The Astounding Effectiveness of Dual Language Education for All

Virginia P. Collier and Wayne P. Thomas

George Mason University



Our longitudinal research findings from one-way to two-way dual language enrichment models of schooling demonstrate the substantial power of this program for enhancing student outcomes and fully closing the achievements gap in second language (L2). Effect size for dual language are very large compared to other programs for English learners (ELLs). Dual language schooling also can transform the experience of teachers, administrators, and parents into an inclusive and supportive school community for all. Our research findings of the past 18 years are summarized here, with focus on ELLs’ outcomes in one-way and two-way, 50:50 and 90:10, dual language models, including heritage language programs for students of bilingual and bicultural ancestry who are more proficient in English than in their heritage language.

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Key Concepts

The Pertinent Distinction: Enrichment vs. Remediation

Differences in One-way and Two-way Dual Language Education

Research Methodology

Gap Closure Research and the No Child Left behind Act of 2001

Student Outcomes

Houston Independent School District, Texas

Heritage Language Program in Maine

Longitudinal Comparisons of Program Effectiveness for English Learners

Outcomes of Dual Language for Teachers, Administrators, and Parents

Factors Affecting Gap Closure in Dual Language Programs

Test Difficulty

Program Implementation

Variations in Rate of Annual Gain Among Selected Dual Language Schools

Type of Dual Language Programs

Is English-only Mainstream More Effective than Dual Language Mainstream Classes?

The Next Steps

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The Benefits of Second Language Study

Regarding World Language Education

NEA Research, December 2007

The Benefits of Second Language Study

Research Findings with Citations

Contents  (page number)
• Status of U.S. second language study 1
Research Findings: Second language study:

• …benefits academic progress in other subjects 2
• …narrows achievement gaps 3
• …benefits basic skills development 3
• …benefits higher order, abstract and creative thinking 4
• …(early) enriches and enhances cognitive development 4
• …enhances a student’s sense of achievement 4
• …helps students score higher on standardized tests 5
• …promotes cultural awareness and competency 5
• …improves chances of college acceptance, achievement and attainment 6
• …enhances career opportunities 6
• …benefits understanding and security in community and society 6
• …barriers 6

Full text research can be found: