Instructional Strategies and Engaging Pedagogies

3 Educating Bilingual learners in School

DEFINING BILINGUAL EDUCATION Introduction Philosophy of Bilingual Education The Models of Bilingual Education Advantages of Bilingual Education Challenges of Bilingual Education The Bilingual Brain BILINGUAL EDUCATION IN SCHOOL CONTEXT Promoting Bilingual Education Effective Implementation of Bilingual Programs Students’ Age and its Effect on Becoming Bilingual Bilingual Education at Different Levels of School Elementary School Level Secondary School Level High School Level STRATEGIES AND METHODS OF TEACHING BILINGUAL STUDENTS IN SCHOOL Strategically Group works Maintaining a Positive Relationship Between Students Establishing Clear Guidelines on When to Utilize Each Language Permitting Students to Translanguaging Supporting the Home Language of Emergent Bilingual children Controlling cadence and utilizing wait time Adopting Culturally Responsive Teaching Methods Teacher Preparation Trained Teachers Parents’ Training and Involvement Classroom as Culturally Responsive Reading Instructions Writing Instruction Summary Review Questions Key Terms Infographic presentation Podcast Badge References

Masoona Noori and Mahroosa Noori

Learning Objectives

Considering the importance of the content, the reader of this chapter will achieve the following:


    • The definition, philosophy, and aims of Bilingual Education
    • The Strong and weak Forms of bilingual education
    • The schools’ responsibility in starting bilingual education
    • Implementation of bilingual education in schools
    • Variety of strategies and methods of teaching bilingual students in school

Table of contents

Defining Bilingual Education

  • Introduction
  • Philosophy of Bilingual Education
  • The Models of Bilingual Education
  • Advantages of Bilingual Education
  • Challenges of Bilingual Education
  • The Bilingual Brain

Bilingual Education in School context

  • Promoting Bilingual Education
  • Effective Implementation of Bilingual Programs
  • Students’ Age and its Effect on Becoming Bilingual
  • Bilingual Education at Different Levels of School
  • Elementary School Level
  • Secondary School Level
  • High School Level

Strategies and Methods of Teaching Bilingual Students in School

  • Strategically Group works
  • Maintaining a Positive Relationship Between Students
  • Establishing Clear Guidelines on When to Utilize Each Language
  • Permitting Students to Translanguaging
  • Supporting the Home Language of Emergent Bilingual children
  • Controlling cadence and utilizing wait time
  • Adopting Culturally Responsive Teaching Methods
  • Teacher Preparation
  • Trained Teachers
  • Parents’ Training and Involvement
  • Classroom as Culturally Responsive
  • Reading Instructions
  • Writing Instruction
  • Summary
  • Review Questions
  • Key Terms
  • Infographic
  • presentation
  • Podcast
  • Badge
  • References



Varying people have different levels of fluency in speaking two languages.  The meaning of bilingual is ambiguous, it refers to the process students are instructed with the language of the majority. The capacity to speak two or more languages is known as bilingualism. When it comes to the term education, the employment of two separate languages in classroom instruction is known as bilingual education, students in this education are exposed to two or more languages. The context of bilingual education is numerous in today’s globally connected society, and various definitions and research are related to bilingual education and learners. García in 2011 highlighted that the concept of “bilingual education” is occasionally used to describe the education of students who are already proficient in two languages as well as other times to define the education of individuals who are having to learn additional languages, according to one of the most knowledgeable scholars in the field of bilingual education. The goal of this educational program is to assist students to become professional language learners.

According to (Malarz, Bilingual, n.d), the four areas of cognitive development, cultural enrichment, affective development, and language development, and can be used to group the objectives of bilingual education. Concerning this issue, it’s obvious that bilingual learners are blooming their minds in the path of two languages. It’s clear from the evidence speaking more than one language confuses the learner, but according to research from the 20th century, bilingual students are also smarter, have more developed cognitive skills, and are better at processing information from their environment, making them more likely to be good learners than monolinguals (Bartolottie & Marian, 2012; Bhattacharjee, 2012; Baker & Wright, 2017). many types of research are shown the effectiveness of bilinguals in the area of education. the effectiveness of bilingual education in mainstream classes at secondary and postsecondary institutions has been disputed for several decades from several perspectives, including language acquisition, teaching/learning, cultural awareness, identity, and learner attitudes (Archila, et all. 2017).

Bilingual education has always been a contentious educational issue. We can find bilingual learners at all levels of education starting from elementary up to the high education level. at this journey students maintain several experiences and make a different academic background in the school. About their experience, Cummins (1981) mentioned that students who acquire other languages will benefit cognitively. ScienceDirect in 2010 highlighted schools that offer numerous possibilities for students to develop high levels of linguistic ability through studying two or more languages support bilingual learning.

Additionally, educating bilingual learners needs academic content. learners need experimental instructors, strategies, and methodologies to acquire basic learning skills for bilingual learners. the implementation of bilingual programs in schools presents a number of challenges, primarily in two areas: first, teacher preparation is almost entirely focused on linguistic empowerment (nonspecialists), obviating the need for the didactic and methodological skills required to carry out successfully. On the other hand, the monitoring and assessing these initiatives were hindered by the lack of reliable indicators to rate the effectiveness of activities, particularly those connected to teaching methods (Olivers, 2014). Also, in this education, several programs and models are employed.

