Dual Language Program


Our bilingual program began at Bishop Elementary School in 2001 and has been successfully graduating bilingual, bi-literate students for over 15 years! Many of our students go on to graduate from Bishop High School with the California State Seal of Bi-literacy Award.

  • Goals
    • Oral fluency and literacy in Spanish and English
    • Academic excellence with bilingual and bi-literate competence
    • Cross-cultural, pro-social skills and multicultural capacity
  • Program Components
    • Class Makeup – English speakers, Spanish speakers, Bilingual Students
    • Target Language – 50% or more of the instruction is delivered in Spanish; the status of both languages is equal in the dual language classroom.
    • Strategies – Target language is used for instruction – no concurrent translation; models, pictures and real objects are used to maximize understanding; classmates help each other.
    • Characteristics – Parents and classmates are a resource; The program is enriched education with high expectations; The program is long term.
  • Benefits
    • Improves academic achievement
    • Enhances communication skills
    • Expands students’ multicultural views
    • Students’ become language experts
    • Provides future education and career opportunities
    • Learning a second language in childhood is the best time to develop fluency, pronunciation, and a natural ease of expression.
  • Instructional model is 90:10 – Spanish language time gradually decreases from 90 % in kindergarten to 50% in the upper grades

90:10 Dual Language Instructional Model

Percent of Instructional Minutes by Language - Spanish / English
K 90 % 10%
1st 80% 20%
2nd 70% 30%
3rd 60% 40%
4th 50% 50%
5th 50% 50%
  • Teaching for Transfer: Concepts mastered in one language transfer to the other language. Rather than repeating lessons, an emphasis is placed on vocabulary, skills transfer and language comprehension and production.

Dual Immersion Methodology – Key Points

*Comprehensible Input

Uses concrete contextual references

Links new vocabulary to previously learned information – prior knowledge

Provides activities that promote student interaction

*Negotiation of Meaning

Modifies teacher talk to promote understanding

Accelerates student communication by teaching functional “chunks”

Provides opportunities for students to use the target language through interactive activities

*Sheltered Content Instruction

Simplifies language input

Frequent reviews

Continuously checks for understanding

Integrates culture with content

*Thinking Skills

Asks questions, gives directions and generates activities to advance students through levels of thinking (recalling-evaluating)

Uses reciprocal interaction approach

*Error Correction

Practices sensitive error correction with focus on errors of meaning, rather than form

Accepts student responses in either language

Develops classroom activities to address recurring errors

Allows for flow of student talk without interruption

*Monolingual Delivery

Uses target language exclusively (except for emergencies)

Designs the classroom environment so that the room reflects immersion

 Models target language in a variety of settings (social, academic, etc.)

Invites student dialogue by maintaining a positive and open demeanor

*Curriculum: In our dual language classes, all subjects are taught based on the California Content Standards using the same state adopted materials that are used in the regular English-only classrooms. The teachers in our dual language classes are bilingual specialists and hold special authorizations in Bilingual Cross-Cultural Language and Academic Development (BCLAD).

*Assessment – Students are assessed in both languages as they make progress towards meeting the standards for the core curriculum. They take the same assessments as student in the regular, English-only classes. Dual students participate in the state mandated California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) System each spring. English Learners take the English Language Proficiency Assessments of California (ELPAC) until they reach fluency in English and are reclassified to Fluent English Proficient.

*Voluntary Program: Parents can choose this bilingual option based on California State Education Codes (300-340) as an enriched education program for their child. Parents sign up in the spring or upon enrollment in the district. Transitional Kindergarten students are eligible for dual at the end of their TK year. The parents and child are interviewed for school readiness, language proficiency, and parent commitment to the program. When there are more requests than spaces, selection is based on a lottery. We maintain an active waiting list. English speakers join in Kindergarten or 1st grade. Spanish speakers and bilingual students join at any grade based on their individual strengths and academic needs.

*Program Duration: 6 years – Kindergarten through 5th grade. Parents make a long-term commitment to the program for their child to become fully bilingual and bi-literate. There is a formal change of placement process as per Board Policy, for requests to leave the program prior to the end of 5th grade.


For bilingual students:

-Author Alma Flor Ada: http://www.almaada.com

-Songs from the famous “Cri-Cri”: http://www.cri-cri.net/mp3.html

-Scholastic: http://www.scholastic.com/kids/

-Bilingual Dictionary: http://www.spanishdict.com/

-Internet Public Library – multi-lingual: http://www.ipl.org/div/hello/

-Countries & Cultures Activities: http://www.dltk-kids.com/world/index.htm

-Fun Reading activities in Spanish (Reading Rockets): http://www.colorincolorado.org/familias

-Spanish Culture for the Spanish Speaking World: http://www.mundolatino.org/rinconcito/

Information on dual language immersion:

-California Department of Education http://www.cde.ca.gov/sp/el/ip/

-Center for Applied Linguistics http://www.cal.org/twi/

-National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition and Language Instruction Education http://www.ncela.gwu.edu/

-California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE)http://www.bilingualeducation.org/

-Two Way & Dual Language Education: http://atdle.org/

-Connecting language immersion communities http://duallanguageschools.org/


DuoLinguo https://www.duolingo.com/