Sunday, February 7, 2010


I made the last minute decision to go to Denver, Colorado to attend the National Association of Bilingual Education (NABE) conference. It was the greatest decision I have ever made so far in regards to a completed dissertation. The conference was filled with information that helped me get a better understanding of the bilingual education field. Not only that, I was able to meet the people who conducted major studies that I have been reading about. You're Dr. Gomez from Gomez and Gomez?

Apparently I have had the wrong understanding about bilingual education. "One-way" and "Two-way" refers to the population being educated. That is, in a "one-way" dual language program, all the students speak the same native language and are learning to become bilingual/biliterate. In a "two-way" dual language program, half the students speak one language, and the other half, a different language, and the goal is to become bilingual/biliterate in both those languages.

It has been shown, through research, that in the long haul, students in a two-way dual language program out perform students in a monolingual program.

Furthermore, I was aware of the 90:10 model and the 50:50 model, but had the wrong understanding about the 90:10 model. I thought that if the student's first language was English and they wanted to learn and become bilingual/biliterate in Japanese and English, then in the 90:10 model the student would have 90% Japanese and 10% English classes. However, the research shows that literacy knowledge and skills transfers from L1 to L2, and further stating that a strong understanding in their L1 will contribute to L2 success. Which means that in a 90:10 model, an English dominant student would start with 90% English and 10% Japanese!

There were approximately 1,600+ people in attendance, and I was surprised by the support people are willing to give. I introduced myself and said I was "new to the field" and they were more than happy to keep in touch and answer any questions that I may have regarding dual language education. Sweet!

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