Language First

a transformational approach for teachers in dual language immersion classrooms

Language First is a systematic approach to instruction in dual language immersion classrooms that prioritizes minority language development to increase bilingual proficiency and to promote greater access to academic content in both languages of instruction.

Addalingua has been helping dual language immersion programs in schools across the country practice Language First for over a decade.

How is Language First different from other approaches?

early years

the “monitor”
model

thought: focus on content because the belief was that students would automatically acquire the language

result: L2 is grammatically inaccurate/stunted

recent years

counterbalanced instruction

thought: balance content instruction with language targets and let content determine them

result: potential for L2 improvement but  teachers find it difficult to identify language targets when planning content lessons

new paradigm

Language First
approach

thought: start with a structural syllabus that outlines language targets and infuse them through content instruction; establish a classroom culture that honors the minority language

result: L2 improvements; clear plan for teachers

Why is it necessary to PRIORITIZE minority language development?

Research demonstrates that for dual language immersion students in the United States, spending more time in the minority language does not adversely impact English language development.

Research demonstrates that students often prefer English given their perception of its value. It is the language of high  stakes tests associated with financial reward and opportunity.

Research demonstrates that English learners have the lowest high school graduation rates of all student groups, including “students with disabilities.”

Get started with Language First.

Two ways to take your immersion
program to the next level:

Professional
Learning

for dual language immersion educators of ANY language

  • Built around Language First standards and proven models of instruction
  • Grounded in years of expert research
  • Informed by hundreds of educators who have completed the training
  • Applied in thousands of DLI classrooms across the country

Spanish Language Frameworks

PreK-8 language targets
based on spiraling Spanish language scope & sequence

Weekly language targets with supporting mini-lessons, mentor texts, student tools, instructional cycle, and planning guide to make counterbalanced instruction live in Spanish dual language immersion classrooms.  Learn More.

Who is addalingua?

Our goal is to inspire global empathy through dual language immersion education.

Done well, these programs have the power to change not only students’ lives, but entire communities. Toward this goal, addalingua provides professional learning and powerful instructional resources to help build or super-charge any dual language immersion program.

Learn more about addalingua.

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