In this paper, we are going to explore the different ways to educate students by referring to the strategies, impact, aim, and philosophy, of educating at all levels of school. In the first section of this paper, we aim to define and review bilingual education its advantages, and students’ challenges during learning. Besides students’ backgrounds and contexts as bilingual learners would be explored. Even if there are numerous ways being developed in place of traditional teaching methods for learners, bilingual education still confronts many difficulties due to its historical process. there are many strategies for raising kids’ success levels and helping them strengthen their connection to their language. For the most, this study attempts to demonstrate that a variety is available when using context and individual variations as the cornerstones of bilingual education.


Defining Bilingual Education

Philosophy and Aims of Bilingual Education

We change along with the world. People have been moving to the new global society where there are no longer any borders between different nationalities for the past 50 years. How has it affected us, our knowledge, and our education without a doubt? This is what gave rise to bilingual education, a new and important approach in pedagogy. It enables modern people to meet evolving societal demands. (Sulik, 2020)

Andersson and Boyer were the ones who first proposed the classic definition of bilingual education: “Bilingual education is an instruction in two languages [emphasis in original] and the use of those two languages as mediums of instruction for any part or all of the school curriculum.” (May, 2017) According to Sulik, (2020) the term bilingual education describes the teaching of academic material in two languages, a student’s native language, and a second language. The use of two languages as a medium of instruction for a student or a group of students during some or all of the school day is known as bilingual education. Kaptain, (2007) also claims that bilingual programs can take different forms, but the term always refers to the delivery of instruction in two languages. Depending on how long each language is taught, the distribution of the languages may alter. In the names of particular bilingual program models, also defined as dual language programs, the balance between the first language as well as the second language (L1 and L2), the longevity of the program, the demographic, or even the program objectives are all indicated.

Many commentators addressed an additional key point in defining the term bilingual education relates to the constituency of pupils each program serves, along with the educational goals and philosophy relevant to any particular program. The dichotomies between “elective bilinguals” and “circumstantial bilinguals” and between “additive bilingualism” and “subtractive bilingualism” have been most frequently used to describe these in the literature on bilingual education. Those who wish to acquire a second language typically do it in order to progress socially and academically. The setting of such acquisition is frequently referred to as additive bilingualism since the process of acquiring a second language is perceived as having positive social, cognitive, and educational benefits by both the learners and the larger community. (May, 2017)

Furthermore, bilingual education follows a cluster of educational goals in order to seek both assimilationist and pluralistic national goals. One of the primary educational goals of using a minority language in bilingual education is to promote fluency in the majority language (through the sharing of knowledge and skills, enhanced emotional support, and so on.) Because of this, when assessing the aims of the program type, we must consider the fact that both groups and individuals those who speak the majority language and those who speak a minority language will contribute to the discussion. (Roberts, 1995)


The Models of Bilingual Education

There are several program models that different institutions apply for bilingual education. The transitional, maintenance and enrichment models are the three fundamental models that are recognized in the literature on bilingualism. Each of these models defines a different program objective concerning the concept of education, relationships between speakers of the majority language and the minority language, as well as the order in which the languages are taught in the curriculum. (Hurajová, 2015).

Transitional Model: When the aim is to shift a student from the native, minority language to the dominant, majority language with the result of social and cultural assimilation, this type of bilingual education is defined as transitional bilingual education.

Maintenance Model: Another goal may be to help children learn their minority language, which would increase their sense of cultural identification. For example, heritage language programs might help keep alive endangered languages. This form of bilingual education is known as maintenance bilingual education.

Enrichment Model: The maintenance model of bilingual education shares variety traits with the enrichment model, but it goes a step beyond by focusing on keeping the first language and expanding and improving it. This results in linguistic diversity and cultural plurality.


Advantages of Bilingual Education

Several research has indicated that bilingual programs offer several pedagogical advantages (Benson, 2002). Before going to the advantages of bilingual education, it is necessary to understand the pros of bilingualism which is directly connected with the terms of bilingual education. One advantage of being multilingual or bilingual is exposure to two or more different cultures, which positively impacts students when they attend school. Furthermore, according to Baker (1995), every language has its own set of, customs, stories, traditions, and histories. Additionally, being bilingual allows one to easily interact with people from other social groups and cultures. Another advantage is in thinking; Children who speak two or more languages have many words for the same objects and concepts. Moreover, Baker (1995, p.12) argues that, a bilingual person could be more adaptable and imaginative in their thinking. In essence, being able to switch between two languages might increase communication sensitivity and linguistic awareness. Furthermore, there are various consequences of bringing up children to be bilingual. According to Baker (1995, p.10) bilingualism has economical, educational, cultural, social, and political consequences. The advantages of bilingual education are lifelong and applicable to many parts of daily living. The following are some of the most important:

