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?
5. What are the characteristics of students who are successful in TWI programs?
From their personal and professional experiences, parents and educators note some common characteristics of successful TWI students. First, successful students tend to enjoy learning new things, and also like meeting and interacting with people from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds. Second, successful students tend to have parents who strongly support the program: Parents who truly understand and embrace TWI and its goals will transmit their positive attitudes to their children. Finally, successful students understand and embrace the philosophy of dual language education. They realize that learning in two languages can be challenging at times, especially for students from a monolingual background. The successful student perseveres and learns to take risks in speaking and writing the second language.
Research has shown that students from a variety of different backgrounds can be successful in TWI programs (Howard, Sugarman, & Christian, 2003). Students from different ethnic, social class, and language backgrounds, and with varying academic strengths and needs, have all benefited from dual language education. There is no particular type of student that fails to flourish in TWI programs.