Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS)
TWIN-CS is a national initiative to share dual language research, ideas, techniques and resources with the goal of supporting students in becoming bilingual, bicultural, and biliterate. The network's innovative design and programming enables students to maintain their language and culture, while systemically transforming schools from monolingual to dual language education.
What is Two-Way Immersion?
Two-Way Immersion (TWI)—recognized nationally as the most effective approach to bilingual eduction—blends native English speaking students with peers who are native in another language. With more than 20% of the U.S. population speaking a language other than English at home, multiple approaches to educating students with limited English proficiency exist. Typically, these students are provided supplemental assistance focused on English language development. TWI differs from such approaches in two key ways.
- TWI supports bilingualism, biliteracy, and pluriculturalism. English learners become fluent in both English and their native language.
- TWI also supports bilingualism and biliteracy for native English speakers. English language learners are not separated from their native English speaking classmates, instead, all students serve as language models for one another, and they become bilingual together.
TWI prepares all student participants to become bilingual and biliterate citizens in our increasingly global world, where communication skills can serve to promote solidarity and appreciation for diversity.
“Dual language is about so much more than language learning. The real power of dual language education is that it makes a true difference by developing empathetic, compassionate learners and human beings, which is the foundation of our Catholic faith.”
Membership in the TWIN-CS Network
Developed in 2013 by faculty in the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College, the TWIN-CS network has grown from 11 original members to 28 members today. While many schools are Spanish-English programs, the Network also has Mandarin-English schools, one that is both Mandarin-English and Spanish-English, and one Lakota-English school.
Two-way immersion and dual language instruction is utilized in a number of educational settings; however, the TWIN-CS network is unique in that members work collaboratively in three essential partnerships:
Partnership with Boston College. This partnership provides continuous professional development, rigorous team training at an annual academy, national support from leadership coaches, and individualized consultation with the TWIN-CS design team faculty and staff at the Roche Center.
Learning partnership with other schools. TWIN-CS schools are encouraged to maintain learning relationships with a leadership coach and other principals of TWIN-CS schools through professional learning communities. Each school is assigned a leadership coach and a PLC, which meet monthly to ask questions, seek advice, discuss research, explore enrollment expansion strategies, and provide support.
Leading partnership with other schools. This partnership honors the teaching that TWIN-CS teams facilitate with other Member schools. Examples include participating in regional collegial visits and webinar conversations, presenting at the annual TWIN-CS Academy, and sharing meaningful resources to support the work of dual language in Catholic schools.
in creating culturally and linguistically diverse Catholic Schools!
TWIN-CS Program Director Elena Sada, Ph.D., came to Boston College from Eastern Connecticut University, where she was an assistant professor and directed its online bilingual education program. Throughout her 20-year career as an educator, Elena supervised ESL, World Languages, and Dual Language Programs in New Rochelle, NY, and West Hartford, CT. She served as a board member for Upper-West Success Academy in NYC and New York's Brilla Prep Schools, a charter schools network with a Catholic approach. Sada has a master’s degree in Supervision and Administration of Schools and Districts from Hunter College, CUNY; a master’s degree in Theological Studies from the University of Dallas; and a doctorate in Curriculum and Instruction with a concentration in Bilingual and Multicultural Education from the University of Connecticut.