Resources for teachers

Lehrerin und Kinder 737x320 Photo:


This section provides German language arts and other subject area teachers with resources to learn the principles and tenets of dual language education, map a multi-year dual language curriculum backed by quality standards, and plan lessons on a variety of topics. Whether you are already teaching in a dual language immersion program or just starting out - our goal is to provide you with access to high quality information and instructional materials, connect you to colleagues, and open up a rich and growing world of bilingual educational in the U.S. and in Europe.

Fabrice Jaumont, a well known expert in the field of dual language education, outlines the current situation and trends in American bilingual education.
Landscape of dual language educatoin in the U.S.
The educational community has used a variety of terms over the years to refer to schooling in two languages. Among them, dual language education and dual language immersion are used interchangeably as umbrella terms over other terms such as bilingual immersion, bilingual enrichment, developmental bilingual and heritage language immersion.  For the purposes of this project, we will use dual language immersion as the overarching term to emphasize that students are being schooled in two languages in an immersive setting.

The Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) defines dual language immersion, or dual language education, in the following way: “In dual language education programs, students are taught literacy and academic content in English and a partner language. The goals of dual language are for students to develop high levels of language proficiency and literacy in both program languages, to demonstrate high levels of academic achievement, and to develop an appreciation for and an understanding of diverse cultures.“

The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) offers the following core characteristics  of dual language immersion:
  • Additive bilingualism with sustained instruction through the majority language (English) and the minority language (e.g. German)
  • Subject area instruction through the minority language occurs for at least 50% of the school day during the elementary school years
  • Teachers are fully proficient in the language(s) they use for instruction
  • Support for the majority language  is strong and present in the community at large
  • Clear and sustained separation of languages during instructional timeIn the U.S., we distinguish between two types of dual language immersion programs, one-way and two-way. The distinction is based on the differences in the student populations each program type predominantly serves.
One-way dual language immersion (also referred to as foreign language immersion): This type of program predominantly supports one “language group” of students (e.g. native English speakers) to become bilingual, biliterate and bicultural in an additional language, e.g. Chinese, French, German, Russian or Spanish. However, students whose home language is a language other than English also populate one-way programs. The home language might match the partner language, or it might be different from it, for example a student with Arabic language background might participate in an English/German dual language immersion program.

Two-way dual language immersion: Two-way dual language immersion programs serve two language groups together in the same classroom, one group that is English-speaking and another that uses a language other than English as its dominant home language. “Two-way” signals that these two language groups, English and for example German, move simultaneously towards each other’s languages. To serve both language groups equally well, either group should make up no less than one third of the classroom.

Other terms that may be used for two-way dual language immersion include bilingual immersion, bilingual enrichment, and developmental bilingual. However, bilingual enrichment is often used for programs with less than 50% of the school day taught in the partner language. Also, we typically refer to programs as developmental bilingual if they are mostly populated by English learners rather than two equally represented language groups.
The structure of one-way and two-way dual language immersion programs varies, but they all provide at least 50% of instruction in the partner language at all grade levels beginning in pre-K, Kindergarten, or first grade and running at least five years, through grade 5 but preferably through Grade 12.

Further terms and their definitions can be found on the pages of Two-Way Immersion Outreach Project by Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL).
What are the typical curricular models for dual language programs? How much instructional time is devoted to each language? What subject areas are taught in which language? Find out how different models can fit your context and how one state is answering those questions across multiple programs.
Dual language program models
Are you interested in learing more about bilingualism, its benefits for individuals and society, the current state of bilingual education in the U.S., or the practical aspects of raising multilingual children? We have compiled an annotated bibliogrpahy that addresses these and other topics in the field of second language learning, teaching, and policy making.

Sample Teaching and curriculum planning Materials

Do you find the task of creating your own teaching materials daunting? Don't worry: many high quality materials in a variety of content areas already exist for German dual language instruction! On these pages we present to you what has been already tested out in the classroom by other teachers and provide you with links to websites where you can find more free materials to download.

STEM–Content Learning in German

Teaching science, technology, engineering and math through the medium of German: materials, projects, information, tips

Children learn German

Principles and guidelines for teaching German in Kindergarten and elementary school; videos, games and other didacticized materials for the classroom

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA)

Immersion education resources: Publications, bibliographies, research projects and findings, professional development for teachers

Early language learning

Parameters, conditions, and quality standards for early language learning by children between 4 and 10 years old
Nuremberg suggestions for early childhood language learning
Quality standards for kindergarten and preschool