Students at our partner schools achieve advanced levels of proficiency in two languages, because we fully support schools as they attain the three goals of dual language immersion education:
- academic achievement equal to or greater than monolingual peers
- grade-level biliteracy
- cultural competency
consequences of partial immersion
When schools are not steadfast in these three goals, their programs tend to suffer. One of the biggest mistakes that dual language immersion programs make is minimizing attention to non-English language development, which ultimately leads to dual language learners demonstrating insufficient levels of biliteracy/bilingualism.
For example, the few longitudinal studies that have analyzed the bilingual competency of students who enter DLI programs as home language speakers of the non-English immersion language have found these students develop “non-native” language features, such as Anglicized syntax, as they progress through the grade levels (Fortune, 2001; Potowski, 2007). Studies measuring proficiency in the non-English language for English-dominant students find similar realities. When students do not have sufficient language and literacy skills, they are unable to learn grade-level content. Teachers report having to use learners’ native language to teach complex concepts in upper grade levels (Fortune, Tedick & Walker, 2008; Met & Lorenz, 1997) because the cognitive demands of the academic content exceed the linguistic ability of the students.
how we ensure program success
By way of our 10+ years of research and experience, we help leaders implement addalingua programs, create materials to support the development of two distinct languages, observe students, train teachers, and complete projects with our advisory board. Through this rewarding work, we have developed a set of standards that support dual language immersion students in attaining the three goals above.
We organize the standards into four focus areas or “quality quadrants:” program fidelity, dual language development, biliteracy and counterbalanced instruction, and progress monitoring. Four standards within each quadrant outline overall program expectations related to the focus area. In turn, four success indicators aligned to each standard describe knowledge or practices demonstrated by four distinct stakeholders: school communities, school leaders, teachers, and students.
Fortune, T. W., Tedick, D. J., & Walker, C. (2008). Integrated language and content teaching: Insights from the immersion classroom. In T. W. Fortune & D. J. Tedick (Eds.), Pathways to multilingualism: Evolving perspectives on immersion education (pp. 71-96). Clevedon, UK: MultilingualMatters.
Potowski, K. (2007). Characteristics of the Spanish proficiency of dual immersion graduates. Spanish in Context, 4 (2), 187–216.