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Oakland Unified School District

Dual Language Programs

Dual Language Programs Develop Bilingualism & Biliteracy

Proven academic and social benefits of bilingualism and biliteracy:

  • Eliminates the Achievement Gap: Research shows Dual Language learning is the most effective way of both acquiring a second language and closing the gap between ELLs and English-only students.
  • Intellectual flexibility: Learning a second language system requires mental discipline and translates into higher academic achievement in all subject areas. See research on achievement levels.
  • Cultural Capital: Bilingualism promotes heightened linguistic awareness and communication skills, cultural competence, social integration and mutual appreciation in a community of diverse students.

Research Base

Research shows learning in two languages expands and enhances students' thinking skills and cognitive development. It also provides a classroom setting where students from diverse backgrounds learn to value and respect each other as partners in the learning process.

Thomas and Colliers research on Dual Language

All students benefit

We are developing a PK-12 Dual Language Pathway to provide every child with the opportunity to become bilingual and biliterate. All students benefit from Dual Language programs including English Language Learners, native English speakers and emerging bilinguals.

The benefits of long-term bilingual education are strongly backed by the research findings from hundreds of studies across national borders and languages of instruction. Thomas & Collier's landmark studies, illustrated above, have found that students in Dual Language programs significantly outperform comparison groups from other educational programs. Most studies show that by the end of elementary school the educational outcomes of bilingually educated students are at least comparable to, and usually higher than, peers who did not have bilingual education.


Anita Comelo

Multilingual Pathways Coordinator

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Seal of Biliteracy