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ERIC Number: EJ1061018
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1523-1615
Dual Language as a Social Movement: Putting Languages on a Level Playing Field
Cortina, Regina; Makar, Carmina; Mount-Cors, Mary Faith
Current Issues in Comparative Education, v17 n1 p5-16 2015
As a social movement, dual language challenges and co-exists alongside traditional English-only classrooms in the US. Using Manuel Pastor's social movements framework, we demonstrate how dual language provides teaching methods and languages of instruction that allow varying student populations to excel in learning the official curriculum. In this way, dual language addresses inequities in access to education and quality of instruction as addressed in the Civil Rights Movement in the U.S. and international agreements about the rights of children to learn in a language they understand. The U.S. dual language movement seeks to level the playing field for students and is sought by a range of schools, school systems, and states to meet the needs of increasingly diverse learners from a range of language and socioeconomic groups. In this paper, we address the quest of school leaders and parents to achieve successful academic results for Latino students through dual language programs. Drawing from a qualitative study of seven dual language programs in schools in two school districts, this article aims to explain how educators adapt dual language models to the needs of their changing communities. The schools' leadership led a process of academic innovations as they reshaped and improved the design of programs to serve their students. All the schools confirmed that they encountered difficulty in maintaining a 50-50 dual language model, but they also reported having to engage in continuous renewal and improvement in order to serve the needs of their communities. The article highlights the crucial role of the community in support of dual language learning and describes the empowerment networks of community actors that take part in education decision-making--which include parents, community education councils, and the schools' leadership. Through this research, we find Dual language programs, when combined with the rest of the schools' programs or when implemented across the school, to be one of the most innovative and effective forms of education programming.
Teachers College, Columbia University. International and Transcultural Studies, P.O. Box 211, 525 West 120th Street, New York, NY 10027. e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A