Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS)
The Barbara and Patrick Roche Center for Catholic Education
What is the Two-Way Immersion Network for Catholic Schools (TWIN-CS)?
TWIN-CS is a national cohort of schools who receive training and design support to transform from monolingual to bilingual schools. The work of TWIN-CS is led by university faculty and practitioner experts who guide the design and implementation of the TWI model best suited for each participating school community.
Why is the TWIN-CS program only open to elementary schools?
According to the Center for Applied Linguistics, the majority (79%) of two-way immersion programs in the United States exist at the K-5 level. The research indicates that these initiatives are most successful when they are introduced into the pre-kindergarten through kindergarten levels, and then expanded each year as the students move on to the next grade level.
What languages are targeted in TWIN-CS schools?
93% of two-way immersion programs in the United States are English-Spanish. Research on these programs tends to concentrate on elementary schools with large populations of Latino students. TWIN-CS schools target Spanish, Mandarin, and English.
How were schools selected for the TWIN-CS Initiative?
All selected schools are recognized as Catholic schools by the local Bishop and serve grades K-3, with a diverse student population. At least one-third of the student population speaks the same non-English language. In addition, schools have demonstrated a commitment to two-way immersion, support for vibrant learning communities, and exemplify the capabilities necessary to initiate and sustain the systemic changes required for the implementation and delivery of the whole school change.
Do all of the teachers in a TWIN-CS school have to be bilingual?
Not every teacher must be bilingual because instruction time is spent in each target language. It is preferred that over time the majority of teachers are bilingual.
Is it expensive for a school to participate in TWIN-CS?
School teams pay for their transportation to the summer Academy and are responsible for the cost of program implementation in their individual schools. Additionally, there is a nominal fee that is paid by each school that helps defray the cost of the summer academy. Total costs for the design team, research, mentors, and support are provided by the Roche Center for Catholic Education at Boston College.
Will additional schools be added to the original TWIN-CS schools?
Catholic schools that are currently operating successful TWI models may be invited to join the network. As the network matures and develops its own expertise, TWIN-CS will welcome other schools that wish to pursue this opportunity.
Have there been any concerns regarding the implementation of the TWIN-CS initiative?
Certainly there have been questions and concerns from parents and educators. In every case, the more people learn about the benefits of the TWIN-CS models, the more accepting they become. Change is never easy, but change is necessary for organizations to grow and thrive.
What else is important to know about TWIN-CS?
While 50% of the people in the world are bilingual, only 10% of educated people in the United States speak two languages. If a student speaks Spanish and English, he or she can communicate with 80% of the world. Central to being a global citizen and valuable to any future career, known or yet to be known, is fluency in more than one language and culture. And fortunately, for our young people, Catholic schools are uniquely positioned to adopt and integrate change more easily than schools bound to larger bureaucratic systems.