Bilingual and Dual Language Education


Proficiency in more than one language is a valuable skill to be cultivated and nurtured in our schools and communities. Bilingual education is an umbrella term for many types of programs in which two languages are used for instruction.

Dual Language education is an effective approach to developing language proficiency and literacy in English and a partner language. Two-Way Immersion, one type of dual language education, integrates native English speakers and native speakers of another language for academic content instruction through both English and the partner language beginning in elementary schools.

Bilingual and Dual Language programs promote bilingualism and biliteracy, grade-level academic achievement and cross-cultural competence in all students. Students maintain their native language while adding another language, and they develop pride in their own culture while developing an understanding of others.


K-12 Biliteracy Pathways

CAL is working with the Oregon State Department of Education during the 2015-2016 and 2016-2017 school years to support K-12 Biliteracy Pathways project grant recipients in the development, implementation and evaluation of existing and new model two-way and one-way dual language programs.

Two-Way Immersion Outreach and Information Dissemination

The project supported CAL’s nationwide two-way immersion (TWI) outreach and public relations efforts, including the creation and updating of a two-way immersion website and directory, an email bulletin, and responding to questions from the public. 




Drawing on its decades of research in language education, CAL offers services to schools and districts that are planning or implementing bilingual, dual language, or two-way immersion (TWI) programs. All of our services are rooted in research-based tools and approaches, and are tailored to your needs. CAL offers professional development on the critical issues facing educators in dual language education settings. CAL can help develop or refine a dual language program by working with key stakeholders in a collaborative environment. Evaluation services can be tailored to your program’s needs with a wide range of evaluation approaches including quantitative, qualitative, or mixed methods. Contact CAL to discuss your interests. 

CAL Institutes: Professional Development Opportunities in Washington, DC Metro Area

CAL offers four institutes of special interest for educators interested in dual language education.

  • CAL SIOP for Dual Language Programs: Developing Academic Language & Content in Two Languages: This institute is designed to help participants develop and deliver CAL SIOP Model lessons in bilingual programs. No prior knowledge of the SIOP Model is required for participation.
  • Foundations of Dual Language Instruction: This institute introduces practitioners to the research base for effective dual language instruction with a focus on practical applications for classroom use. Strategies and hands-on activities will be shared that promote student interaction to build receptive and productive language skills in two languages while building content knowledge in order to develop bilingualism, biliteracy, and multicultural competence.
  • Leading Dual Language Programs for Student Success: A CAL Leadership Institute: This institute is designed to help educators strengthen their leadership by gaining a solid understanding of the benefits of dual language education and learning how they can develop an effective dual language program that promotes student success on their campus.
  • Spanish Literacy Institute: Each two-day Spanish Literacy institute is designed to provide participants with effective methodologies for teaching academic language and literacy in Spanish to students in a wide variety of K-8 educational setting where Spanish is the language of instruction. Classroom practices are framed by an understanding of Spanish language arts standards and linguistic features in Spanish.

Learn more about these institutes and view our full calendar.

News & Events

The Guiding Principles and the Critical Third Pillar: Sociocultural Competence

The Guiding Principles and the Critical Third Pillar: Sociocultural Competence

February 9, 2021

Did you know that the earlier editions of the Guiding Principles referred to the third pillar as “cross-cultural understanding” rather than “sociocultural competence?” The change in terms in the 3rd edition was deliberate. It reflects a shift in thinking in two important ways:  first, “cross-cultural understanding” infers that developing cultural competence is viable only in two-way programs attended by fairly equal numbers of English home-language students and “partner” home-language students and, secondly, that cultural competence may be limited to positive attitudes and feelings of self-esteem.

Sociocultural Competence in Language Programs: Lessons from Dual Language

▸What does the term “sociocultural competence” mean in the context of dual language, world language, and ESL?▸How is sociocultural competence included in the  Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education (Howard, et. al.,2018)?▸What is the relevance for other language programs?