A Peek Into A Dual Language Classroom

You are probably wondering what happens inside a dual-language classroom and how similar or different it is from an all-English classroom.

In every school that I have had the pleasure of working at, the first few days go in a predictable manner: excited and nervous students walking through the doors of new classrooms, parents worried about what the new school year may bring, and teachers wondering what his/her new class will be like. Teachers prepare for weeks by brainstorming ways to present new material and writing lesson plans. As a matter of fact, I spent countless hours trying to cover all areas before diving into my dual-language adventure. I survived my first week and I am both happy and excited for the days to come.

While many of my posts have been geared towards what parents can do at home to support their children in their bilingual and bicultural adventure, I thought it would be interesting to share something that happened in my classroom this week. I call it confirmation of an “a-ha moment.”

La Maestra's Corner dual language immersion
Coming back from lunch on Wednesday last week, my class was getting ready to work on science. Since I am a fourth grade teacher, I teach 60% of the day in Spanish and the remaining 40% in English. I have divided my schedule so that English instruction takes place after lunch.

After all my students settled in, I told them in English what our next hour would look like. All of a sudden, one of my students raised her hand and shared how relieved she felt about switching to English. While I did not ask my student to elaborate, her comment was definitely something that stuck in my head. Once school was over, and my students were getting ready to go home, I chatted with my student and asked what she meant by being relieved of receiving instruction in English. She did not hesitate for a second and replied, “Well, when we are learning in Spanish I just feel that my brain needs to work twice as hard… it is hard to explain, but I just feel like I am working really, really hard.” I asked a few more questions and our conversation ended.

However, I could not stop thinking about the way she felt and how she described her ‘brain’ being in overdrive. Honestly — I loved it. If learning in two languages means her brain is working harder than it would just learning in one, then I have confirmed once again that dual-language is the way to go. Which takes me to my next couple of questions:

Have you thought for a moment what it is like to learn in a two-way immersion program?

Has your child shared with you how she/he feels about learning in this type of environment?

I would love to hear from parents/guardians/other family members about this. I am really curious about your experiences and conversations with your child.

Much love,


{Photo by departmentofed}

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