Resources for Promoting Parental Involvement in TWI Programs


Annotated Bibliography

Calderón, M. E., & Minaya-Rowe, L. (2003). Designing and implementing two-way bilingual programs. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin.

Chapter 10, “Reaching Out to Parents,” discusses parent involvement at home and at school in the realms of academics, school governance, and advocacy. The authors stress the need for two-way communication between the school and parents as well as the necessity to reach out to parents equitably in both language groups and to ensure that all parents have equal access to information and an equal voice in decision-making. There is also a description of models for family literacy workshops.


Craig, B. A. (1995). Two-way foreign language immersion programs: A handbook for parents and teachers.

In Chapter 4, “Parental Involvement in the Program,” Craig discusses parents’ concerns and responsibilities in a two-way program as well as what their expectations should be. She also discusses the benefits of participating in a parental advisory committee and a parent social network. Home-school cooperation involves parents’ providing a supportive learning environment at home and volunteering in the classroom and in the school community.


Howard, E. R., Sugarman, J., & Christian, D. (2003). Trends in two-way immersion education: A review of the research (Report No. 63). Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed at Risk.

This report summarizes studies on parent attitudes toward bilingualism and two-way immersion as well as additional literature on parental involvement.


Lindholm-Leary, K. (2001). Dual Language Education. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.

In chapter seven, “Parent Involvement, Attitudes, and Satisfaction in Dual Language Education Programs,” Lindholm-Leary outlines research on the connection between school effectiveness and parent involvement, as well as factors such as parent background and native language that affect involvement. Findings from her study of parents in two 90/10 two-way immersion schools demonstrated a connection between lower socioeconomic status/lower parent education levels and low perceptions of district support. Most parents considered parent involvement to be important and that it was valued at their school, and the majority reported helping in or out of the classroom and attending school functions. The author also discusses attitudes towards bilingualism and the reasons that parents enrolled their students in the program, and reports that, generally, parent satisfaction levels with the program were high.


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.

This case study reports the difficult working relationship between parents and school officials implementing a dual language program in the Southwest. Parents felt that the teachers and administrators were distant and concerned only with academic achievement and upward mobility and that their own values relating to learning, nurturing, and overcoming obstacles were devalued in the planning process. The consequence was frustration and animosity between the two groups.


Pérez, B. (2004). Becoming biliterate: A study of two-way bilingual immersion education. Mahwah, NJ: Erblaum.

In Chapter 3 of this case study, Pérez focuses on the role of parents in leadership. She describes the questions and concerns that parents voiced during the planning process in regard to the program model, homework, the use of the two languages in the program, the authority of school personnel, and the value of bilingualism. The author also describes efforts to sustain parent support and the organizational structure of parent involvement in the programs, and how that involvement influenced decision-making over time.


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

This study of at-home book choices for families of dual language pupils showed that even for Spanish-dominant or bilingual parents, a large percentage of books they selected to read to their children were in English because of the role they perceived of the dominant language in American society.


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

A survey of parent volunteers in a dual language school in Philadelphia demonstrated a range of motivations for volunteering in the school: to help the teachers and the school, to ensure that students were behaving appropriately, to gain skills and self-confidence, and to experience the personal satisfaction associated with this service. Parents played an active role in developing and defining parent-school relationships.


Zelazo, J. (1995, April). Parent involvement in a two-way bilingual school. Paper presented at the meeting of the American Educational Research Association, San Francisco, CA.

A study of 14 Spanish-speaking and 13 English-speaking families of students in a dual language program found that essential components that predicted parent involvement were parents’ comfort with the staff, the language in which activities were conducted, and parent education and socioeconomic status (the higher the education and social status the parents had, the more involved they were at school). In some cases, inflexible jobs, lack of transportation, and baby-sitting problems prevented parents from spending time at the school. These are all issues that programs should address in encouraging parent participation.


Online Materials

Building Partnerships with Latino Immigrant Parents (2003) by Shannon Fitzsimmons

Scaffold for School-Home Collaboration: Enhancing Reading and Language Development (2001) by Ji-Mei Chang

What Parents Want to Know About Foreign Language Immersion Programs (2003) by Tara W. Fortune & Diane J. Tedick

Learning in Two Languages (1999) by Jon Silver

Biliteracy for a Global Society:  An Idea Book on Dual Language Education (2000) by Kathryn Lindholm-Leary

Why, How and When Should My Child Learn A Second Language? (2004) by Kathleen Marcos

Why Start & Maintain a Spanish for Native Speakers Program (2003) by the American Association of Teachers of Spanish & Portuguese and the Center for Applied Linguistics.


See also the online bibliography at , particularly the section entitled “Parent Attitudes and Involvement.”


Parent Resources in Spanish

Si su niño aprende en dos idiomas (August, 2000) by Thomas Mansella & Roario Gingras. Spanish version of If Your Child Learns in Two Languages by Nancy Zelasko & Beth Antunez. Available also in Chinese, Vietnamese and Haitian Creole.

NCELA Resources for Parents in Spanish
Education Resources for Spanish Speakers available at the Department of Education’s website