A key factor in achieving Dual Language success is having Separation of Language. Separation of Language requires all adults in the classroom to speak only in the language of instruction. Hence, if your Dual Language Program is Spanish-English, during Spanish time, adults in the classroom speak in Spanish, and during English time, adults in the classroom speak in English. As students’ linguistic abilities grow, they are encouraged to do the same.
Why should we all adhere to strict Separation of Language when interacting with Dual Language classrooms?
1. Separation of Language encourages students to have deep, academic engagement with the language of instruction (and not rely on translations).
2. Separation of Language encourages teachers to focus on language learning strategies to make content comprehensible.
3. Because students and adults tend to use English during the time dedicated to the Language Other Than English (LOTE) more often than vice versa, strict Separation of Language elevates the status of the LOTE, in turn improving students’ attainment of both the LOTE at an academic level and due to transfer, English, also at an academic level (Kennedy & Medina, 2017; Thomas & Collier, 2012).