Exito bilingüe: Promoting spanish literacy in a dual language immersion program

Patrick H. Smith, Elizabeth Arnot-Hopffer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In this article, the authors describe how teachers in a Spanish/English dual language elementary school in Tucson, Arizona promote Spanish literacy using a school-designed program, Exito Bilingüe. Based on ongoing work and participant observation with dual language students and teachers, the authors show how dual language schooling has evolved at the school, and how the model currently in use compares to case studies in the literature in terms of program goals, type, and distribution of languages of instruction. The components of Exito Bilingüe, a school wide, multi-age, non-scripted Spanish literacy program, and its implementation are described and preliminary results are discussed. The authors find support for the transfer of reading skills from Spanish to English and for the inclusion of exceptional education students in dual language schooling. They argue that, contrary to the promises of commercially prepared, scripted reading curricula, dual language readers are best served by teachers working together to design literacy instruction to meet local conditions and learner needs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-125
Number of pages23
JournalBilingual Research Journal
Issue number2-4
StatePublished - 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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