Encendemos la chispa de la grandeza—We Spark Greatness

Encendemos la chispa de la grandeza—We Spark Greatness


Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education

Irish Elementary School


Principle 1: The program creates and maintains an infrastructure that supports an accountability process.


The program has developed a data management system for tracking student data over time.

Assessment and accountability action plans are developed and integrated into program and curriculum

planning and professional development.

Personnel are assigned to assessment and accountability activities.

Staff are provided ongoing professional development

opportunities in assessment and accountability.

The program has an adequate budget for assessment and accountability.


Principle 2: Student assessment is aligned with state content and language standards, as well as with program goals, and is used for evaluation of the program and instruction.


The program engages in ongoing evaluation.

Student assessment is aligned with classroom and program goals as well as with state standards.

Assessment data are integrated into planning related to program development.

Assessment data are integrated into planning related to program development.

Assessment data are integrated into planning related to instructional practices and curriculum.


Principle 3: The program collects a variety of data, using multiple measures that are used for program accountability and evaluation.


The program systematically collects data to determine whether academic, linguistic, and cultural goals are met.

The program systematically collects demographic data (ethnicity, home language, time in the United States,

types of programs student has attended, mobility, etc.) from program participants.

Assessment is consistently conducted in the two languages of the program.


Principle 4: Data are analyzed and interpreted in methodologically appropriate ways for program accountability and improvement.


Data are purposefully collected and subject to methodologically appropriate analysis.

Achievement data are disaggregated by student and program variables (native language, grade level, student background, program, etc.).


Principle 5: Student progress toward program goals and NCLB achievement objectives is systematically measured and reported.


Progress is documented in both program languages for oral proficiency, literacy, and academic achievement.

Student progress is measured on a variety of indicators.

Progress can be documented for all students through indicators such as retention rates and placement in special education and gifted/talented classes.


Principle 6: The program communicates with appropriate stakeholders about program outcomes.


Data are communicated publicly in transparent ways that prevent misinterpretations.

Data are communicated to stakeholders.

Data are used to educate and mobilize supporters.




Principle 1: The curriculum is standards-based and promotes the development of bilingual, biliterate, and multicultural competencies for all students.


The curriculum meets or exceeds district and state content standards regardless of the language of instruction.

The curriculum includes standards for first and second language development for all students.

The curriculum promotes equal status of both languages.

The curriculum is sensitive to the cultural and linguistic backgrounds of all students.


Principle 2: The program has a process for developing and revising a high quality curriculum.


There is a curriculum development and implementation plan that is connected to state and local standards.

The curriculum is based on general education research and research on language learners.

The curriculum is adaptable.


Principle 3: The curriculum is fully articulated for all students.


The curriculum builds on linguistic skills learned in each language to promote bilingualism.

Instruction in one language builds on concepts learned in the other language.

The curriculum is coordinated within and across grade levels.

The curriculum is coordinated with support services such as English as a second language, Spanish as a second language,special education, and Title I.



Principle 1: Instructional methods are derived from research-based principles of dual language education and from research on the development of bilingualism and biliteracy in children.


Explicit language arts instruction is provided in both program languages.

Academic content instruction is provided in both program languages.

The program design and curriculum are faithfully implemented in the classroom.

Instruction incorporates appropriate separation of languages according to program design.

Teachers use a variety of strategies to ensure student comprehension.

Instruction promotes metalinguistic awareness and metacognitive skills.


Principle 2: Instructional strategies enhance the development of bilingualism, biliteracy, and academic achievement.


Teachers integrate language and content instruction.

Teachers use sheltered instruction strategies, such as building on prior knowledge and using routines and structures, to facilitate comprehension and promote second language development.

Instruction is geared toward the needs of both native speakers and second language learners when they are integrated for instruction.

Instructional staff incorporates technology such as multimedia presentations and the Internet into their instruction.

Support staff and specials teachers coordinate their instruction with the dual language model and approaches.


Principle 3: Instruction is student-centered.


Teachers use active learning strategies such as thematic instruction, cooperative learning, and learning centers in order to meet the needs of diverse learners.

