They favored instead some form of “English immersion.” Educators and policy makers continue to wage bitter debates on the issue, with each of the opposing camps claiming that research studies support its position.
Some experts say the debate should focus instead on providing more resources, including more and better-trained teachers.
Introduction Two-way bilingual immersion (TWBI) programs integrate native English speakers and native speakers of a different language for academic instruction through both languages.
Unlike ESL where only language minority students are learning the dominant language, the programs designed by this model are options that benefit both language minority and language majority students.
Two-way bilingual immersion education has great potential to promote skills that students will need for the changing global job market and to help eradicate the achievement gap between native English-speaking and English language-learning students (Lindholm-Leary, 56).
The major goals of TWBI programs are for students to develop high levels of oral language skills and literacy both English and the non-English language, attain academic achievement at or above grade level as measured in both languages, hold positive attitudes toward school and themselves, and exhibit knowledge about positive attitudes toward other cultures (Lindholm-Leary, 57).
For example, programs with a first come, first served policy does not guarantee this balance because it may enroll more language majority than language minority students or vice versa. Some may consider language background and proficiency while others may screen students for other characteristics like learning disabilities.
Many of these programs set an upper limit and prevent newcomers from joining the program at upper level grades.
Neighborhood based programs and magnet schools attract specifics groups of students.
While neighborhood based programs only enroll students from the local neighborhood, magnet schools enroll students throughout the district.