The Gómez & Gómez Dual Language Enrichment (DLE) Model was originally developed in 1995 and first implemented in 1996 in the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD in South Texas. The implementation of this model has since expanded to over 671 schools across 11 states. Today, it continues to demonstrate its effectiveness based on successful short and long-term student achievement.

Gómez & Gómez DLE Model: DLE_MODEL-2015.pdf

Note: The Gómez & Gómez DLE Model (including all elements within) is fully copyrighted and the use of this instructional model without proper training and/or written consent from the Dual Language Training Institute (DLTI) is strictly prohibited as per copyright protection laws afforded by the U.S. Copyright Office, Title 17, U. S. Code.


The Gómez & Gómez DLE Model is currently being implemented in the following school districts across 11 states: Texas, Washington, Alaska, New Mexico, New York, California, Kansas, Illinois, Oklahoma, Colorado and Oregon



Key Features of the Gómez & Gómez Dual Language Enrichment Model

The model is divided into six major components across seven grade levels.  The model is followed by a thorough explanation of each component.  Although these components are not presented in any particular order of importance, each component is described relative to its unique importance and contribution to the overall effectiveness of the model. Collectively, the components described below contribute to the overall success of the model.

a) Grade Level

b) Heterogeneous Instructional Grouping

c) Separation of Languages for Content-Area Instruction

d) Computer Support

e) Vocabulary Enrichment

f) Conceptual Refinement & Academic Rigor


The Gómez & Gómez DLE Model is both comprehensive and detailed with a number of activities that take into account the academic and linguistic developmental growth of children developing their first language and adding a second language. For English dominant learners, language arts and mathematics supports their native language development PK-5th, while science and social studies is learned in the L2. Similarly, for Spanish dominant learners, science and social studies supports their native language development, while mathematics is learned in the L2. Note that there is a major change in the model as students move from first grade to second grade (indicated with dark black line) based on the need for addressing the greater academic demands of the upper grades and the ongoing biliteracy development of all learners. This line symbolizes that student’s level of bilingualism has matured and the need for second language instructional support is less critical. Of course, this does not imply that instruction should not continue to be meaningful and contextually supported, but rather that students are now bilingual, more confident and more readily follow directions and content area instruction in the L2. At this point, the model suggests that greater emphasis be placed on challenging students to use their second language, because they now have the capacity to do so. The model contains several key components designed to support the full development of content-area biliteracy.


The model is unique in that: 1) it provides instruction of subject areas in only one of the two languages with ongoing "vocabulary enrichment" in the opposite language of instruction, 2) it calls for conceptual refinement activities that supports the learning of content in the L2 in respective subject area and promotes academic rigor PK-5th grade, 3) it promotes the development of content-area biliteracy by the end of 5th grade, 4) it uses the concept of bilingual pairs for increased student engagement in all classroom learning activities, 5) it uses bilingual learning centers PK-2nd grade, and bilingual research centers beginning 3rd grade, and 6) it requires the use of the language of the day for all non-instructional school language used throughout the day by all students, parents and school staff, and for focused vocabulary development activities (LOD Activities).


Subjects Learned in One Language

Unlike most 50/50 and 90/10 DLE models, this model does not call for instruction in all subjects areas in both languages. Instead, it requires that all learners regardless of language background learn certain subjects only in the minority language, while others are learned only in the majority language. The model’s philosophy is that children can indeed learn subject matter effectively in either their L1 or L2, given the use of appropriate instructional strategies and other activities that support, in particular, the L2 learner in the respective subject area. Note that PK-5th grade mathematics is learned in English by all participants, while Science and Social Studies is learned in Spanish. Language Arts is provided in the child’s native language PK-1st grade and in both languages 2nd-5th grade (Note: Two-Way DLE programs with strong L1 learners may opt to begin the two language arts beginning 1st grade). The underlying premise for subject area instruction in only one language is the need for consistency of vocabulary and conceptual development of that subject in the same language. The rationale is that by providing mathematics instruction in English only and science or social studies in Spanish only, developmental, conceptual and linguistic connections will facilitate student schema. This supports both the L1 and L2 learner, assuming the subject matter is made comprehensible through sheltered instruction strategies. There are additional reinforcement activities following each lesson learned in the L2, and the use of bilingual pairs or bilingual groups. This area also stresses that there is no translation or clarification in the L1 for all subject area instruction.


Mathematics was selected to be delivered in English only for the following reasons: 1) Mathematics is less language dependent than science or social studies and therefore supports the minority child, traditionally the most disadvantaged of the two, 2) Mathematics is generally a more hands-on subject with numerous manipulatives available, 3) Mathematics is more universal and its content cuts across both languages, and 4) Generally speaking, Spanish speaking parents can usually better assist their children in mathematics than in other subject areas due to the strong math education traditionally found in Latin countries. Similarly, science and social studies being more language dependent were selected to be delivered in Spanish only in order to ensure a strong minority language curriculum that would support both learners and help compensate for the strong dominance of the English language. The model is designed to increase the chance of learners achieving full literacy in both languages by the end of 5th grade. Although this model separates language of instruction for content areas by subject rather than time, students receive approximately 50% of their instruction in each language. Language arts is taught in both languages beginning 2nd grade. The time usually allotted for mathematics is equal to the time for science and social studies combined. And the language for all other activities alternates daily. As a result, the model is 50/50 in both content area and time beginning 2nd grade.


