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August 2005

In August, the Year of Languages explores the importance of parental involvement in providing language opportunities for their children. The Center for Applied Linguistics provides several K–12 language education resources for parents and school programs.

Two-Way Immersion Education

Two-way immersion (TWI) programs are a growing trend in communities across the United States. In TWI programs (also known as dual language or two-way bilingual programs), an approximately equal number of native English speakers and native speakers of another language learn together in both languages. The ultimate goal is for students to develop high levels of literacy and language proficiency in both languages, while still receiving the same high caliber of education as students in monolingual programs.

CAL provides a myriad of resources for administrators, teachers, and parents interested in developing or enriching a TWI program in their community. Resources for parents include

(See CAL’s list of Two-Way Immersion Publications and Products for a full list of available resources.)

Future resource offerings from CAL will include an annotated bibliography of literature on parental involvement in TWI programs. A short bibliography of suggested reading follows:

Craig, B. A. (1995). Two-way foreign language immersion programs: A handbook for parents and teachers. Arlington, VA: (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 384239).

Peña, R. A. (1998). A case study of parental involvement in a conversion from transitional to dual language instruction. Bilingual Research Journal, 22(2-4), 237-259.

Ratliff, J. L., & Montague, N. S. (2002). Book choices of culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) parents: Strategies for sharing books in bilingual homes. College Reading Association.

Rubio, O. G. (1995). ”Yo soy voluntaria”: Volunteering in a dual-language school. Urban Education, 29(4), 396-409.

For more information about CAL’s work on two-way immersion education or to receive a copy of our flyer on two-way immersion resources by mail, contact Julie Sugarman at CAL.

Foreign Language Instructional Videos for Children

As parents’ interest in providing their children with language opportunities at younger ages grows, many schools still find themselves with insufficient resources or staff to implement a traditional classroom foreign language program. Video-based language programs provide a convenient alternative by allowing schools to use existing teachers and technology resources to introduce foreign language instruction.

Language by Video: An Overview of Foreign Language Instructional Videos for Children is a book about the five most popular video-based language programs used in elementary schools today: Elementary Spanish, Español para ti, Muzzy, SALSA, and Saludos. It offers parents, teachers, and school administrators an overview of the use of video-based language programs in the context of other technological innovations used in K–8 foreign language instruction. This book also provides detailed analyses of each of the five video-based language programs featured, discusses the pros and cons of video-based language instruction, and offers recommendations on how best to use language video technology.

Language by Video is based on a study conducted by the Center for Applied Linguistics in collaboration with Iowa State University’s National K–12 Foreign Language Resource Center and Brown University’s Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory.

For more information on Language by Video, see the digest Teaching Foreign Languages to Children Through Video, find Language by Video in the CALStore, or contact Nancy Rhodes at CAL.

The Global Child, a Resource for Raising Children Bilingually

The Global Child: A Parent’s Handbook and Resource Guide on Raising Children Bilingually in the Washington, D.C. Area, written by Jameelah Muhammad, is a rich resource for parents interested in raising a bilingual child, with an emphasis on available language opportunities in the Washington, DC, area.

The Global Child is a practical and thorough guide to raising a child bilingually, with five sections that provide an overview, information about parental involvement, advice on how to get started, a review of foreign language education in the United States, and references that parents can use to learn more.

For more information about The Global Child, contact Jameelah Muhammed.

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Additional resources on languages and communities

Two-Way Immersion Resources flier (pdf)

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