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.