Research brief examines dual language immersion programs

Research brief examines dual language immersion programs

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

A new CEEP publication, "Implementing Indiana's New Dual Language Immersion Programs: Educator Perspectives," finds that Indiana should provide targeted and ongoing professional development, guidance on curriculum and support from teacher-preparation programs to help schools implement dual language immersion programs, known as DLI.

Authors Colleen Chesnut, CEEP research associate, and Vesna Dimitrieska, director of global education initiatives for IU's Center for P-16 Research and Collaboration and the School of Global and International Studies, conducted interviews and focus groups with educators from six school districts that were implementing or planning for DLI programs. The conversations focused on benefits and challenges of the approach, in which students learn in both English and a "partner language" such as Spanish or Mandarin.

Findings include:

  • Teachers and administrators working in DLI programs have a broad understanding of their benefits but are eager to learn more.
  • Challenges include recruiting highly qualified staff, finding time to plan lessons and acquiring learning materials, especially in the partner language.
  • Educators are looking to state officials and policymakers for more structured support in the areas of standards and accountability.
  • Certain types of professional development, such as visits to established DLI program, were seen as especially helpful in launching new programs.

Indiana University issued a full media release on Wednesday, March 28, 2018.