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Dual Language Program

Goals of Dual Language Education:

Dual Language education programs have 3 core goals:

  • Bilingualism and biliteracy
  • High academic achievement
  • Cross-cultural knowledge and awareness


Benefits of Dual Language Education:

A person who speaks, reads, and writes in two languages:

  • can communicate with family and community members who do not speak English.
  • has access to more career possibilities in the United States and in the world.
  • understands and values their own culture and other cultures better.
  • ultimately experiences greater success in school as shown by research.

Academic Achievement:

  • Research suggests that bilingual children function intellectually at a higher level than children who speak, read and write in one language.
  • Although children in dual language programs may score lower on standardized tests in the early grades, research shows they score higher than peers learning in one language by their high school years.  For this reason, dual language education requires a long-term commitment from students and their families. 




Structure of the ESJES Dual Language Program:


80/20:  This program starts with immersion in Spanish with Kindergartners and 1st graders spending 80% of their day learning in Spanish and 20% of their day learning in English.  In 2nd grade, the amount of time in Spanish changes to  70% and English to 30%.  This pattern of increase in the use of English continues every year such that by 4th grade students are spending 50% of their day learning in both Spanish and English. 

80/20 Program Literacy Instruction:  In Kindergarten and 1st grade students receive a minimum of 45 minutes of English literacy instruction while also receiving 75 minutes of Spanish literacy instruction.  The amount of literacy instruction in English increases by 10 minutes each at each subsequent grade level until by the 4th and 5th grades, all students receive 75 minutes of literacy instruction in both languages.

50/50:  In this program, students in 1st through 5th grade spend 50% of their time learning in Spanish and 50% of their time learning in English. In the 50/50 program, literacy instruction will take place for 75 minutes in both languages, 1st – 5th.

Balance of Language Models:  Both the 80/20 and the 50/50  programs strive to have an equal mix of Spanish and English dominant students or at the very least, a 1/3 to 2/3 ratio.  Parents have input into which model in which to enroll their child and are strongly encouraged to actively support their child’s social and academic development in 2 languages. 

Parent Support:

Parents can support their children in many ways:

  • Communicate to your child that both the first and second languages are valuable.
  • Use both languages if you are able to. It is important to try to maintain the language of instruction while helping your child with homework but if you are unable to, you can ask your child to teach you what they have learned about how to do homework. If you feel that you are unable to support your child with their homework because you do not speak or read the second language, please talk to your child’s teacher about ways to make your time helping your child successful.
  • Have materials in your home in both languages such as books, videos and music.
  • Read aloud in one or both languages and have your child read to you in both languages.
  • Attend as many school functions and workshops for parents as possible.
  • Get involved with your child’s school!  East San José has a Parent Learning Center and a Parent Liaison who would love to help you sign up to help out at school functions or in your child’s classroom.