The Challenge

In many communities, there lies a language barrier for those who do not yet know English. Because of this barrier, community members may not be able to properly advocate for their rights or for the education of their children. For example, in Waltham, Massachusetts, there is a high number of immigrants in the community. For those who do not yet know English, it can be difficult to communicate in settings such as schools. One solution to this challenge is dual-language programs. These programs help as they teach kids English from a young age in order to lessen the presence of a language barrier as they grow older. What makes dual-language programs special is that they do not just teach the kids solely in English. Dual-language learning holds the purpose of teaching English to students while simultaneously teaching in their native language. 

Without this type of learning, it can be difficult to emphasize and maintain the culture and native language of the students. The goal of these programs is not to teach English so that the students have a new identity, but rather to preserve who they are and what they stand for while giving them a new language tool. 

For my research, I looked further into how communities are implementing these programs and what they must do in order to ensure their success. Additionally, I searched for grassroots organizations that stood for putting these programs in place as well as what resources they provide in order to empower their students and communities. Overall, dual-language programs enhance the education of the students in them as they broaden the scope of what is being taught by offering multiple perspectives.