Key Facts about Bilingual Education

Bilingual education teaches English to children and gives them a chance to use it, and at the same time they are taught core subjects like math and science. Volumes of research confirm that effective bilingual education deepens comprehension for English language learners and proficiency in English. It also results in above average or exemplary student performance on state-mandated exams.

The better developed the children’s use of their home language is, the more successful they will be as students of English. Validating the home language supports children’s learning and interaction with their parents and grandparents, and reinforces a positive self-concept, both for the children and the family.

IDRA rigorously and methodically studied exemplary bilingual education programs in schools across the nation as determined by limited English proficient students’ academic achievement. As a result, we identified the 25 common characteristics that contribute to high academic performance of students served by bilingual education programs. See Good Schools and Classrooms for Children Learning English, that highlights some of the practices in schools that enable students to grow academically and socially in their native language as well as English.