Better Academic Achievement: Many authors have argued that bilingual children have high academic achievement. (Huang, 2013) Bilingual students’ capacity to recognize, understand and communicate in a variety of languages tests their cognitive abilities. Due to this cognitive flexibility, bilingual students are better able to think critically and comprehend complex concepts. A 32-year research by Thomas and Collier at George Mason University found that bilingual and multilingual students scored better than their monolingual peers, especially in the fields of math, reading, and vocabulary. Bilingual children regularly outperform monolingual students on standardized examinations, according to the same NEA analysis. (Anglia, 2020)

Increased Cognitive development: Learning a second language is one of the best ways to increase brain power. Students learning a second language showed a wide range of cognitive benefits, according to National Education Association research. Children who have learned a second language are more adept at tasks that call for problem-solving, pattern recognition, and creative thinking, among other skills. Additionally, younger kids will develop a more nuanced knowledge of their home tongue and a greater linguistic awareness. (Anglia, 2020) Huang, (2013) also argues that bilingual children’s ‘cognitive ability is higher than monolingual children.’

Improved Memory: Children who learn different languages have stronger memories and more creative thinking. Multilingual people often recall names, directions, and items better than monolingual individuals. (Anglia, 2020) at the same time, bilingual children are fast language learners. (Huang, 2013)

Empathy: When growing up multilingual, young children must learn to read social signs to determine which language to use with whom and where. Children who speak more than one language performed better on tests of perspective-taking and theory of mind at the age of 3, both of which are fundamentally social and emotional abilities. (Kamenetz, 2016)

Resistance to Dementia: According to Angela, (2020) Many of the bilingual education benefits are centered around the short and medium term of individual life, but people can still reap the rewards of bilingual education long into their later years. She claims that a recent study from the University of York in Canada shows that multilingual people may withstand greater degrees of brain dysfunction and suffer symptoms of dementia on average five years afterwards than monolingual people.

Increased Economic Opportunities: In an interconnected and rapidly changing world, the need for a multilingual workforce and the significance of being capable of doing business in various languages are expanding.  Bilinguals typically take more senior positions as well as earn higher money. As the business continues to grow more global, being able to communicate with clients in many markets will always be attractive to employers. It also provides opportunities for people who desire to relocate and work overseas. (Anglia, 2020)

Cros-Cultural Appreciation: Students who are taught two languages develop an appreciation for the differences across nations. Anglia, (2020) states that, students can interact with languages using folklore, song, idioms, and other original sources of information without the need for translation, promoting deeper cultural relationships. Another excellent chance is for children to learn about diversity and equality in the lessons themselves. Many bilingual education programs strive to achieve racial and socioeconomic diversity among their student bodies.

Improvement to Brian’s Executive Functions: We use the executive function, an attentional command system, to plan, solve issues, and carry out other mentally taxing tasks. People who are bilingual are better able to distinguish between vital and unimportant information, which helps them focus and increases their capacity to analyze and make decisions. In general, bilingual learners do better on tasks requiring multitasking, complex decision-making, and problem-solving. (Anglia, 2020) Additionally, the capacity to transition between tasks and pay concentrated attention while being unperturbed is improved in bilinguals. (Kamenetz, 2016)

Challenges of Bilingual Education

Bilingual children do better than those who are monolingual, and bilingual education programs are beneficial to children. However, for children, teachers, and parents, there are certain challenges. (Huang, 2013)

Lack of Professional Human Resources: There might not be enough multilingual teachers in the classrooms to instruct the students. From the perspective of teachers, speaking two languages well enough and having strong literacy in two languages might be difficult. Running a bilingual education program without professional training is one of the major problems for instructors. Since they lack professional training, teachers must rely on their own experience and curiosity to instruct students. The theories and approaches that are used in the curriculum are unknown to the teachers. Deal with cross-linguistic transference, though, requires professional training for teachers. And it works better to put theory into practice in the classroom. Without professional training, teachers rely entirely on their background experience. (Huang, 2013)

Inadequacies of Instructional Material: Despite some investments in developing bilingual instructional materials, the market is still severely undersupplied. According to Cardenas, (1993) The limited market potential of materials written in languages other than English has discouraged textbook publishers from making the commitment. The inaccurate representation of other cultures in curriculum materials has been another problem.

A Major Challenge for Students: A bilingual education is a significant difficulty for children. It is likely that students won’t master any of the languages to a satisfactory level. This can put the student in a variety of difficult situations, including failure in school, feelings of hopelessness over disappointing their parents, and even a dislike of school as a result of the strain they are put under. (Torres, n.d) Furthermore, learning particular second-language content can be difficult for younger children and there are difficult concepts being taught at the same time during their school day. Thus, If the students are struggling with division and at the same time struggling with second-language grammatical concepts, it could be a negative impact on their education and academic performance. (Gaille, 2017)

Bilingual Education is expensive: Different language programs are now being cut worldwide due to their expense. Unless it is compulsory, the course is typically dropped. Even so, a single-language curriculum can still provide children with the foundational abilities they might require while being easier and less expensive to administer. Since many schools already do away with creative and artistic activities, they simply cannot afford the extra expenses associated with including a multilingual component. (Gaille, 2017)

Bilingual Education can shift students’ focus: Gaille, (2017) states that, If a bilingual education program is divided into a traditional 50/50 split, students who do have trouble acquiring the new language may find themselves focusing only on it for the rest of the school day. Schools provide opportunities for creative pursuits, athletics, and career training in addition to many other things. If a student finds it difficult to keep up with their coursework and falls behind in their second language, their only option is to concentrate on catching up rather than acquiring important life skills.

