Parents' Questions About Two-Way Immersion
- What advantages are there for my child in a TWI program? Are the advantages the same for language minority and language majority students?
- How do students in TWI programs compare academically to students in other types of educational programs?
- When do students perform at grade level on standardized achievement tests in their first and second languages? Is the time frame different for 90/10 vs. 50/50 models?
- Within TWI programs, how does the academic performance of native English speakers compare to that of English language learners?
- What are the characteristics of students who are successful in TWI programs?
- How can TWI program parents help families who donít have children in the program understand its benefits?
- How can TWI parents work with the school board and district administrators to help them understand the importance of supporting TWI programs?
- What should a TWI program do to promote home-school connections? What can I do as a parent to get involved?
- How can I help support my child in doing homework in the second language, particularly if I donít know that language? What kind of homework support can the program provide?
- What resources exist for parents of TWI students? Are there conferences that I might enjoy attending?
3. When do students perform at grade level on standardized achievement tests in their first and second languages? Is the time frame different for 90/10 vs. 50/50 models?
Native English speakers tend to perform at grade level in their first language once they have received formal reading instruction through that language, and their achievement is at grade level in the second language typically by third grade, if not sooner. For English language learners, scores are usually in the average range in their first language by second grade, but as a group they do not achieve at grade level in English until middle school.
Comparing the achievement of students in 90/10 and 50/50 models, Lindholm-Leary (2001) found that by Grades 7-8, English language learners and native-English-speaking students scored similarly to their peers of the same language and economic backgrounds on achievement tests in English. When achievement was measured in Spanish, students in 90/10 programs scored higher than students in 50/50 programs. Thus, more instructional time spent in Spanish positively affected achievement in Spanish and had no negative effect on achievement measured in English.