Dual-language: Programs that teach elementary-school students in two languages, most commonly English and Spanish in Arizona. At some schools, bilingual teachers switch from Spanish to English at certain times of day. At others, students take classes in two rooms, one with an English-speaking teacher and another with a Spanish-speaking teacher.

English as a Second Language: Formal instruction in English for speakers of other languages. It involves little or no instruction in the students’ native languages. Classes are for children, teens and adults.

Immersion: Teaching non-English-speaking students in programs that do not involve the student’s native language.

Limited English Proficient: Students who come to school speaking another language and are in the process of learning English. Schools with so-called “LEP” students get extra money from the state to fund programs to teach them English.

Maintenance bilingual education: Programs that use two languages during instruction. The program places importance on learning to read and write in the home language while gradually learning English. Also known as “late-exit” programs.

Pull-out program: A type of program in which children who are learning English are pulled out of mainstream classes for special instruction. These programs have been criticized by parents and educators, who think they make non-English-speaking children feel like they are inferior to kids who are not pulled out.

Transitional bilingual education: Programs that teach children in two languages with the goal of teaching children to speak English and move into a mainstream classroom as quickly as possible. Also known as “early-exit” programs.

Sources: Arizona Department of Education; Arizona State University.

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