The Bilingual Brain

Speaking more than one language may provide cognitive advantages that last into old age as scientists discover more of the biological secrets of the bilingual brain. (Perry, 2013) The concept of neuroplasticity (the brain’s changing form) is crucial to understand the bilingual brain. Childhood is the crucial time when the brain is “sculpted” by its language environment because of its immaturity. Children may acquire languages so easily because their brains aren’t yet completely formed. The more intensive utilization of “neural networks” in the bilingual brain is highlighted by neuroimaging, but the potential real-world effects of this are unknown. (Schwieter and Costa, 2017)

Between the ages of 3 and 7 is when learning a second language is most important. It is observed that whether Wernicke’s area and Broca’s area share neuronal activity in early and late learners depends on the environment and culture of second language learning. Memory is important here and intensive studies were done about memory. Implicit memory operates automatically and without conscious thought. When a bilingual employs implicit memory, different parts of the prefrontal cortex are engaged. Facts serve as the representation of explicit memory, which is conscious. Declarative memories are retrieved via the anterior prefrontal cortex. Last but not least, episodic memory is autobiographical and recalls life events. These memories are encoded by sensory information. The frontal lobe analyzes the sensory stimuli and is in charge of executive functioning. The occipital lobe processes visual input, while the temporal lobe processes aural input. It has also been demonstrated that the frontal portions of the brain are involved in the processing and integration of cognition and control. The frontal and parietal lobes of the brain both participate in changing languages or linguistic rules. The left and right hemispheres of the brain both exhibit this lateralization of language. The brain responds differently to many aspects, such as literal and figurative language elements. (James, 2016)

(YouTube, 2015)

Moreover, an interesting thing about bilingual people’s brains is that Language switching is natural for bilingual people since the brain utilizes a similar method to combine words from two separate languages and words from a single language. Additionally, bilinguals had higher activity in the brain region associated with cognitive skills like inhibition and attention. It has been shown, for instance, that bilinguals outperform monolinguals at encoding the fundamental frequency of sounds when they encounter background noise. (Dilmen, n.d)


Bilingual Education in School Context

 Promoting Bilingual Education

Dual language education faces significant challenges, but it also has some effective programs. From one aspect, effective dual language instruction required the involvement and growth of instructors. The expertise of the teachers, their ability to manage their time, and the number of students are crucial components of a successful bilingual education. Success for students and parental involvement go along with each other. Teachers had to understand and be aware of the cultural difference, and they employed powerful techniques to help students enhance their knowledge. Cooperation between teachers, parents, and students is essential for a successful bilingual education. There is not enough class time for both students and teachers. Parents are now playing a crucial role in helping their children at home after school. Teachers must receive professional training and practice code-switching at the proper times in order to manage an effective bilingual education program. If the class is small enough, teachers can interact with each student. Additionally, parents must assist their children after school because students cannot learn two languages and the subject material during the school day. Schools take into account using students’ first language as a resource and introducing them to the faculty. Students feel at ease studying in the classroom as a result of teachers and students developing strong relationships. (Huang, 2013)

Effective Implementation of Bilingual Program

The proactive and knowledgeable community members who are in charge of organizing the tools that enable bilingualism on a school campus are the administrators. The multilingual program will suffer and eventually fail if there is no leadership in the school. Also, the success of the bilingual education program can be facilitated and accelerated with help from central administration. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the program depends on everyone participating and clearly articulating its parts. The crucial components of the bilingual program must be comprehended and “embraced” by campus stakeholders. Furthermore, in the implementation of the program, a clear structure of accountability for administrators, teachers, parents, and students is present on effective campuses. Administrators are aware of their obligations and tasks in monitoring the academic progress of students. Teachers are aware that one of their responsibilities is to keep track of the benchmarks that students must meet within a specific period of time. (Villarreal and Solis, 1998)

Additionally, teachers need to know how their students are progressing in the subject areas. Both formal and informal procedures should be used to collect this information. Teachers are required to analyze the information, actions, and tactics they employed throughout a specific time period. Based on this knowledge, decisions must be taken regarding how to modify the instruction. Teachers develop a dependence on this framework to guide their decision-making on instruction. Moreover, classroom organization is important. The most effective strategy to maximize the impact of the classroom must be considered when deciding how to use space and arrange materials. Effective classrooms strongly emphasize hands-on activities that are interactive, cooperative, and highly relevant to all students. The most successful classrooms incorporate technology use and provide it to students in both languages. Despite receiving specialized teaching, bilingual students should still have the chance to engage in essential academic activities. (Villarreal and Solis, 1998)

Students’ Age and its Effect on Becoming Bilingual

According to research on brain function, older age bilinguals show reduced activity in the areas supporting executive control tasks (Gold et al., 2013) and increased connectivity at rest in connected networks (Pliatsikas and Luk, 2016), suggesting improved neuronal efficiency.

