A dual language program is a model designed to promote bilingualism and biliteracy, high levels of academic achievement in both languages, and sociocultural competence.

    What is the goal of a dual language program?
    The ABC goals of dual language programs are as follows. 

    • High levels of Academic Achievement in both languages

    • Bilingualism and Biliteracy

    • SocioCultural Competence

    What are the characteristics of students who are successful in dual language programs?
    All students can be successful in Dual Language programs.  Dual Language programs are for: 

    1.  Students who predominantly speak the partner language.

    2. Students who predominantly speak both the partner language and English at varying proficiency levels. 

    3. Students who predominantly speak a third language.

    4. Students who are identified for Special Education services.

    5. Students who are identified as gifted.

    Students who predominantly speak English.  (Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education Dual Language Essentials, 2022)

    What advantages are there for my child in a Dual Language program?

    There are many  advantages for students who enroll in Dual Language programs. Students:

    • Students who have family members who speak the partner language are better able to communicate with said family members.

    • Students whose heritage is associated with the partner language have a greater pride in their own identities.

    • Students, regardless of which language they speak at home, develop full oral, reading, and writing proficiency in two languages.  

    • Students achieve at levels that are similar to or higher than those of their peers enrolled in other programs on standardized tests of reading and math in English, and learn to read and write at high levels in the partner language. .

    • Students learn to work with those who belong to identity groups other their own.  

    How do students in dual language programs compare academically to students in other programs?
    Longitudinal studies have shown that all students  make significant progress in both languages and outscore their monolingual peers on standardized exams. (Collier and Thomas, 2004).

    What should a dual language program do to promote home-school connections?
    Strong home-school connections are essential to the success of our dual language programs. There are many things that we can do collaboratively to help foster these connections. Framingham Public Schools’ Multilingual Department and schools will:

    • ensure that all communications with parents are in Portuguese, Spanish, and English.

    • hold periodic meetings to educate parents on Dual Language related topics such as: program design, language acquisition, helping with homework, biliteracy development, and assessment practices. 

    Where are Dual Language programs offered in the 2022-2023 school year?
    Barbieri K-5; Walsh Middle 6-8; Framingham HS 9-12
    Brophy K-4

    Potter Road K-5
    Harmony Grove K-4

    How can my child participate?
    Enrollment in Dual Language programs is open to every new Kindergarten student. Seats are filled through a lottery process. In order to preserve the integrity of this program, parents are asked to carefully consider the long-term commitment that is required for the program. (A Letter of Commitment must be signed in order to be considered for the lottery). If space is available at older grades, newcomers who are Native Speakers of Portuguese or Spanish will be offered open seats.

    What can I do as a parent to get involved and support my child’s language development?
    There are many things that parents can do to strengthen the home-school connection and encourage their child’s language development.

    •  Ask your child about their day.

    •  Join the DLPAC.

    • Speak to your child in your native language.  Tell them stories.  Read with them.  It won’t confuse them. 

    • Ask your child what they are learning in school.

    •  Give them space to complete their homework.  Students should be able to complete their homework by themselves.  If your student struggles, let the teacher know.

    • Emphasize the value of acquiring another language.  Applaud their efforts in learning in a new language.

    There are so many acronyms, can you please explain the programs here?
    Dual Language (DL) Program: A term that refers to bilingual programs where students are instructed in two languages with at least 50% of the content instruction being in the partner language at the elementary level and at least one language arts and one content area class is in the partner language at the secondary level.

    Native Language (L1): An individual’s native language.

    Partner  Language: The language of instruction that is taught alongside English..

    Balanced Bilingual: An individual who has equal and native-like proficiency in two languages (de Jong, 2011).

    Simultaneous Bilingual: Student who has been exposed to two languages since before age 5 (Beeman & Urow, 2013). By definition, simultaneous bilingual students are not clearly dominant in either language.

    Sequential Bilingual: Student who has developed one language and is learning a second language (Beeman & Urow, 2013).

    English (Language) Learners (ELLs or ELs): Student who speaks a language other than English at home and has been identified as becoming English proficient. (Beeman & Urow, 2013).

    Emergent Bilinguals: Student who speaks a language other than English at home and has been identified as becoming English proficient.(Beeman & Urow, 2013).

    Multilingual Learner: Students who are learning more than one language whether at home, through a Dual Language class, through a World Language class, or through life.

    Sheltered English Immersion - SEI programs are classrooms in which students who are Emergent Bilinguals are mixed with English proficient students and taught predominantly in English with language acquisition strategies embedded into the instruction.