There are four main types of dual language program, which mainly differ in the population:

1.Developmental, or maintenance, bilingual programs. These enroll primarily students who are native speakers of the partner language.

2.Two-way (bilingual) immersion programs. These enroll a balance of native English speakers and native speakers of the partner language.

3.Foreign language immersion, language immersion or one-way immersion. These enroll primarily native English speakers.

4.Heritage language programs. These mainly enroll students who are dominant in English but whose parents, grandparents, or other ancestors spoke the partner language.

Programs are NOT dual language if they

  • provide less than 50% of the day in the partner language for any students,
  • only allow students to take classes in the partner language for one to three years, or
  • do not offer both language arts instruction and content instruction in the partner language

Some other types of education that use a partner language for instruction include

  • transitional bilingual education, where the aim is to transition students out of their native language and into English as quickly as possibly, usually in three years; and,
  • foreign language education, in which native English speakers spend less than half the day (usually one class period) studying in the partner language (this may include content instruction, particularly in elementary foreign language programs).

Source: National Dual Language Consortium