EJEA is implementing the 90-10 dual language program model because research shows that the 90-10 model is the most effective for both English and Spanish speakers for acquiring and mastering two languages at high levels of proficiency (Collier & Thomas 2003; Lindholm-Leary 2000; Calderon & Minaya-Rowe 2003; Pérez & Torres-Guzmán; Reyes 2001). According to these researchers, when 90 percent of the day is spent in the target language, the language is acquired most effectively and efficiently. The effectiveness of well-implemented 90-10 dual language programs was confirmed in our numerous visits to school districts in California that have implemented such models. Indeed, dual language instruction at EJEA is modeled after successful 90-10 programs that have been in existence for several years (e.g., GATES in Saddleback, EL SOl in Santa Ana, NESTOR in South Bay, and ALICIA CHACON INTERNATIONAL in El Paso Texas School District).
The pedagogical advantages of the 90-10 model English-Spanish are self-evident. For the English only students who come in already speaking English, this helps them focus on the target language, in this case Spanish. The 90-10 model, then, provides English-only students with a strong language and academic foundation in Spanish in the first few years of schooling, thus resulting in high levels of proficiency in both languages as English literacy instruction is introduced.
For the Spanish speaking students, the 90-10 model provides an opportunity for them to be well grounded in Spanish literacy and academic instruction as English is progressively introduced. For many of the Spanish speakers coming into our school, this initial focus on Spanish helps them to gain the requisite language and vocabulary levels in their primary language that will lead to greater success when they transfer to English reading.
Additionally, the ease of learning to read in Spanish and the fact that students only learn how to read once, allows the students to build necessary literacy skills they need in the most effective way possible. Once the students have learned to read well in any language, the process of reading transfers to the second language. In this case, learning to read in either Spanish or English precludes needing to re-learn the steps of reading in the other. Research indicates that as much as 97% of Spanish reading transfers to English reading (Thonis, 1981) with the possible exception of vowel pronunciation. Indeed, many researchers have noticed the phenomenon of Spontaneous Biliteracy as an outcome of dual language instruction. According to Reyes (2001), Spontaneous Biliteracy is “...acquiring literacy in Spanish and English without formal instruction in both languages... (p. 97).” In these situations, there is an expectation that given the right environment and support, students who have learned how to read in Spanish will begin reading in English without formal instruction, just by understanding the process of reading that was acquired during instruction in the target language.
EJE's Dual Language Program Model
Spanish is used as the primary language of instruction in the elementary years. English is introduced gradually into the curriculum. ALL students receive a high quality instructional program centered on academic success through the use of the Spanish language.
All subjects are taught in Spanish. Daily instruction includes sixty minutes in English with an emphasis on oral language development through literature, music, poetry, and role-play. Homework is in Spanish.
All subjects are taught in Spanish. Daily instruction includes seventy-two minutes in English with an emphasis on oral language development through literature, music, poetry, and role-play. Homework is in Spanish.
All subjects are taught in Spanish. Daily instruction includes one hundred and eight minutes of daily instruction in English with continued emphasis on oral language development and the introduction of beginning readiness and literacy skills. Homework is in Spanish and Engilsh.
Most subjects are taught in Spanish. Formal English reading, writing and spelling are introduced. Daily instruction includes one hundred twenty minutes in English with an emphasis on literature and reading. Homework is in Spanish and English.
Subjects such as Mathematics, Language Arts, Social Studies or Science are taught in either Spanish or English. Spanish reading is continued along with three hours of daily instruction in English with continued emphasis on literature, reading, and writing. Homework is in both languages.
Instructional time is evenly divided between Spanish and English. The two languages are used separately during different periods of the day. Homework is in both languages.
Sixth Grade - Eighth Grade
Most classes are in English. Students have a Spanish Literacy class and Social Studies to continue their development of Spanish bi-literacy. Homework is in Spanish and English.