How You Should Set Up Your Classroom So Your ELL Students Can Thrive

Planning for Your Dual Language Classroom

Setting up a dual language classroom can be a rewarding and challenging task. A dual language classroom is a type of educational program that aims to teach students in two languages, typically English and a second language. These programs can be a great way to support language development and cultural understanding, but they also require careful planning and organization.

Here are some tips for setting up a dual language classroom:

  1. Determine your language ratios. In a dual language classroom, the languages being taught are typically referred to as the “majority” language (usually English) and the “minority” language. It’s important to determine the ratios of these languages being taught in your classroom. For example, you might choose to teach 50% of the content in English and 50% in the minority language, or you might choose to vary the ratio depending on the subject matter.

2. Create a language-rich environment. A dual language classroom should be full of language-rich materials, including books, posters, and other resources in both the majority and minority languages. These materials should be clearly labeled and organized in a way that is accessible to students.

3. Plan your lessons carefully. In a dual language classroom, it’s important to plan lessons that balance the use of both languages and support language development in both languages. This may involve using a variety of teaching strategies, such as whole-class instruction, small group work, and individualized instruction.

4. Foster a culture of language learning. Encourage students to embrace their linguistic backgrounds and celebrate the diversity of languages spoken in the classroom. This can involve activities like language exchange clubs, multilingual storytelling, and cultural festivals.


5. Seek out professional development opportunities. As a dual language teacher, it’s important to stay up-to-date on best practices and new research in the field. Look for professional development opportunities that focus on dual language education, and consider joining a professional organization or network of dual language teachers.


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