Our dual language program is a strand of classrooms from Early Childhood (ages 4-6) through Upper (ages 10-12). Students engage in hands-on, minds-on learning experiences that promote critical thinking, conceptual understanding, and language development. Dual language teachers, in addition, plan lessons using a variety of instructional strategies to maximize language development. The curriculum and learning goals are aligned with those in all UCLA Lab School classrooms.

“A different language is a different vision of life.”
– Federico Fellini

Core Beliefs

  • Being bilingual (or multilingual) and valuing cultural diversity is an advantage in our global society
  • Children can best learn academic concepts and a second language in an integrated, experiential context
  • Many language skills are transferable between English and Spanish
  • Conceptual understanding is transferable between languages

Goals for Students

  • Demonstrate high levels of academic achievement
  • Develop high levels of language proficiency and literacy in English and Spanish
  • Develop an understanding and appreciation of languages and diverse cultures

Dual Language Model

Our dual language program follows the 90/10 model. Emphasis is placed on the target language and begins with 90% of instruction in Spanish at the EC I level. It gradually increases through each level culminating with 50% of instruction in each language at the Upper level.

EC I (4-year-olds)
90/10

  • Spanish literacy is promoted while valuing emergent literacy in both languages
  • Content is integrated and taught in Spanish with English support for transfer
  • Spanish is introduced in playful ways to build phonemic awareness, sound/symbol relationships, and social and academic vocabulary in Spanish
  • Teaching strategies are used to meet students at their level of language development and proficiency

EC II  (5-year-olds)
80/20

  • Spanish language is introduced in playful ways to build phonemic awareness, sound/symbol relationships, and social and academic vocabulary
  • Spanish literacy is developed systematically
  • Language transference between Spanish and English is made whenever possible
  • Literacy becomes more formalized as phonics is taught in Spanish and English focusing on transferable sounds/symbols
  • Content is integrated and taught in both English and Spanish
  • Teaching strategies are used to meet students at their level of language development and proficiency

Primary (6- to 8-year-olds)
70/30

  • Language continues to develop in playful ways, building phonemic awareness, sound/symbol relationships, and social and academic vocabulary
  • Literacy is formalized as phonics is taught in Spanish and English, with a focus on transferable sounds/symbols
  • Formal phonics instruction begins to highlight the phonetic differences between Spanish and English when appropriate
  • Content is integrated and taught in both English and Spanish
  • At this level, math is taught in Spanish four days per week
  • Teaching strategies are used to meet students at their level of language development and proficiency

Intermediate (8- to 10-year-olds)
60/40

  • Literacy instruction continues to focus on building strong reading and writing skills in both Spanish and English
  • Language instruction continues to highlight similarities and differences between Spanish and English, and Spanish spoken across the world. There is a focus on building Tier II and Tier III vocabulary
  • Content is integrated and taught in both English and Spanish
  • At this level, math is taught in Spanish four days per week
  • Teaching strategies are used to meet students at their level of language development and proficiency

Upper I & Upper II (10- to 12-year-olds)
50/50

  • Students continue to develop their Spanish language skills through literacy and math
  • Content is integrated and taught in both English and Spanish
  • Teaching strategies are used to meet students at their level of language development and proficiency

Teachers

Our dual language demonstration teachers are highly qualified, experienced bilingual teachers who have training in bilingual methodology and instruction, possess a Bilingual, Cross-Cultural, Language and Academic Development (BCLAD), and have attained a master’s degree in education. They are given annual opportunities to engage in professional development through conference and workshop participation. The dual language teachers engage in committee work with the goals of developing and refining curriculum, planning instruction, and creating materials to create a rigorous program that meets the educational needs of all students.