Dual Language in Action at Selma Elementary

  • Why Dual Language?

    Students who participate in dual language  (DL) receive instruction in two languages to become bilingual, bi-literate and develop the cultural competency to succeed in a global society. 

    Being bilingual brings a number of well documented cognitive, academic and employment benefits. Research shows people who are bilingual demonstrate greater cognitive flexibility, increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem solving skills as well as enhanced understanding of their primary language. (Lindholm-Leary 2001)

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    Here are a few more benefits of being bilingual and bi-literate:

    • Enhanced levels of metalinguistic awareness (i.e., knowledge of how language works) which has proven to be important to reading acquisition.

    • Improved performance versus monolingual students on tasks that call for divergent thinking, pattern recognition, and problem-solving.

    • Additional knowledge and understanding of one’s native language.

    • Greater understanding, tolerance, appreciation and respect for other languages and cultures.

    • Ability to communicate with other ethnic and cultural groups.

    • Ability to take advantage of opportunities that are available only in other languages.

    • Enhanced employment opportunities once school is completed.


    Even though DL students spend half their academic day in Spanish and in English, they tend to outperform their non-dual peers on academic achievement tests in English (Turnbull, Hart &Lapkin 2000).

    In the 21st century being able to conduct business or professional discussions in more than one language is essential. Many local and global employers need a multilingual workforce to remain competitive.



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