Teaching children to read in English and in their native language is more effective than teaching in English only or in teaching first in the native language and then in English. That’s the conclusion of researcher Robert Slavin, who analyzed previous studies. (The analysis, which is a pdf file, is here.) Education Week reports:
Bilingual education has a particularly positive effect, say Mr. Slavin and Alan Cheung, a research scientist at the Baltimore-based Success for All Foundation, when students are taught to read both in their native languages and in English at the same period in their lives, though at different times in a single day. Their study calls that approach a “paired-bilingual program.” It differs from many bilingual education programs that postpone teaching children to read in English until they’ve learned to read in their native languages.
I wonder if the effect comes from doubling reading instruction.