Conceptual Refinement Supports L2 Learner & Academic Rigor

Conceptual Refinement (CR) is a strategy used by PK-5th Grade teachers at the end of each lesson cycle that serves two purposes:  1. Support L2 learners of respective content, and 2. Support Academic Rigor in the lesson for all learners.


Supporting L2 Learners Content: In this DLE model, the primary goal of a lesson is the learning of the concept, while the secondary goal is the development of the language of that subject.  For instance, a lesson in science not only seeks for the learner to acquire the concept, but to also develop language (in this case Spanish) in the process of learning that concept.  Both these goals can be more readily achieved by a learner learning a concept in his/her native language, however in dual language, we need to support learners learning content in their L2.  The process/activity that this DLE model uses to support L2 content learners is called as Conceptual Refinement (CR). During CR, L2 learners of math, science or social studies that need additional concept review are homogeneously grouped and provided L2 content reinforcement immediately following the end of each lesson for about 10-15 minutes.


Supporting Academic Rigor in the Lesson for All Learners: The second purpose of Conceptual Refinement is to support rigorous instruction. CR helps teachers maintain appropriate academic rigor by ensuring that at the end of each lesson cycle, there are 2-5 students (no more than 20%) that required CR support. If at the end of the lesson cycle, no student needs CR support, then the lesson was most likely too easy, and not rigorous enough, if too many students (more than 5) need CR, then the lesson was too difficult, or not well designed. CR serves as a "gauge" to maintain high expectations and grade level rigor.


Conceptual Refinement is conducted in the same language of instruction, using different examples and working with learners in a small group. For instance, first grade students completing a science lesson would be homogeneously grouped for CR immediately following the science lesson in order to clarify or reinforce the lesson or concept just taught. Using CR allows teachers to "raise the academic expectations (rigor) teaching to the top 25% of the class, and consistently using bilingual pairs while supporting concept learning of all learners.


Specialized Content-Area Vocabulary Enrichment Activities

Since mathematics, science and social studies is learned in only one language, this activity that begins in 3rd grade is designed to develop vocabulary enrichment or biliteracy in those subject areas learned in one language through the end of 5th grade. As indicated with the dark line, beginning third grade, both English and Spanish dominant learners have developed sufficient fluency in both languages to understand directions and subject area instruction in either language.  At this point, the emphasis is not only on linguistic biliteracy through language arts, but facilitating vocabulary biliteracy in mathematics, science and social studies.  To facilitate this, all learners participate in Specialized Vocabulary Enrichment (SVE) activities designed to expose learners to previously learned vocabulary in mathematics, science and social studies in the opposite language of instruction in that subject area.  For instance, 3rd grade specialized science content vocabulary that was taught in Spanish this week is introduced in English to students as a vocabulary enrichment activity the following week.  SVE activities are conducted once a week for approximately 20-30 minutes. They are vocabulary games and fun activities, not simply lists of vocabulary items. SVE activities are designed to help students transfer/learn vocabulary knowledge already learned in one language to the other. Target vocabulary to be reviewed should be prioritized as follows: 1. non-cognates, 2. false cognates, 3. cognates


Learning in Bilingual Pairs or Bilingual Groups

A central component of the model is bilingual instructional grouping. Learners are grouped in bilingual pairs or bilingual groups for all subject area instruction and for participation in bilingual learning centers, resource centers and other enrichment activities. The pairing changes regularly, usually on a weekly basis. Throughout the instructional day, learners dominant in English are paired or grouped with learners dominant in the non English language. In all the schools in which the model has been implemented the second language is Spanish, so we will refer to Spanish in the description of the model. Freeman and Freeman (2001) describe a supportive L2 environment as one in which students are motivated and encouraged to collaborate and use different modes of learning. Bilingual grouping facilitates comprehension of subject area by the L2 learner, who receives linguistic and academic support from his or her native speaking partner. For instance, during mathematics instruction, English dominant learners support Spanish dominant learners since mathematics is learned in English. During science and social studies, Spanish dominant learners support English dominant learners since science and social studies is taught in Spanish. Similarly, during other instructional activities, such as bilingual learning centers and enrichment activities, students work together in bilingual pairs.


