What is Bilingual Education?
There are two Bilingual Programs offered in our district:
Late-Exit Bilingual Programs or Developmental Bilingual Programs:
- Bilingual education programs provide students with instruction in their primary language (i.e. Spanish) to facilitate understanding but with the goal of eventually mainstreaming students into English speaking classrooms. Salt Lake City School District has the 90:10 ratio. In Kindergarten less than 10% of instruction is provided in English. This percentage gradually increases to provide 50% of instruction in English from fourth through fifth grade.
Early-Exit Bilingual Programs or Transitional Bilingual Programs:
- This program is designed to help children acquire the English skills required to succeed in an English-only mainstream classroom. This program provides some initial instruction in the students' first language, primarily for the introduction of reading, but also for clarification. Instruction in the first language is phased out rapidly, with most students mainstreamed by the end of third grade.
What are the goals of the bilingual program?
- teaching English,
- fostering academic achievement,
- assisting immigrants acculturation to a new society,
- preserving a minority group’s linguistic and cultural heritage,
- enabling students to learn how to read, write, and speak in their primary language as well as English,
- developing national language resources, or
- any combination of the above.
What is the Bilingual Rationale?
“When schools provide children quality education in their primary language, they give them two things: knowledge and literacy. The knowledge that children get through their first language helps make the English they hear and read more comprehensible. Literacy developed in the primary language transfers to the second language. The reason is simple: Because we learn to read by reading, that is, by making sense of what is on the page, it is easier to learn to read in a language we understand. Once we can read in one language, we can read in general” (Smith, 1994 as cited by NABE online, 2005).
Advantages of Bilingual Education Programs:
- The family language is valued and both languages are used for a variety of purposes.
- Bilingualism is promoted at home and school and is socially advantageous.
- Learners have developed well their primary language (L1) before their secondary language (L2) learning begins.
- Learners have the opportunity to develop literacy in L1 and L2.
Benchmarks and Literacy Plan:
How do I apply for a bilingual program?
If you are interested in attending any of the schools in our district that offer a Bilingual Program please contact the schools directly. The schools are listed below:
Resources for Families