Operationalizing High-Quality Dual Language Programming

Case study
Apr 2, 2024
Dual language education is an educational model where instruction is provided to children in two languages, usually English and a partner language. Robust bodies of research find that dual language education is the gold standard for emergent bilingual children. However, there is limited consensus on what high-quality dual language education looks like for emergent bilinguals who are infants/toddlers, preschoolers, and students in the early grades. In this new report, The Children’s Equity Project, in partnership with The Century Foundation and dozens of research and practitioner partners, operationalizes high-quality dual language education for young emergent bilinguals. We use a seven-part comprehensive framework that includes programmatic structures, curriculum and assessment, language allocation, family leadership and engagement, and more. This framework is informed by an exhaustive research synthesis of 170 studies, case studies of 11 dual language programs spanning infancy through the elementary years, and input from dozens of researchers, policy leaders, and practitioners. This report helps move the field forward toward the goal of ensuring all children- beginning with emergent bilingual children- have the opportunity to access high quality, dual language education throughout their educational trajectory.
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