Common Language Models for Multilingual Learners (MLs)

Dual-Language Immersion (or Two-Way Immersion)

Language and academic instruction in both English and another targeted language (for ML children and English only speakers who wish to become bilingual)

Goals

Bilingualism, biliteracy, and academic achievement in both English and another language, and cross-cultural understanding

Age Level

Preschool and K–8th grade, but may also be offered through grade 12

Bilingualism, biliteracy, and academic achievement in both English and another language, and cross-cultural understanding

Preschool and K–8th grade, but may also be offered through grade 12

Developmental Bilingual

Language and academic instruction specifically for English Learners, using both English and the children’s home language

Goals

Language proficiency and academic achievement in children’s first and second languages

Age Level

Preschool and K–8th grade

Language proficiency and academic achievement in children’s first and second languages

Preschool and K–8th grade

Transitional Bilingual*

Language and academic instruction in both English and ML children’s home language, with a gradual, systematic transition to English only

Goals

English language proficiency and academic achievement in English

Age Level

Preschool and K–3rd, but may also be offered at higher grade levels

English language proficiency and academic achievement in English

Preschool and K–3rd, but may also be offered at higher grade levels

English Language Development with Home Language Support

English is the primary language of instruction, but home language is used and supported (to varying degrees) to facilitate understanding of content, and as a bridge to English

Goals

English language proficiency and school readiness skills in English, and promotion of the home language

Age Level

Preschool

English language proficiency and school readiness skills in English, and promotion of the home language

Preschool

Structured English Immersion

Instruction in English (may include home language use as a support, but not for bilingual instruction purposes)

Goals

English language proficiency and academic achievement in English

Age Level

K–12th grade

English language proficiency and academic achievement in English

K–12th grade

Note: These descriptions were derived from the CDE Research to Practice resource on Multilingual Learners and the CDE webpage on Multilingual Education. It should be noted that in K–3 settings, state guidance indicates that all language programs should include both Integrated and Designated ELD, as defined in the CDE English Language Development Standards.

*Also known as Home Language as a Foundation for English Development, as described in the CDE Preschool Program Guidelines.

What is the “gold standard” for supporting bilingualism?

Dual language and bilingual education models use both the home language and English as the languages of instruction and have the explicit goal of developing bilingualism. Bilingual models vary in how much time is allocated to each language, but the use of the home language for instruction across these models shows a valuing of and commitment to home language development. Research suggests that dual language education has positive effects on children’s home language and English language skills, as well as other learning domains.15 It takes a great level of commitment for a program to adopt a dual language model, including administrator/program commitment, qualified bilingual staff, intensive training, materials, and resources. See this list of questions every ML teacher and administrator should be able to answer about their program from CDE’s Research to Practice resource on Multilingual Learners (page 119).

Transitional Bilingual - Common Language Models - Multilingual Learners Toolkit
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More language approaches

For more details on program language approaches for instruction check out:

Preschool:

Head Start resources, including:

K–3rd grade:

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Structured English Immersion - Multilingual Learners Toolkit
 
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