The goal of some of the earliest studies into how age affects second language learning was to support or refute Lenneberg’s (1967) critical time hypothesis. According to Lenneberg, learning a new language is an intricate process that is constrained by biological factors, with the crucial window for language acquisition occurring between the ages of two and puberty. Lenneberg believed that lateralization, the procedure through which the two parts of the brain acquire distinct roles, resulted in the loss of the brain’s plasticity. Lenneberg says that post-adolescent language acquisition is difficult because puberty frequently marks the end of the lateralization of the language function.

Studies on the critical period typically concentrated on the distinctions between children and adults and proposed that younger learners, who are still in the critical period, should be better learners. However, research on how children of different ages learn oral language skills has revealed that older children initially pick up language skills more quickly than younger children. (Collier, 1988)

According to Collier, (1988) studies comparing the students’ performance of different ages on speaking activities related to academic skills, such as writing and reading, have been undertaken by a number of scholars. While the long-term studies contradict the earlier findings cited on the basic oral second language development, the short-term studies once more reveal an initial advantage for older students (ages 8 to 12). The majority of studies on both short- and long-term learning show that students who arrive between the age of eight and Twelve are quicker to pick up a second language than those who arrive at younger ages of four to seven years, and they maintain this advantage over several years.

Bilingual Education at Different Levels of School

From the age of two to three, a child speaks and understands the language he is exposed to naturally. The majority of languages are, however, introduced in schools much later. Language is incorporated into the curriculum rather than being considered as a separate academic subject in a bilingual program. Language is the tool used to teach the curriculum, not the subject matter. We are now teaching something through the language, not just a language. Being bilingual is speaking two languages without having learned them, according to linguist Madeleine Lowenthal. Children pick up the language in a multilingual educational environment without even realizing it. Thus, bilingual child-rearing at the family level should not be confused with bilingual education, which is primarily what is meant by bilingualism at the school level. (McCarty, 2014) In addition, the responsibility goes to the schools to educate a generation of bilinguals, since, in today’s world, it is becoming important for every individual. Genesee (2004) argues that schools can play a significant part in fostering the bilingual and multilingual abilities that are so crucial in today’s society.

Elementary School Level

According to a study by Moreno (2019), bilingual education programs are good for students in elementary school because they enable them to keep their native tongue and culture, which makes them feel respected and confident. Teachers and parents agreed that bilingual education programs help kids get more career options in the future, get parental help with their homework, and communicate with their families more effectively in their native tongue.

Secondary School Level

There is an argument that the success of late L2 learners may be largely accounted for by self-selection at secondary levels. Genesee (2004) states that it may be argued that secondary students who deliberately choose bilingual education are more self-motivated. There is little doubt that secondary students who actively choose bilingual education are highly motivated. Additionally, there can be an academic bias for successful students to choose bilingual instruction that starts in the late elementary or early secondary years on their own.

Some evidence indicates that starting bilingual education at the secondary level is also not late for children. Bilingual education can be successful with students at both the elementary and secondary levels, If proper and effective pedagogy is employed, according to the existing research on the efficiency of L2 acquisition at different ages in academic settings. Practically speaking, the age of the beginning of bilingual education cannot be determined solely by theoretical justifications and empirical support. Political and socio-cultural factors must be taken into account as well. The community’s objectives, requirements, and resources may determine the grade that is optimal for bilingual instruction to begin. (Genesee, 2004)

High School Level

While maintaining a language that has previously been taught at home requires significantly less effort, learning a foreign language in high school does require time, effort, commitment, motivation, and hard work. (De La O, 2020)

Since middle school curricula would need to be totally overhauled, it is better to start a foreign language program with children in elementary school. This is a result that the students are undergoing a transition between high school and elementary school, a process that is extremely important and leaves no time for beginning a new language study. High school students’ minds would already be largely developed, making it extremely difficult for them to learn a new language. On the other hand, learning a language before high school would benefit students in order to increase the various abilities necessary to succeed in life, including academic success, strong social skills, higher creativity, and being successful in reaching maturity and finding a suitable career.


Strategies and Methods of Teaching Bilingual Students in School

Teaching a class of students from different linguistic backgrounds to read and write in both languages while maintaining delivering academic material in two languages is a daunting task for teachers in dual-language schools. While data shows that bilingual education has many advantages, instructors must almost magically transform a classroom of children into multilingual learners. Here are some strategies to encourage linguistic interaction amongst students in bilingual classrooms.

