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Language Instruction

In the dual language immersion model, one of the two program languages is the target language. That is, the language that will be used by the teacher and students to learn at that specific time. However, it is important to remember that although the teacher and the students are mobilizing one nation language at a time, they are also creating targeted moments for cross-linguistic connections.  This is important because students must be able to transfer and mobilize the concepts learned in one target language, equally well in both program languages.
As dual language advocates, we must promote the separation of languages while also creating a linguistically inclusive educational space where students are able to leverage their entire linguistic repertoires.  This does not mean that a visitor to a classroom will see simultaneous translation during the facilitation of instruction.  It is imperative that the target language be evident as biliteracy instruction is taking place.
At first, students may resist mobilizing a language they don't fully know.  However, through the use of their metalinguistic awareness, the ability to make connections between the two program languages, students will increasingly become more comfortable embracing their biliteracy and bilingualism journey. 
Teachers will empower students to use listening, speaking, reading, writing, and metalinguistic awareness to interact with all content, language, and culture learning.  Families are also asked to reiterate the message that everything that we know in one language, we know in other languages.  Our goal is for students to make connections between the two program languages so that they can transfer their content understanding to the other.
Visitors to the classroom will see students "owning" their learning via the 4+1 language domains (listening, speaking, reading, writing, and metalinguistic awareness).  Icons representing these language domains are posted in every classroom and students are expected to understand that these are the keys that will be used to access grade-level standards. 
Ultimately, students at Cien Aguas will understand that all language is beautiful and that Spanish and English are equally important; our duty as bilingual global citizens is to use the language and register that is appropriate based on the context.  The separation of languages with targeted moments to connect the two languages, will ensure that students are active participants in their biliteracy journey.