TBLT in a Dual Language
Program
Maria Angelova
Cleveland State University
Goals of DLP
Dual Language Programs are based on an educational
model that integrates native English speakers and native
speakers of another language for all or most of the day,
with the following goals:
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To develop high levels of proficiency in TWO languages
for both English and Spanish speakers.
To achieve long-term high academic performance in both
languages.
To promote appreciation and respect of one’s own
language and culture.
To develop understanding of other cultures and
encourage positive cross-cultural attitudes.
Instructional model
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50/50 model
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Homogeneous settings
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Native Language and Literacy
Heterogeneous settings
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Population
Language
Math/Science/ Social Studies/Specials
Resources in both languages in two
separate classrooms (English and Spanish)
METHODOLOGY
Data collection
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participant observation in Dual Language first
grade (Spanish class & English class);
audio & videotaping in Dual Language first
grade (Spanish class & English class);
semi-structured interviews with 4 focal
children;
collection of relevant literacy artifacts;
Participants
English- dominant, Spanish-dominant,
and balanced bilingual speakers
in a Dual Language Program
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Homogeneous groups of English-dominant or
Spanish-dominant speakers in the native literacy
classes;
Heterogeneous groups in the Science, Math, and
Social Studies classes.
Fluidity of language roles in a
Dual Language classroom
the expert
In the English
classroom where the
teacher delivered the
lesson entirely in
English, the English
speakers were the
language experts,
while the Spanish
speakers were the
novices
the novice
The dual
language
expert
In the same Science
lesson in Spanish, the
Spanish speakers
The role of the bilinguals
assumed the role of
language experts while in both classrooms never
changed. Their task
the English speakers
seemed to be more
were the novices.
complex as they
functioned as dual
language experts in both
contexts.
The nature of an effective task in a
Dual Language classroom
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The best context for language learning in the DLP
proved to be the task based language learning;
The tasks can be real-life or pedagogic but in both
cases they should have the following characteristics:
There should be a clearly specified goal for the
activity;
Tasks should stimulate real communicative
exchanges;
There should be a problem–solving activity at the
task’s core;
The task should provide ample opportunities for
using both language structures and new content
concepts in situations that motivate learners;
Collaboration is the key to successful language
learning in a Dual Language classroom
Pseudo collaborative activities
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It is not enough simply to create task situations that
seem important for the topic studied at the moment.
The task may be of interest to the students but if
instead of working in groups (solving a given
problem) the class works together on a task following
the teacher’s instructions, there will be no or
minimum language exchanges.
Example: The “apple sauce” task.
This is a real life task but it does not provide any
opportunities for practicing language because there is
no collaboration among peers and hence very little
communication and language learning.
Tasks that promote language
learning
Examples:
 Shopping activity (simulation of a reallife task)
 Christmas activity for Math lesson
(cognitive task, sorting)
In both activities students work in
mixed groups and try to achieve a goal
through solving a problem together.
Peer teaching and learning strategies in
TBL in a DLP classroom
(Socio-cultural perspective)
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Learners construct knowledge collaboratively as a
joint activity. In a DLP students act as peer teachers
who help each other learn the language using
different strategies in tasks that are jointly
accomplished.
“Strategies are mental and communicative
procedures learners use in order to learn and use
language.” (David Nunan, 1999)
Strategies are an integral part of a task. They
can be:
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Linguistic
Social
LINGUISTIC
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Practicing/repeating
Translating
Paraphrasing
Code-switching
Use of formulaic speech and linguistic routines
Scaffolding with cues
Hedging
Using context
Echoing
Clarifying
Peer correction
Imitation
Asking about a word in the target language
SOCIAL
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Asking for help/clarification in L1
Relying on others for help
Pretending that one can understand the language
Complying with the classroom rules
Being polite and culturally sensitive
Cooperating
Resolving conflicts
Socializing
Modeling
Appropriating teacher strategies
Comparison of strategies in different tasks
Repetition
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Teacher: I’ll be right with
you.
Karla: ((returns to desk and
waits again; when teacher
arrives, she reaches over
Lori’s desk to place the
apple pieces onto her plate
and sits down looking
around))
Karla: Mrs. Urutia.