Strategically Group works

The chance for children to collaborate with peers who don’t match their community, language background, or cultural background is one advantage of dual-language classes. The teacher can consider structure when they form groups. While homogeneous groups enable the teacher to adapt particular learning objectives to students with differing requirements, heterogeneous groups give students the opportunity to experience communicating and working across languages and cultures. Second, teachers can construct group projects that give students structured and unstructured opportunities to utilize their languages. In the classroom, this could be an activity requiring students to use formal language to arrange a group project using a structured graphic organizer or to interview peers and gather information for these projects (unstructured). (Wong, 2015)

Maintaining a Positive Relationship Between Students

Children learn languages, both their first and second languages (L1 and L2), by interacting with their environment, working to overcome obstacles and problems, and forming neural connections that enable the brain to store a reservoir of related sounds, images, feelings, outcomes, and gestures that have meaning. (Montgomery, 2008)

Wong, (2015) argues that according to research even though it may not appear to be a plan, children from any linguistic or cultural background who have excellent social interactions with their teachers perform better academically. As a teacher, consider how you view student performance and conduct in your classroom and be aware of any stereotypes you may have as you interact with students from diverse backgrounds. Challenge and refute labels and assumptions made about students who move through the educational system.

Establishing Clear Guidelines on When to Utilize Each Language

It is entirely normal for students in dual-language classrooms to want to express themselves in their native tongue. However, this frequently leads to children who only communicate with those who speak the same language as them. To encourage students to continue using their second language, a teacher could try outlining requirements for which language they should use during different parts of the day, lesson, or task. Students will be exposed to their classmates who are native language speakers of their second language and become better able to emulate them, in addition to learning how to seek assistance from their peers when faced with linguistic obstacles. (Wong, 2015)

Studies also demonstrate that teaching in a single language is more effective than teaching in multiple languages. Delivering lessons solely in one language without the aid of teacher assistants or other interpreters for a set amount of time is known as monolingual instruction. This helps students practice listening skills in their second language while exposing them to academic content for an extended period of time. (Wong, 2015)

Permitting Students to Translanguaging

Infante & Licona (2018) states that translanguaging has drawn the attention of researchers interested in multilingual education in recent years. Translanguaging is an approach that gives students more control over the process of learning and using a language. The languages of bilinguals are not seen by translanguaging as independent linguistic systems. The concept emphasizes the adaptable and significant activities that bilinguals take when choosing elements from their linguistic repertoire to effectively communicate. Translanguaging offers students numerous and varied opportunities to discover their collective language pathways that have the power to dictate. (Sclafani, 2017)

Children from bilingual backgrounds frequently “translanguaging,” which is the deliberate use of words from two linguistic repertoires for efficient communication. This could be done by alternating between English and Farsi in a sentence or by combining the two languages entirely. Children can engage in the demands of challenging academic topics and express themselves in in-depth classroom discussions by bringing this natural linguistic process into the classroom and using it as a resource. Students will eventually develop the courage to speak each language on their own as they become more proficient in each one. Most significantly, students won’t have missed out on crucial class discussions or arguments because they were able to translanguaging because those topics were covered in their developing second language. (Wong, 2015)

Supporting Home Language of Emergent Bilingual children

A report by Education Development Center indicates that the likelihood of a student succeed in school can be significantly increased when teachers have a respectful approach toward the student’s native language and culture. The instructor can send home a questionnaire or conduct a family interview to learn more about the home languages of the students. One way to strengthen the home language is to purposefully encourage students to speak it in class; otherwise, they could think their native tongues are less significant than their L2.

Additionally, To help children establish connections between their L2 and their mother tongue, teachers can become informed about cognates—words in two languages that sound similar and have comparable meanings. The teacher may also ask members of the community, school staff, or members of the family to participate in cultural activities like reading, singing, or helping to identify school supplies in the students’ native tongues. (Educational Development Center, n.d)

Furthermore, according to Texas A&M International University (2021), making children exclusively process new concepts in the context of a second language can be damaging. Including native language learning in the learning process is a significantly more effective strategy. Students can use their native languages to increase material knowledge by using the procedure below:


  • Introducing new academic topics to students in advance and then asking them to explore or research them in their home languages
  • Requesting the students revisit what they were instructed in their own languages
  • Use a variety of modality types.

When they engage with academic information in a variety of ways, students are more likely to master it. This is especially true for bilingual learners because it allows them more opportunities to process new information while also assisting them in overcoming any difficulties they may have with language acquisition. When teachers give students opportunity for each of the listening, drawing, speaking, and writing modes, students are more likely to meet their learning objectives.

Infante & Licona (2018) also state, for the first teaching of reading and subject matter comprehension, the first language is crucial. It provides the required groundwork for cognitive growth, which is the basis for learning a second language. When are children old enough to start learning a second language? After they have mastered literacy in their first language would be a decent rule of thumb.

