Transitional bilingual education
provides content area support in the native language while teaching the student English. Initially, the learner is taught content classes in the native language, is taught English as a Second Language, and may also take music, P.E., art, and similar classes in English, partly because these classes require less language proficiency and also because it is important that the learner know English speaking students (for language and social development). The transitional model serves as a bridge for students, helping them move from their native language to English, and any given program may do so more quickly or more slowly. Federal guidelines now suggest that 3 years is the target amount of time for learners to receive L1 support, in spite of studies showing that 5-7 years is a more realistic time frame for learners to reach levels comparable to their native English speaking peers (See Collier, 1989; Krashen et al., 1982). The goals of transitional bilingual education are still assimilationist, and the outcome is generally subtractive bilingualism. These programs are often found in communities with significant populations of non-native English speakers, particularly of one or two language backgrounds.