Instructional Models for DLLs

One of the most important school factors impacting dual language learners’ (DLLs) English acquisition is the educational model through which they are instructed. The ways DLLs are taught also impact their native language skills and content knowledge.


Each of the following sections provides an overview for bilingual and monolingual program models for DLL instruction.


Additive Bilingual Program Models

Programs that aim to educate students to be bilingual and biliterate are considered “additive” bilingual models. Examples of these programs include heritage language, two-way immersion, and one-way immersion programs.

Subtractive Bilingual Program Models

Bilingual programs that provide initial instruction in DLLs’ native language in order to develop their English skills are considered “subtractive” in that they are not designed to support or enhance DLLs’ first language abilities.

Monolingual Program Models

In the U.S., most DLLs are in monolingual English classrooms. Since they are not conducted in DLLs’ native languages, monolingual programs can be considered subtractive.