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Online Resources: Frequently Asked Questions

What is two-way (dual language) immersion? Where can I find resources on this topic?

Two-way immersion (TWI) programs (also known as dual language programs) are becoming an increasingly attractive option for schools and districts that are looking for ways to strengthen and develop the language resources of all of their students. The TWI model provides integrated instruction for native English speakers and native speakers of another language, with the goal of promoting high academic achievement, first and second language development, and cross-cultural understanding for all students. In TWI programs, language learning takes place primarily through content instruction. Academic subjects are taught to all students through both English and a partner language, which is usually Spanish. As students and teachers work together to perform academic tasks, the students' language abilities are developed along with their knowledge of content-area subject matter.

Most programs start at kindergarten or first grade. While there is a great deal of variety with regard to program features of TWI programs, there are also some important core similarities. First, the student populations are balanced, with approximately 50% native English speakers and 50% native speakers of the partner language. Second, academic instruction takes place through both languages, with the partner language being used at least 50% of the time. In this way, all students have the opportunity to be both first language models and second language learners. Furthermore, TWI creates an additive bilingual environment for all students since the first language is maintained while the second language is acquired.

Visit CAL's Two-Way Immersion Web site for more information.

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