Publication Date

Fall 12-5-2017


College of Arts and Sciences; School of Education


Education: Secondary; English


bilingual education, transitional, dual-language, heritage language, maintenance programs, bilingual programs, bilingual studies, assess, students, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse structures, bilingualism, bilingual, biliterate, biliteracy, grammatical, vocabulary, instruction, current research, strategies, best practices, transitional, dual-language, DLP, heritage maintenance, HMP


Arts and Humanities | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Curriculum and Instruction | Curriculum and Social Inquiry | Early Childhood Education | Education | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Modern Languages | Modern Literature | Other English Language and Literature | Social Work | Urban Studies and Planning


This paper first determines the benefits which bilingual education offers and then compares transitional, dual-language, and heritage language maintenance programs. After exploring the outcomes, contexts, and practical implications of the various bilingual programs, this paper explores the oversight in most bilingual studies, which assess students’ syntax and semantics while neglecting their understanding of pragmatics and discourse structures (Maxwell-Reid, 2011). Incorporating information from recent studies which question traditional understandings of bilingualism and argue that biliteracy requires more than grammatical and vocabulary instruction, this paper proposes modifications in current research strategies and suggests best practices for transitional, dual-language, and heritage maintenance programs.