What is Developmental Dual Language?


Green Central is implementing a program called Developmental Dual Language, one of four dual language approaches in MPS, along with Two-Way Dual Language Programs, Transitional Dual Language Programs, and Heritage and Culture programs. The program is also in place at Jefferson in grades K-2 and at Andersen United elementary school. A working document from MPS describes the goals of DDL:

“Developmental Dual Language Programs are informed by the principle that higher levels of proficiency (both oral and written) in a language are fueled by using the language for meaningful, challenging learning. As such, DDL programs strive to offer equal proportions of core academic coursework in English and in the Home Language.

“Goal: Full Bilingualism & Biliteracy. At the heart of DDL is the conviction that full proficiency in two languages is a valuable asset and a powerful resource for learning. Students with a Home Language Other Than English are in a uniquely privileged position to develop such full bilingualism. Thus, if at all possible, any program’s goal should be full bilingualism and biliteracy.”

The January 2012 Working Document, “ELL Programming Framework,” explains dual language programs in detail.  In the FAQ section, the document explains the shift to “dual language” terminology:

“1. Why has the Multilingual Department replaced the word “bilingual” with “dual language” in its program labels?
“This change in terminology is part of an effort to align with national trends. The profession as a whole appears to be shifting to the “dual language” usage. Among other reasons, this is to emphasize the idea that students with a Home Language Other Than English routinely use both languages as a resource in all learning situations.”

At a May 15 meeting with parents, MPS Superintendent Bernadeia Johnson said she’s been impressed with the DDL program model, but there were concerns that the program was rolled out too quickly at Green Central. Instead of beginning just with kindergarten, and adding a grade each year, she said, Green principal Catalina Salas initiated the program in grades K-3, before there was “buy-in” from the teachers, and before the school was equipped with the bilingual teachers capable of teaching in the format.

In its statement announcing a leave of absence for Salas, the district also said, “Based on lessons learned from this past year, student achievement data, teacher and parent information, some modifications will be made for the next school year (2013-2014).  The program will continue in kindergarten through third grade with one classroom per grade level.”


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• Latino parents at Green Central upset, fearful over changes in the school
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CORRECTION: Sorry – unable to attach the PDF document because of the file size. You can view it by clicking on the link:  January 2012 Working Document, “ELL Programming Framework.”

Oops – error in headline – should be Developmental Dual Language – corrected