10 Tips on Finding the Right Curriculum for Dual Language Classrooms

Teaching students to become bilingual is becoming more and more common in the United States. This is largely due to the proven benefits dual language education provides which is becoming very coveted. For teachers, choosing a curriculum that both benefits and interests students is crucial. Many classrooms are multicultural, and this curriculum may have to satisfy the needs of students from many different backgrounds and ELLs to effectively learn English. Here are 10 tips on finding the right curriculum for dual language classrooms.

1.Is it interesting?

Finding the right curriculum is largely challenging because it is hard to find one that your young students will find interesting. Learning multiple languages requires a lot of focus, attention and diligence from your students. By making the curriculum as interesting as possible, you are creating a fun environment for them to keep them excited and enthusiastic about learning. Finding a curriculum that is not rigorous, but inviting, will allow them to do this.

Photo: 10 Tips on Finding the Right Curriculum for Dual Language Classrooms

2.Can my students adapt to this?

When choosing a suitable curriculum for ELLs, it is crucial that you choose one which is adaptable to their learning needs. If you must purchase learning materials for various students specifically, it would be wiser to buy those that can be used for several years instead of changing them every now and then. This allows for consistency among your students

3.Does this promote peer interaction?

A good dual language curriculum is one that not only promotes interaction between the student and their teacher, but also between students themselves. Peer interaction can be promoted through assigning students team activities. Fun language learning games can help your bilingual students to build their confidence and learn more vocabulary from each other. Social interaction is one of the most effective ways we learn.

4.Does this teach language vocabulary and structure?

Learning a language can be strenuous for anyone. An effective program is one that has structure, and that enables the student to grasp a few vocabulary words at a time. Teaching language vocabulary will help your students communicate more effectively. Try to find curriculum that utilizes age-specific vocabulary to maintain interest among your students.

Photo: 10 Tips on Finding the Right Curriculum for Dual Language Classrooms

Continue reading to find out more about how to find the right curriculum…

5.Does this promote writing?

Teaching students, particularly ELLs, requires consistency. One of the ways of ensuring that they do not forget what they learn is by giving them writing tasks. Simple assignments can go a long way in boosting their knowledge.

6.Does this accommodate different learning styles?

Students, especially young ones, learn in different ways. A good curriculum is one that accommodates a wide range of learning styles. You can incorporate learning activities such as games, outdoor activities, listening and comprehension exercises, or even class experiments.

Photo: 10 Tips on Finding the Right Curriculum for Dual Language Classrooms

7.Does this involve the parents?

When teaching, it is important to involve their parents in their learning process. This is because when they are not in school, students spend the rest of their time with their families. Parents can help their children to practice what they learn in school. When working with ELLs, the parents may be learning English as well. Allow for curriculum that supports them learning together.

8.Was this developed by an expert in children’s education?

Contrary to common belief, not all curriculums are developed by experts in primary education. When you choose one for your students, pick one which has been developed by a true expert because it is more likely tailored to their needs. You want curriculum created by someone interested in the wellbeing of future generations, not for monetary gain.

9.Does this facilitate access to learning resources?

Availing study materials and other learning resources to your students is important. They can use these resources to study on their own, or with their peers whenever they have some free time after class hours. This will be incredibly important to ELL students who will have to spend time at home with their parents to continue their students. Ensure that these materials are available to them to support their education.

10.Does this ensure support and commitment from the administration?

A good curriculum is one which the school administration has approved and committed to. With support from parents and the school administration, the environment will be conducive to the learning needs of dual language students.

Photo: 10 Tips on Finding the Right Curriculum for Dual Language Classrooms

Check back to DualLanguageSchools.org this October for more curriculum support!

Patricia Griselda Pérez
Author: Patricia Griselda Pérez

Dr. Patricia Pérez holds an A.A. from Ohlone College: B.A. and M.S. degree from California State University, East Bay and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. She serves as an educator, consultant and teacher coach, which provides professional development, curriculum development and multicultural awareness services to local and international educational institutions and corporations. Dr. Pérez is fluent in Spanish and began her career as an elementary school teacher in a bilingual classroom. In the past two decades, she has developed a wide range of experience working at every level of public education, providing support to educators and directly to students. Her interest focus on promoting educational excellence through equity in order to overcome institutional barriers that confront underserved students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Pérez is also an accomplished writer and has published in the areas of multicultural education and organizational management and leadership. She is a contributing author to Multicultural Education in Practice: Transforming One Community at a Time and Collaboration and Peak Performance: A Multidisciplinary Perspective for Emerging Leaders.

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