Teachers create opportunities for meaningful language use.

Student grouping maximizes opportunities for students to benefit from peer models.

Instructional strategies build independence and ownership of the learning process.


Principle 4: Teachers create a multilingual and multicultural learning environment.


There is cultural and linguistic equity in the classroom.

Instruction takes language varieties into consideration.

Instructional materials in both languages reflect the student population in the program and encourage cross-cultural





Principle 1: The program recruits and retains high quality dual language staff.


A recruiting plan exists.

Selection of new instructional, administrative, and

support staff takes into consideration credentials and

language proficiency.

Staff members receive support.

Retaining quality staff is a priority.

Staff evaluations are performed by personnel who are

familiar with dual language education.


Principle 2: The program has a quality professional development plan.


A long-term professional development plan exists that is inclusive, focused, and intensive.

Action plans for professional development are needs based, and individual staff plans are aligned with the program plan.

Professional development is aligned with competenciesneeded to meet dual language program standards.

All staff are developed as advocates for dual language programs.


Principle 3: The program provides adequate resource support for professional development.


Professional development is supported financially.

Time is allocated for professional development.

There are adequate human resources designated for professional development.


Principle 4: The program collaborates with other groups and institutions to ensure staff quality.

The program collaborates with teacher and staff training programs at local universities.

Program staff partner with professional organizations.

Program staff engage in networking with staff from other programs.




Principle 1: All aspects of the program work together to achieve the goals of additive bilingualism, biliteracy and cross-cultural competence while meeting grade-level academic expectations.


There is a coordinated plan for promoting bilingualism and biliteracy.

There is a coordinated plan for promoting cross-cultural competence.


Principle 2: The program ensures equity for all groups.


All students and staff have appropriate access to resources.

The program promotes linguistic equity.

The program promotes cultural equity.

The program promotes additive bilingualism.

Whether the dual language program is a whole-school program or a strand within a school, signs and daily routines (e.g., announcements) reflect bilingualism and multiculturalism.


Principle 3: The program has strong, effective, and knowledgeable leadership.


The program has leadership.

Day-to-day decision making is aligned to the overall program vision and mission, and includes communication with stakeholders.

Leaders are advocates for the program.

Principle 4: The program has used a well-defined, inclusive, and defensible process to select and refine a model design.


Sufficient time, resources, and research were devoted to the planning process.

The planning process included all stakeholders (teachers, administrators, parents, community members).

The program meets the needs of the population.

The program design is aligned with program philosophy, vision, and goals.


Principle 5: An effective process exists for continual program planning, implementation, and evaluation.


The program is adaptable.

The program is articulated within and across grades.




Principle 1: The program has a responsive infrastructure for positive, active, and ongoing relations with students’ families and the community.


There is a staff member designated as liaison with families and communities associated with the program.

Office staff members have bilingual proficiency and cross-cultural awareness.

Staff development topics include working equitably with families and the community.


Principle 2: The program has parent education and support services that are reflective of the bilingual and multicultural goals of the program.


The program incorporates ongoing parent education that is designed to help parents understand, support, and advocate for the program.

The program meets parents’ needs in supporting their children’s education and living in the community.

Activities are designed to bring parents together to promote cross-cultural awareness.

Communication with parents and the community is in the appropriate language.

The program allows for many different levels of participation, comfort, and talents of parents.


Principle 3: The program views and involves parents and community members as strategic partners.


The program establishes an advisory structure for input from parents and community members.

The program takes advantage of community language resources.




Principle 1: The program is supported by all program and school staff.


Administrators are knowledgeable about and supportive of the program and provide leadership for the program.

Teachers and staff are knowledgeable about and supportive of the program and provide leadership for the program.


Principle 2: The program is supported by families and the community.


The program communicates with families and the community.

Families and community members are knowledgeable about and supportive of the program and provide leadership and advocacy for the program.


Principle 3: The program is adequately funded.


Funding allocations match the goals and objectives of the program.

Funding provides sufficient staff, equipment, and materials to meet program goals and objectives.