Dual Language Schools: Teacher(s) of the MonthNew School Year: 3 Tips for Dual Language Teachers

By: Dr. José Medina, Founder and Chief Educational Advocate Dr. José Medina: Educational Solutions

As the 2018 – 2019 school year begins, I have been asked several times for the top tips that a dual language teacher should keep in mind, as classroom setups are taking place.

The following are three quick reminders of what to keep in mind as you begin the new school year!

Tip #1: Make sure that your classroom looks like a dual language classroom!

  • Sometimes, dual language teachers, especially in a partner teacher model, forget that a dual language classroom should not feel and look like a monolingual English classroom or a monolingual partner language classroom.
  • If you are a dual language teacher that happens to facilitate instruction in English, your class setup should include a designated space where the two program languages are represented via cross-linguistic anchor charts. This would include clear delineation of the two colors for the program languages. For example, green for English and blue for Spanish.
  • If you are a dual language teacher that happens to facilitate instruction in the non-English program language, the classroom should include environmental print and anchor chart support in the language of instruction, but also, a designated space where cross-linguistic anchor charts are displayed.
  • For self-contained dual language teachers, it is best to have one space designated for English anchor chart support, another wall for the non-English partner language, and again, a designated space where the students post anchor charts that were collaboratively created with the teacher – bringing both program languages together.
  • Also, remember that word walls and anchor charts should support the language of instruction and not solely focus on the way that English literacy and/or content is taught.

Continue reading to learn more about José’s back to school advice…