Teaching M.A.

Year Approved


First Advisor

Silmser, Lisa


Teaching Social Studies in the Dual-Language Immersion setting provides unique challenges and opportunities. This paper’s introduction provides a brief explanation of the classifications, terminology and history of Dual Language Immersion programs in the United States and in Minnesota. The literature review is divided into five sections, each covering a significant challenge for secondary social studies teachers in the Dual Language Immersion program. The first section reviews best practices for teaching historical thinking skills in the immersion setting. Those best practices include implementing a specific framework for analyzing primary sources and content-obligatory and content-compatible vocabulary for each unit. The second section focuses on teaching oral communication; it finds a need for teachers to intentionally scaffold the teaching of historical genres, model academic discourse in the target language, and embed language-specific lessons within the content material. The third section addresses best practices for written communication, which entail both exposing students to advanced texts in the target language and intentional modeling of varied and differentiated grammatical structures that correlates to the social studies content. The fourth section discusses best practices for developing students’ “inner voice” and “inner ear” in the target language by modeling the process and providing necessary vocabulary, grammatical structures and authentic practice opportunities. The fifth section identifies key areas of improvement for immersion teacher collaboration, professional development and training.

Degree Name

Teaching M.A.

Document Type

Masterʼs thesis