Arguments in favor of dual-language programs include:
- A new principal might be seeking recognition and a dual-language program would be a concrete way to leave their mark on the school, and even the community.
- A successful program can bring a lot of positive visibility to a school, advance its reputation, and attract new sources of funding.
- Dual-language programs impart a lifelong gift of a second language to all children of the community.
- For second or third-generation families, dual-language programs safeguard their language and cultural heritage, and enable them to share these with all children.
- Highly motivated families join the school each year, and bring with them a willingness to support the school in many ways from fund-raising to facilitating school-wide activities.
- Dual-language families can also introduce the school community to cultural elements such as the arts, music and gastronomy—leveraging their community connections to help build strong after-school programs, better cafeterias, field trips and site visits, internships, and more.
- Dual-language can give a new school or an under-utilized school with empty classrooms a new identity.
- Having more quality choices in the district can also help relieve overcrowding in already-established competitive schools, by attracting more middle-class families to currently disadvantaged schools, and exploring the potential advantage of socioeconomic integration that dual-language programs may trigger.
- Sometimes, a school district or the Department of Education will provide grants for planning, curriculum development, and professional development for teachers and staff.
- Additional financial and logistical help can also come to the school from partners and organizations that have a vested interest in the languages offered or the populations served (i.e. embassies, consulates, businesses, and foundations).
When you are granted an interview with a school principal you must present the data and the project in a very professional way. Explain the benefits to the children and the community as being central to your initiative. Provide documents that will detail the demographics of incoming families by year and school zone. Explain the modalities of securing a dual-language grant from the Department of Education or from outside partners. After having met with a responsive principal, invite other players to come in and show their support, especially other parents, teachers, and community members. Then, reach out to foreign government officials, elected officials, and donors. By following these steps, you will have built a very strong case for your project, and you will have gained the trust of a community of parents and educators. Together you can now build a successful dual-language program.