Fred Genesee Professor of psychology at McGill University and specialize in second language acquisition and bilingualism research relying on his experience states that children who are bilingual demonstrate their resourcefulness by employing both languages to communicate when they use words, sounds, or grammatical structures from their native tongue. (Carton and Rosenback, 2019)

Controlling cadence and utilizing wait time

When communicating with bilingual students, instructors should speak at a steady, regulated speed. For students who might be having difficulty learning a new language, speaking too quickly makes things more challenging. A bilingual learning environment benefits greatly from the proper use of “wait time,” according to an Edutopia article on bilingual education practices. Too frequently, teachers only offer their students one or two seconds to respond to a question. However, according to research, when teachers ‘wait three to five seconds, the quality of responses is astronomically greater.’ (Texas A&M International University, 2021)

Adopting Culturally Responsive Teaching Methods

The success of bilingual learners depends on the development of a learning environment that values cultural variety. According to ESL instructor Katie Toppel, when students have a personal connection to a lesson or unit, they are most engaged. This connection is facilitated in part by a teacher’s engagement in culturally competent relationships. Educators could find the following strategies useful: (Texas A&M International University, 2021)

  • Making use of family visits to better comprehend the cultural background of the students.
  • Encouraging language development in the classroom by incorporating elements of the students’ lives into the curriculum.
  • Teachers should create a curriculum in order to actively assist language development in the learning environment.
  • Increasing student knowledge of the course material through the use of visual aids
  • Including rhymes and songs in both the native language and second language.

Teacher Preparation

Professional development is crucial for districts and educators who must meet the challenge of delivering quality education to student populations that are becoming more and more diverse. It could be necessary to create a school policy that offers professional development for teachers that is sensitive to their cultural backgrounds. Anyone joining the teaching area is needed to have field experience, which is valued highly. The process for teacher preparation for bilingual students could be similar. Participating in literature circles, book clubs, and reciprocal teaching offered the teacher a thorough understanding of what to expect and the kinds of things to prepare. Experiential learning like this is appropriate for faculty meetings, grade-level meetings, and workshops for new teachers. (Sclafani, 2017)

Trained Teachers

According to Infante & Licona (2018), the language of instruction must be understood, spoken, and used by teachers. In order to feel at ease writing and reading in a vernacular that they were not exposed to during their own schooling, as well as to recognize that the language is one deserving of a place in formal education, students must get specialized and continuing training.  If a language is one they learned as a second language, teachers must have a level of proficiency in it that enables them to communicate among adults who are native speakers and educate children in that language in a meaningful way. To put it another way, rote learning is insufficient. Teachers must also be experts in the subject topic they are teaching.

Parents’ Training and Involvement

Parents’ engagement has been shown to increase academic success rates for both bilingual and monolingual students over a long period of time. There will be times when parents of children will feel threatened or put off by what they perceive to be a language barrier between their native language and the language used by the school and its instructors. Knowing exactly what is happening would be very beneficial for parents, and they might feel more included. In a number of research studies, there is a person who is in charge of connecting the communities at home and at school. Such a person would play a significant part in bridging the “two worlds” of home and school. (Sclafani, 2017) the multilingual community liaison is a crucial part of the parent involvement initiative. (Simich-Dudgeon, 1986, p. 4)

Classroom as Culturally Responsive

For bilingual students, the classroom itself can serve as an important scaffold. The design of the room and the materials in it can be great allies for teachers and students alike if they are correctly arranged and matched to the needs of the students. The placement of word walls in plain view is advised by Garcia and Li Wei (2013) in order to give students repeated exposure to vocabulary terms. The use of these word walls will also enable the children to encode the vocabulary words they have been assigned. Word walls increase confidence in the meaning and contextual understanding of the words they include because of the daily exposure they experience. ‘The classroom library can also be a point of interest when thinking about supporting students from all backgrounds.’ (Sclafani, 2017)

(YouTube, 2019)

Reading Instructions

Using visual images is one of the best ways to draw on the prior knowledge and experiences of emergent bilingual students in relation to the subject matter, ideas, and academic language of a lesson. Emergent bilingual students are given intelligible input in the form of visual representations, which may aid them in accessing and expressing prior knowledge of a subject. Then, when students are developing their knowledge of a particular topic, teachers can use students’ interpretation of a visual image (provided by the teacher as a supplement or contained within a text) to improve students’ memory and understanding of new concepts, spot misconceptions, and fill in any gaps. (Boardman and Lasser, 2016)

Boardman and Lasser (2016) state that explicit and interactive vocabulary instruction is another strategy that supports developing bilingual students’ reading comprehension and subject-matter learning. The choice of focus words and the practice opportunities offered to students is crucial for vocabulary learning. As students gain a comprehension of the fundamental vocabulary, they can build on and use this understanding of specific words to understand important concepts and ideas.

According to recent studies of best practices, in order to increase reading comprehension and subject learning, discussions should be incorporated into the content teaching process. Teachers are encouraged to give their students time every day to discuss the material they are studying with one another. One strategy to boost the quantity and caliber of debate among all students is cooperative learning. Cooperative learning is the process of achieving both group and individual learning objectives through negotiated, discussion-based involvement in small, student-led, heterogeneous groups. Each student’s participation is recognized by the group and aids in collective learning when they are all engaged and contributing members of the learning community. (Boardman and Lasser, 2016)

Reading and writing together promote both content learning and reading comprehension. For instance, students can respond to readings in writing, ask questions about what they read, or extend their learning with longer writing projects. Here, it’s crucial that students combine abilities that foster language use and enhance conceptual knowledge of the subject matter. Students’ learning capacity is significantly increased by reading, exchanging ideas, listening to others, providing feedback, and writing about their newly acquired knowledge and unanswered questions. (Boardman and Lasser, 2016)

Writing Instruction

When bilingual students employ their whole linguistic toolkit and several language modes (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) to manage the writing process, their writing is also enhanced. Students must make use of their bilingualism as a writing tool and in the writing process as a whole.

