Qué? You Don’t Know The 3 Pillars of Dual Language?
By: Dr. José Medina, Director of Dual Language and Bilingual Education. Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC
As a former dual language school principal in the Austin, Texas area, the most common question asked of me was – why dual language?
I would venture to say that this is true for any parent with children enrolled in dual language schools, teachers serving emergent bilingual students, district leadership advocating for implementation of dual language programs, and of course, school administrators collaboratively guiding biliteracy instruction at the campus level.
Blessed beyond belief, I am now able to serve and provide support for dual language programs around the United States and abroad. As an English learner myself, and with parents who only had the opportunity of an elementary education in México, I pinch myself every day as I assist school and district leaders in better serving students via dual language programming.
But, I have to admit that often, even after having implemented dual language programs for years, some dual language teachers and administrators can't answer the "why" of dual language.
When we are asked THE question and we begin to stumble over our words because we cannot succinctly explain that dual language is the ONLY additive language program model, it is the precise moment that dual language programs are weakened.
Therefore, it has become my mission in life to ensure that every dual language student, educator, parent, and advocate is able to speak about the 3 Pillars of Dual Language!
Continue on to the next page to find out what the 3 Pillars are...