Common questions:

What is a TWI (TWI) and is the same as bilingual education?

 Bilingual education can take many forms. It can mean any use of two languages in school, and not all bilingual education programs are aimed at students attain mastery of both languages. In education programs in two languages, students are taught academic courses in English and a partner language. The TWI is a form of education in two languages that seeks a balance between the number of native English speakers, bilingual and native language speakers partner, so that all groups serve as students and as role models.

 What are the advantages for my child in a TWI program?

Firstly, children reach high levels of language proficiency and literacy in both languages. Second, children show high levels of academic achievement compared to other children of the same language in traditional programs. Finally, students in TWI programs show positive cross – cultural attitudes, and have a greater sense of tranquility between different groups of people. Recent research has noticed many cognitive benefits of bilingualism in general, including greater mental flexibility, planning, problem solving, and memory. Finally, people who are bilingual have access to a greater number of opportunities for national and international use .

What are the differences between a program and a program 50:50 90:10? Are there advantages of one over the other?

In a program 50:50, each tongue half the time is used in all grades. 90:10 In the model of instruction is implemented in Spanish 90% of the time in kindergarten and first grade, decreasing to 50% in each grade reaching fifth and sixth. Research has shown that for both linguistic groups, the model results 90:10 greatest achievement in Spanish, while having no negative effect on performance in English.

 When I reached my child at grade level in both languages?

English : native English speakers generally children reach grade level as they begin to teach language and literature in that language; while native Spanish speakers tend to reach grade level in English for middle school. It is important to compare the performance of native speakers in English in the TWI and traditional programs. In programs only English, many children of this language group seem to reach grade level in English from the beginning, but after about 3rd grade, performance falls and continues to decline until high school when tend to perform below average in reading tests in English. In other words, bilingual programs to preserve the native language of a child, as Go ahead, give the child the greatest opportunity for achieving grade – level skills or better in English in high school and beyond.

Spanish: native English speakers to reach grade level performance usually by third or fourth grade; native speakers of Spanish to reach grade level around 2nd grade.

 Is education immersion can adversely affect my child academic performance in other subjects such as science and mathematics?

Research has consistently found that the two linguistic groups show academic performance equal or superior to that of students of the same language that have not gone through immersion programs levels .

How I can help my son with his homework in a language I do not speak?

First, understand that teachers of TWI programs understand that most parents will not understand one language or another. Teachers do not expect children to be initially capases to understand everything in their second language as well as their first language.

• Make sure the child has adequate space and to complete tasks, and provide your child with books in their second language tools.

• Identify bilingual parents in your child’s classroom and talk to these parents when your child’s teacher is not available. • Read to your child in your mother tongue.

• Listen enthusiastically when your child / to read to you in his / her second language, even if you do not understand.

• Be at school volunteer, either during or after school hours. Research shows that when parents are involved in school activities, the general behavior of children in school improvement, increased academic performance, the performance gains are maintained, and performance improves significantly the language.

• Be supportive and enthusiastic. Research shows that children whose parents have positive attitudes towards the language partner have greater success in immersion programs.

• Praise, rather than correct, attempts to your son / daughter to communicate in their second language.

 My son is not to be confused with exposure to two languages?

There is no evidence that children are confused. Studies of bilingual children show that even at a young age, children are able to cope with monolingual in your language. «Code mixing» or the use of alternate languages is normal behavior in bilinguals. It is not considered as evidence of confusion, but shows that the child / a is making full use of its linguistic resources.

 What do I do when my child mixes the two languages?

Children should receive positive feedback in all communication attempts. As the child’s competence in each language grows, he / she will have more complete access to all the vocabulary and syntax to communicate entirely in one language or another. If possible, it is best that you do not mix languages in order to create a model of the structure of consistent language for your child.


1) The Astounding Effectiveness of Dual Language Education for All
Virginia P. Collier and Wayne P. Thomas, George Mason University, NABE Journal of Research and Practice, 2: 1 Winter 2004

2) Center for Applied Linguistics Two-Way Immersion Toolkit

3) The Rich Promise of Two-Way Immersion, J. Kathryn Lindholm-Leary, Educational Leadership, December 2004-January 2005

4) Top Ten Answers for Parents About Immersion Education, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition, Newsletter, May 2007, Vol. 10, No. 3 .html

5) What the Research Says About Immersion, Tara Williams Fortune, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition. Http://