In the Gómez & Gómez DLE Model, it is imperative that students learn content together (cooperative learning) using what we call bilingual pairs (2 students) or bilingual groups (4 or 6 students). Pairs of students should receive one assignment to complete together so that they engage in language and content talk. They can complete the assignment independently once they have learned it together. The DLE lesson plan cycle we share calls for all lessons to go from whole group (direct teach) to two (2) small group activities (pairs/groups). There is a deliberate pairing of students that should be based on language abilities and content abilities. For instance, One-Way DLE settings students should be paired up (mixed) based on high & low proficiency in English/Spanish for Language Arts and Center time. Teachers should be pairing up a student with stronger English skills with one with weaker English skills (or in two-way settings, pairing up a native English speaker with a native Spanish speaker). However, in math, science & SS, the pairing or grouping of students for the small group activities should also consider the content abilities of the students (e.g. pairing up stronger math students with weaker math students). Bilingual pairs are not stagnant, but fluid. We recommend using a pocket chart identifying the list of students identified by color as stronger English or stronger Spanish and paired up side-by-side on the chart. The pocket chart allows for shifting the pairs around and pairing up students with different students depending on their language and content-area abilities based on the content area being taught. Therefore, the pair or group (2 pairs) learning in a group activity in math may not be the same pair or group during science or social studies or language arts.



Bilingual Learning Centers and Bilingual Research Centers/Project-Based Learning

Bilingual Learning Centers and Bilingual Research Centers are interactive subject-based learning activities that support L1 and L2 learners. Bilingual Learning Centers are employed PK-2nd grade, while Bilingual Research Centers are used 3rd-5th grade. Both Bilingual Learning Centers and Bilingual Research Centers contain activities and materials in both English and Spanish.


The goal of Bilingual Learning Centers is to engage learners in bilingual pairs in self-directed learning activities for a minimum of 30 minutes per day. Bilingual Learning Centers at the PK-2nd grade level play an important role in the Gómez & Gómez DLE Model. The use of learning centers accomplishes three major objectives: (1) facilitates opportunities for students to use their first and second language in natural, meaningful contexts, (2) allows for negotiation of subject area meaning between learners, and (3) provides students an opportunity to engage in self-paced independent learning with minimal guidance from the teacher.  Bilingual Learning Centers are bilingual, that is, content activities and materials in the Centers are available in both languages.  This does not imply that all activities should be available or translated in both languages, but simply that students working together in bilingual pairs will have opportunity to select an activity to complete together in either language.  Bilingual Learning Center activities should be meaningful and task oriented giving the pair an opportunity to complete a task.  Bilingual Learning Centers are established in all classrooms and clearly labeled in both languages. They are aligned to the theme the class is studying and usually serve as previews or extensions of the content objectives related to the theme. Bilingual pairs select their centers on a weekly basis and travel (rotate) through them throughout each week.


Bilingual Research Centers serve as "subject specific reference areas" for bilingual pairs or groups to use in cooperative learning project-based activities.  Bilingual Research Centers at the 3rd through 5th grade level play a very different role than Bilingual Learning Centers in that they are to be used exclusively with lessons during subject area instruction for paired and project-based activities.  Beginning 3rd grade, the DLE model calls for a greater emphasis on project-based learning, also referred to as discovery learning, for all content-based instruction.  The Bilingual Research Centers serve as content resources for students working in their bilingual groups to access for completing their group project. Bilingual Resource Centers is simply a grouping of instructional resources available to the teacher in the different subject areas.  Bilingual Research Centers are established in mathematics, science, social studies and language arts. As the DLE teacher plans content-area instruction, she/he considers the use of Bilingual Resource Centers as students begin to work in their groups.  For instance, a social studies teacher planning a project-based lesson on cultural differences between groups of Native Americans would assign specific groups of Native Americans to bilingual pairs or groups and direct them to use resources from the Social Studies Research Center to complete their group assignment.


Language of the Day

All school and classroom activities not specifically designated a specific language of instruction adhere to what is called the Language of the Day (LOD), which alternates daily (MWF: Spanish / T-TH: English). The central purpose of the LOD is to: 1) promote bilingualism across the campus and in all uses of language by all school staff, and 2) develop vocabulary in both languages, but primarily vocabulary development in all learner’s L2. The LOD should be followed PK - 5th Grade and is a vital component for intensive vocabulary development "in addition to content learning."


Use the LOD daily to review:

1. Routines: calendar (days of the week, months), hallway talk, specials, etc.

2. Read the Room: vocabulary from labels, word walls, and student generated alphabets


Use the LOD daily to engage students in following academic activities:

1. LOD Journal writing (have students use a red notebook for Spanish and blue notebook for English)

2. LOD Read-Alouds (not during reading instruction)

3. LOD DEAR time (Drop Everything And Read...students need to select books in English & Spanish)


The LOD also applies to other non-content-area language used in school by all students and staff. Activities such as morning announcements, pledge of allegiance, daily news, physical education, storytelling, library time, sustained silent reading, music, lunch breaks, water breaks, and end-of-day clean-up, birthday celebrations, and other activities are all conducted in the LOD. The language of the day is used campus-wide, validates the equal importance of both languages and develops vocabulary in both English and Spanish dominant learners. The DLE model calls for classrooms to post a sign outside their classroom door announcing the LOD. Visitors adhere to the language of the day as much as possible. Naturally, if a teacher, parent or community member who comes to the school is not proficient in LOD (Spanish or English), the known language should be used to communicate. The LOD is implemented as consistent as possible by all school staff to the extent possible. Under no circumstances should an adult or child be forced to use the LOD.


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