According to (Sunseri and Sunseri, 2019), Organizing writing instruction is one strategy. Teachers utilize scaffolding to assist students in writing down their ideas. Additionally, this strategy makes it simpler for students to expand on these ideas. Using visual organizers like a graphic organizer is another strategy that expands scaffolding. On paper, graphic organizers are a means to depict the relationships between ideas. Students must organize their writing in order for it to be well-organized. To assist their students in organizing their writing, several teachers employ visual organizers. Having bilingual students write for several minutes in dialogue journals is another essential technique for assisting them in developing their writing skills.

The teacher may choose a topic for the students to write on, or the students may choose their own topic. After that, they would each write for at least ten minutes. The teacher would gather the journals at the end of the period and leave comments rather than corrections. This strategy is crucial because it allows students to write about what interests them without stressing about mistakes. Additionally, as students write more regularly, their writing quality and comfort level with a composition also increase. The teacher may also use written samples to demonstrate organization to the class. (A. B Sunseri and Sunseri, 2019)



(YouTube, 2015)


This chapter discusses strategies that are important for bilingual education. The first part provides a general and brief overview of the definition, philosophy, goals, advantages, and challenges of bilingual education so that the reader can have a glimpse of what it is. Moreover, the brain of a bilingual student is also described. The second part is the discussion about Bilingual Education in the school context. In this section, topics such as: Promoting bilingual education, effective implementation of bilingual programs, students’ age and its effect on becoming bilingual, and bilingual education at different levels of school were discussed considering their importance. The third part is dedicated to bilingual education strategies, such as engaging students in group work, maintaining a positive relationship between students, establishing clear guidelines, promoting home language, teacher preparation, classroom environment, parent involvement, and many other useful strategies that are important in the bilingual education context.

It Should be remembered that children learn languages, both their first and second languages (L1 and L2), by interacting with their environment, working to overcome obstacles and problems, and forming neural connections that enable the brain to store a reservoir of related sounds, images, feelings, outcomes, and gestures that have meaning. (Montgomery, 2008)

In a bilingual education program, the goals of the family, the school, and the particular student must all be taken into account in the holistic process of education. Teachers must forgo any duties that would have been delegated to them in accordance with teacher-centered educational models in order to accommodate the various needs of each student in the classroom. Another subject that should be at the front of those who educate bilinguals is the recognition of parents as significant partners in the education of their children. This is why translation should be easily accessible (where possible) during significant events like conferences or open meeting nights. In order to create this environment, teachers will need ongoing training on how to set up classrooms that are culturally responsive. Regular training makes welcoming new instructors much simpler, maintaining and improving a welcoming environment for bilingual students. (Sclafani, 2017)

Review Questions

    • How do you define the concept of bilingual education?
    • What can be the strong and weak forms of education?
    • What are the responsibilities of schools in educating bilingual learners?
    • What are the best strategies and methods to implement bilingual education in different levels of school?

Key Terms

Bilingual Education

Diversity in Modalities

Literacy Skills

Bilingual Brain



We prepared a short and general overview for the chapter ‘Educating Bilingual Learners in School’ and here is the infographic.


Besides the infographic, we also prepared a presentation, below:


Our team conducted an interview with Fatima Qasimi, a master’s student of Art in Education at the Asian University for Women, who speaks 4 different languages and has experience studying in bilingual schools. flowing is the link for the first part of the podcast:

Link for the second part of the interview:


You can earn a badge by fulfilling all the criteria in Badgr here. You must fulfill the criteria below to earn this Badge.


  • Write a reflection based on the review questions provided in the chapter.
  • Review the contents of the chapter.
  • Listen to the podcast and provide comments.Our strong school team will issue you a badge through Badgr. Email after completing the criteria, if you wanna earn a badge for this chapter.



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About the authors

Badakhshan of Afghanistan is her hometown,  where she was raised in a small village. Following graduation from school, she entered Kabul Education University’s Faculty of Persian Language and Literature. After earning her BA, she entered in Kabul University’s MA program and continued there until the third semester, when the political situation forced her to change her path. She then started her MA in the field of Arts in Education at Asian University for Women. In addition to one of Afghanistan’s commercial banks, she worked as a Persian Language and Literature instructor at a public teachers’ training college. Mysticism, poetry, research, travel, book, and swimming is her interests.

Mahroosa Noori is from Afghanistan. She finished school in Badakhshan and followed her bachelor’s at Badakhshan university.  The new journey in her life started in 2020 when she earned her bachelor’s degree. Alongside, her graduation covid-19 pandemic took over the world and she couldn’t take the chance to work. In 2021 she left her country to join the AUW community.


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