Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness: Empowering Spanish-speaking English Learners through Dual Language

  • Charlotte Robey Hancock University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • Anna Sanczyk University of North Carolina at Charlotte


As the population of Spanish-speaking (LatinX), English learners (ELs) in the United States increases, it is imperative for K-12 schools in urban areas to become responsive to this diversity of student population. This paper purports to express that it is essential that schools take a culturally and linguistically responsive approach to address this urban critical issue by implementing a Dual Language (DL) program. While there are a variety of different programs that exist to provide support for ELs as they enter into the school system, there is one that proves itself to be a plausible solution to best meeting the needs of the LatinX, EL population of students. This article highlights the research that suggests a two-way 90:10 Dual Language (DL) program can be the most culturally and linguistically responsive measure. This current study adds to the field by mapping out what program models and characteristics previous research studies have shown to be the most beneficial to LatinX EL success while further examining if these research findings are being currently implemented in five, large urban school districts with high populations of LatinX ELs. Examining the data from five, larger urban school districts, the following research questions were explored: (1) What are the different program types being offered to ELs in five large, urban school districts that have high populations of LatinX students? (2) Which of these five large, urban districts provide DL programs? (3) What type of program (one-way or two-way) and what percentage of language instruction is allocated to English if DL programs are offered? The findings show that the five, large urban districts with large populations of LatinX ELs are providing both additive and subtractive programs. Additionally, all districts are providing the option of a two-way DL program. The 90:10 language allocation was only provided in two of the five districts and was the language distribution model least provided across the districts.