Frequently Asked Questions about TWI

Are there different kinds of TWI programs?

There are three main types of TWI model:

  • Full Immersion (90/10): The partner language is used most or all of the day in the primary grades (80-90%), and all students learn to read in the partner language first. The amount of English is gradually increased until English and the partner language are each used 50% of the time, usually starting in third grade.
  • Partial Immersion (50/50): The partner language and English are used equally throughout the program, and students learn to read in both English and the partner language.
  • "Differentiated": Some programs separate students from each language group for part of the day for formal literacy instruction, so that students learn to read in their primary language.

Other variations in TWI program include:

  • Whether students have one teacher who teaches them in English only and another who teaches them in the partner language only, or have only one teacher who teaches in both languages (at different times).
  • Whether the program is a whole school or a strand within a school.
  • If a third language is used for instruction for part of the day.

For more information, read Two-Way Immersion 101 or see the National Dual Language Consortium's Web site.

For details on the characteristics of TWI programs, see our ERIC Digest, Two-Way Immersion Programs: Features and Statistics, and its associated web site with the data used to write the Digest.

For more information and examples of different types of TWI programs, see our bibliography page, especially the section Program Profiles and Evaluations.


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