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Dual Language learner with Classroom Teacher

K-5 Dual Language

At Participate Learning we partner with school organizations to build dual language education programs in Spanish or Mandarin Chinese that create an authentic, immersive, and equitable learning experience for students.

Why Dual Language?

The Research Behind Dual Language Programs

Dual Language research suggests that students in dual language immersion programs not only achieve academically, but can also outperform their peers in monolingual programs. This is true for all student populations, including English-language learners.

Research also shows that bilingual people have an easier time with these key brain functions:

  • Understanding math concepts and problems
  • Developing strong thinking skills
  • Increasing reading comprehension
  • Cultivating greater cultural awareness
  • Using logic
  • Focusing, remembering and making decisions
Marvin Elementary Dual Language students pose for a photo with their Mandarin Chinese language awards. Jinjing Chen, photo credit

Two Participate Learning Partner Schools Recognized on CLTA List of Distinguished K-12 Chinese Programs

Marvin Elementary School (Union County Public Schools) and Stough Magnet Elementary School (Wake County Public School System), have been named Distinguished K-12 Chinese Programs by the Chinese Language Teachers Association, USA, (CLTA). These schools are among just 16 schools in the United States — and the only two in North Carolina — to earn the designation in 2024.

Benefits for Students

Grade Level Academic Achievement

Dual language students show great gains and increased performance on standardized tests in reading and math.



Reading and writing in both languages



Listening and speaking in both languages


Socio-Cultural Competence

Dual language students demonstrate positive multicultural attitudes and behaviors and have a deep appreciation and understanding of their own culture.


Enhanced Cognitive Skills

Dual language students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, showing increased memory, superior problem-solving skills, and better attention control as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.


Improved Self-Esteem

Being able to communicate and excel academically in two languages gives dual language students greater self-esteem and a sense of accomplishment.


Preparation for a Global Society and Marketplace

Dual language students are better prepared to be leaders in a global community and to succeed in the 21st-century marketplace.


Our Dual Language Models

Our Dual Language Programs feature rigorous implementation, as well as quality programming and instructional support. At the elementary level, language learning through dual language immersion can take either of the following two forms:

Full immersion model

In the full immersion model, 90 percent of instruction is delivered in Spanish, the target language.

50/50 model

In the 50/50 immersion model, instruction is balanced between the target language, Spanish, and English in equal parts.

Our dual language model, which has been successfully implemented since the 2007-2008 school year, mirrors the seven strands from Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education by the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL).

Dual Language Program Support Services

Our model is aligned with the Center for Applied Linguistics’ (CAL) seven strands for successful dual language programs and includes the following services:

  • Dual language teacher recruitment
  • School and district strategic planning support
  • Professional development that supports in-person, blended or online learning
  • Curriculum maps and exemplar lessons
  • Assessment and data analysis
  • Summer language support

Success Stories

When we provide opportunities to our students, their achievements and passion for the world know no limits.

This is a terrific program and a wonderful opportunity for the children. The biggest benefit is not simply the acquisition of a second language, but the use of higher-order thinking skills.”

Janet Mayers
Parent at Elon Elementary

It’s an outstanding program that has afforded my children the opportunity to learn a second language at young ages. They are learning more than the Spanish language, they are learning about different cultures around the world.”

Amy Tejda
Parent at Weddington Elementary

Traditionally we have seen that our dual language students have outperformed, and when I say outperform, not by 5 or 10 percent proficiency, I’m talking about a 20 percent gap between their test results and our traditional test results.”

Latreicia Allen
Principal, William H. Owen Elementary

In terms of closing the achievement gap, dual language is doing it in a way that is much better than our typical [ELL] programs. When children can become proficient in their native language, I think they’re able to leverage it as they’re learning English.”

Suzanne Mitchell
Former Principal, Selma Elementary

Ready to experience the benefits of a dual language program in your school?

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K-5 Dual Language Programs