The main goal of Dual Language Programming (there are actually three goals) is to help students become completely biliterate—or literate in at least two languages. This is accomplished by teaching each subject area in both languages (Rand, 2017). There are many benefits to Dual Language Programming. Here are just a few:
Benefits of Dual Language Programs
- High Academic Achievement: By 5th grade, both native and nonnative English speakers, on average, do better than their monolingual peers on standardized English reading exams if they are in dual language programs (Rand, 2017; Thomas & Collier, 1997). They also continue to grow in reading at faster rates than their monolingual peers throughout middle school. By 8th grade, dual language students outperform their monolingual peers by nearly one grade level on English reading exams (Rand, 2017).
- Competitive Advantage: Due to our increasingly globalized economy, being bilingual gives students an edge on college applications and in the job market (sealofbiliteracy.org).
- Sociocultural Competence: Students learn about cultures in addition to their own, which makes them better able to function in an increasingly diverse society (Howard et. al., 2018).
- Brain Power: Speaking two or more languages boosts brain power, warding off old age diseases such as dementia and Alzheimer’s (Hitti, 2004).