Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Michael Millar

Second Advisor

James Coston

Third Advisor

Terry Gay


According to the 2010 U.S. Census, “of the 281 million people aged 5 and over in the United States, 55.4 million people (20 percent of this population) speak a language other than English at home” (Center for Applied Linguistics). As this number of English language learners, also known as ELLs, continues to grow, families and educators alike are looking for effective programs and instructional strategies to serve these children and adults (CAL). “Dual-language education” is an umbrella term used for an additive form of education in which students are taught literacy and other content (reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies) in two languages. These programs use the partner language, a language other than English, for a minimum of 50% of the day. There are four main types of dual-language programs. This thesis focuses on one of those types, two-way dual-language immersion programs with an emphasis on native English and native Spanish speaking learners. Additionally, benefits and positive outcomes, for both native Spanish and native English speakers, are mentioned. Testing data taken from students enrolled in two-way dual-language programs is provided as evidence for the academic knowledge gained during these programs. Students enrolled in these programs test at or above grade level.

The limited focus of this thesis is due to my current Intern teaching placement at El Sol Elementary in Kalamazoo, MI. El Sol is a two-way dual-language school that fosters both native English and native Spanish speaking students. The research presented on two-way dual-language programs reflects my current experiences and observations at El Sol as well as extensive investigation of published materials in the field. The thesis will inform readers of what dual-language programs are in general, specifically examining two-way dual-language immersion, including the benefits and drawbacks or hesitations of these programs.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access