Dual Language Early Childhood Education

As young children develop oral and literacy skills, they benefit most from early childhood programs that incorporate their native language into the curriculum. The Dual Language Early Childhood Education Concentration is offered in the BA and MA degree programs.

The program is delivered through a low-residency model at Goddard College in Plainfield, Vermont, and in Seattle, Washington.

Designed for working adults, the program is ideally suited for, among others:

Language Expectations

The program uses the Soy Bilingüe Adult Dual Language (ADL) model developed by the Center for Linguistic and Cultural Democracy in Seattle. During residencies, Spanish is used for half the time and English is used half the time. Other features include:

  • Approximately half the participants are Spanish-dominant and half are English-dominant.
  • Translation equipment is used initially to stimulate deep-level thinking and rigorous academic exchange between the two language groups.
  • Students are encouraged to take risks and try out their emerging second-language development during small or large group discussions.
  • Spanish-dominant and English-dominant students are matched for residency activities and work between the residencies as language partners. Each member of the pair is charged with the task of supporting the second-language development of their bilingual buddy.

BA and MA Degree Criteria

Students who complete the Dual Language Early Childhood Education curriculum are expected to demonstrate competency in the following components of the Soy Bilingüe curriculum:

  • Building learning communities
  • Forming teaching teams
  • Developing language plans
  • Organizing classroom environments
  • Establishing daily routines
  • Establishing development and learning objectives for the children
  • Assessing and documenting children’s growth and development
  • Focusing the curriculum on children’s language, culture, and interests
  • Teaching, scaffolding, and engaging the children
  • Reflecting on information gathered about the children in your classroom.

Program Structure

Students in Goddard’s low-residency programs collaborate with a faculty advisor to design an individualized curriculum that fulfills the student’s personal needs and interests, as well as Goddard’s degree criteria. Individualized study plans are combinations of readings, essays, analysis, field experiences, artistic expressions, cultural engagements, and dual language activities.

At an eight-day residency at the beginning of each semester, students work closely with an advisor to develop a comprehensive, individualized plan of study and attend workshops, courses, seminars, and lectures. Students in the master’s program complete a plan for their entire degree at the first residency.

After the residency and upon return to their communities, students submit their work in five “packets” at specified periods throughout the 15-week semester. Packets may include book reviews, critical essays, reflective journal entries, artistic and cultural projects, analysis of field notes, or other demonstrations of learning. The faculty advisor reads and assesses the work, and provides written feedback. At the end of the semester, students receive a narrative assessment of the semester’s work. Goddard does not give grades; narrative transcripts serve as documentation of the studies.


Applicants to Goddard’s programs demonstrate their ability to enter into postsecondary study by demonstrating competency in critical and reflective thinking and writing skills as documented in application essays, and transcripts from previously completed studies, as well as recommendations from former professors, colleagues, business associates, or others who can speak to the applicant’s readiness to engage in and complete self-directed study. Test scores (such as SATs, GREs, etc.) are not required.

To apply or inquire, visit www.goddard.edu or call 800.906.8312.