Teacher: Yes?
Karla: Um…..
Lori: ((jumps in to help
Karla)) Oh. She needs
another napkin.
Karla: ((quietly)) Napkin.
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Lori: Aquí a español. [Here a Spanish.]
Tania: No, Aquí se habla español. [No, Spanish is spoken here.
Lori: Aquí a habla //español.// ( ) [Here a speak Spanish.]
Unknown: //español.// [Spanish.]
Beatríz: ((leans in towards Lori)) Aquí. [Here.]
Lori: Aquí a habla. [Here a speak.]
Beatríz: No. Aquí. [No. Here.]
Lori: Aquí. [Here.]
Beatríz: Se. [One.]
Lori: Se. [One.]
Beatríz: Ha. [1st syllable of speak]
Lori: Ha. [1st syllable of speak]
Beatríz: Bla. [2nd syllable of speak]
Lori: Bla. [2nd syllable of speak]
Beatríz: Español. [Spanish.]
Lori: Español. [Spanish
Beatríz: ¡Aquí se habla español! [Spanish is spoken here.]
After several attempts and an exchange in English
Lori: ((leans in towards tape player)) Aquí a hablan español. Aquí a
hablan español. [Here a they speak Spanish. Here a they speak
Spanish.]
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Beatríz: ((applauds Lori))
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Lori: Aquí se hablan español. [Here they speak Spanish.]
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Beatríz: Hola. ((looks at Lori)) Amiguita. [Hello. Little friend.]
Girls giggle and shake hands.
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Scaffolding with cues
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Teacher: Ok, after you cut them, what
happens? What’s next? Karla?
Karla: ((lifts head slightly and looks at
teacher))
Teacher: What happened next after we cut the
apple into little pieces? ((pauses)) What did we
do? Did we eat them?
Karla: ((quietly)) ( ) little pieces?
Teacher: Can’t hear you.
Karla: ((shifting side to side and covering
mouth with arm)) ( ) the little pieces?
Teacher: ((stops to discipline another child))
Karla: From the little pieces in the…((pauses as
if to think)) uh.
Teacher: We put the little pieces in the
((pauses)).
Unknown: ((whispers)) Oven.
Teacher: Tania help her. In the what?
Tania: We put ‘em in the oven.
Teacher: This is not the oven.
Karla: ((raises hand))
Teacher: Karla, go ahead. What is it?
Karla: ((arm on her head)) In ( ) ((has finger
in her mouth))
Teacher: Tell Lori. See if Lori understands
what you ( ) mean.
Karla: ((turns to Lori))
Lori: Pot. In the pot.
Teacher: In the what, Karla?
Karla: In the pot.
Invented Spelling
English classroom
(The shopping task)
First pair of students [Lori(English speaker) and Luisa(Bilingual speaker)]
1. We boat [bought] some burbujas [bubbles] and it cost 4 ¢.
2. We boat [bought] a ball and it cost 7 ¢.
3. We boat [bought] una Purcera [a purse].
Second pair of students [Karla (Spanish speaker) and Uma (English speaker)]
1. We biy [buy] some burbujas [bubbles].
2. We biy [buy] a Dall [doll].
3. We biy [buy] a abion [airplane].
4. We biy [buy] a necls [necklace].
5. We biy [buy] a ball.
Strategies in Collaborative
Writing
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Fluent speaker becomes the scribe;
Reinforcing native language skills;
Code switching;
Debating over the lexicon;
Using the vernacular;
Negotiating words and phrases;
Repeating syntactical patterns during
sentence construction.
Practical Suggestions for Teachers
To maximize the learning of a second language through peer
interaction, teachers should consider organizing effective
collaborative learning activities in which the following factors are
taken into account:
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The nature of the task;
The language proficiency level of each child and their linguistic role
in performing the task (novice, expert, or dual language expert);
The context in which the activity will take place (Spanish or English
classroom);
The materials to be used;
The personality of each learner when placing children in groups for
group work activities.
It seems that these findings confirm the importance of the use of
appropriate tasks as learning environments that encourage the use
of both languages in order for children to openly communicate and
function at higher cognitive levels in Dual Language Programs.
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