Realizing the Vision of Two-Way Immersion: Fostering Effective Programs and Classrooms

Elizabeth R. Howard and Julie Sugarman

Published by Center for Applied Linguistics and Delta Publishing Company


Two-way immersion programs are a distinctive form of dual language education in which native English speakers and speakers of another language (usually Spanish) are integrated for academic content instruction through both English and the partner language. The goals of such programs include the development of bilingualism, biliteracy, and cross-cultural competence in addition to grade-level performance, and a growing body of research indicates that the model is successful in helping students to attain these goals. At the same time, however, the extent to which students achieve these outcomes varies across schools, with many TWI practitioners unsure about the approaches that are likely to yield the best outcomes.

Drawing on a decade of research, this book explores the question of effectiveness in two-way immersion by examining the development of bilingualism and biliteracy in elementary TWI students. Specifically, the authors highlight the importance of fostering cultures of intellectualism, equity, and leadership in order to promote bilingualism and biliteracy among two-way immersion students. These cultures are cultivated by promoting higher order thinking, demonstrating a commitment to ongoing learning, valuing the partner language and cultures, and encouraging initiative and leadership. Through case studies of four exemplary TWI programs, they provide evidence of how these three cultures function as organizing principles for program and classroom practices adopted by effective two-way immersion programs. 2007

Realizing the Vision is an important resource for

  • Teachers and other instructional staff in TWI programs who want to reflect on their practice
  • District and school administrators who oversee TWI programs
  • Researchers interested in the language and literacy outcomes of students in TWI programs
  • Anyone who wants to know more about effective TWI education

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