Institute of Linguistics.
  • Hakuta, K. (1986).Mirror of language: The debate on bilingualism. New York: Basic Books.
  • Harris, S. G. & Devlin, B. C. (1996). "Bilingual programs involving Aboriginal languages in Australia". In Jim Cummins and David Corso (eds), Encyclopedia of language and education, vol 5, pp. 1–14. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
  • Hult, F.M. (2012). Ecology and multilingual education. In C. Chapelle (Gen. Ed.), Encyclopedia of applied linguistics (Vol. 3, pp. 1835-1840). Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
  • Kalist, David E. (2005). "Registered Nurses and the Value of Bilingualism." Industrial & Labor Relations Review, 59(1): 101–118.<http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/vol59/iss1/6/>
  • Kloss, Heinz (1977, reprinted 1998). The American Bilingual Tradition. (Language in Education; 88) McHenry, IL: Center for Applied Linguistics and Delta Systems. ISBN 1-887744-02-9
  • Krashen, S. D. (1999). Bilingual Education: Arguments for and (Bogus) Arguments Against [sic] University of Southern California professor's article is available online at "digital.georgetown.edu" (PDF). Archived (PDF) from the original on October 9, 2022. (201 KB)
  • Parrish, T.; Perez, M; Merickel, A.; and Linquanti, R.(2006). "Effects of the Implementation of Proposition 227 on the Education of English Learners, K-12, Findings from a Five-Year Evaluation: Final Report." Washington, DC: AIR and San Francisco: WestEd. The complete report is available free at http://www.WestEd.org/cs/we/view/rs/804. An abbreviated, more accessible summary of the findings is available at http://www.WestEd.org/cs/we/view/rs/825
  • Seidner, Stanley S.(1981–1989) Issues of Language Assessment. 3 vols. Springfield, Il.: State Board of Education.
  • Summer Institute of Linguistics. (1995). A survey of vernacular education programming at the provincial level within Papua New Guinea. Ukarumpa, Papua New Guinea: Author.
  • Swain, M. (1996). Discovering successful second language teaching strategies and practices: From program evaluation to classroom experimentation." Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development, 17," 89-104.
  • Thomas, W. P., & Collier, V. P. (1997). Two languages are better than one. Educational Leadership, 55(4), 23–26.