The Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program
Dual language immersion programs are designed for students, native and non-native speakers of English, to learn two languages; one language does not replace the other. There is a great demand for these programs and there are long wait lists at these schools; in fact, many eager parents complete a preliminary application of interest when their child is not of school age to ensure a greater possibility of getting in when they are. For many of these schools, admission is by lottery.
Most dual language immersion programs enroll native English and native Spanish speakers. Ideally, each class is made up of 50% native English speakers and 50% native Spanish speakers. There are also dual language immersion programs that focus on other languages such as Korean, Mandarin, Japanese or French, instead of Spanish. A great advantage of these programs is that the students come from varied backgrounds and socioeconomic status. Although most students live approximately 5-20 minutes away from the school, it is not uncommon to have students come from areas that are 30-60 minutes away.
The main goals for these programs are for students to achieve strong levels of academic proficiency in both languages and to value cultural diversity. Many programs exist at the elementary school level only, but there are some that continue the program into high school.
Students enrolled in dual language immersion programs have the opportunity to earn a State Seal of Biliteracy Award. On October 8, 2011, Governor Brown approved bill AB815, State Seal of Biliteracy, authored by Assemblymember Julia Brownley. This bill will establish a uniform set of criteria for all California school districts recognizing students for their successful academic achievement in English and another world language(s). The State Seal of Biliteracy will be recorded on the student’s high school diploma and/or transcripts. Previously, each school district used their own set of criteria for awarding the Seal of Biliteracy. More information and resources regarding this award can be found on the Californians Together website. Californians Together is a statewide coalition of advocates and other civil rights groups committed to securing equal access to underserved children in our schools.
Here’s a new article about how Utah’s state supported dual language programs continue to grow!
Visit Spanish Playground site for information on lots of other resources.
On Facebook go to
- SpanglishBaby: www.spanslishbaby.com
- Spanish Playground (they do a great job in posting good stuff from the other sites): www.spanishplayground.net
- Fun for Early & Elementary Spanish Teachers: www.funforspanishteachers.com
- 1-2-3 Spanish Together: www.123Spanishtogether.com
- MommyMaestra: www.mommymaestra.com
- BBC Learn Spanish (more for adults)
As a part of the program, the publisher makes available a variety of support materials for teachers and families. Specifically, there is a weekly letter with activities to send home. Although the activities are intended for classes using the Tesoros de lectura program, they provide excellent examples and are a wonderful resource for teachers and parents working with children learning Spanish. Check out www.tesoros.macmillanmh.com/national
9letras is a blog by Alberto Abarca Fillat of Huesca, Spain. Alberto shares educational material that he creates for teaching Spanish and his website has a huge number of printable activities for young Spanish learners. Go to www.9letras.wordpress.com
Tablet Apps include
- Noyo Spanish Vocabulary Builder
- ABC Spanish Resources
- iWriteWords in Spanish
- Spanish Baby Flashcards
- 123 Fun: Write and Learn Numbers
- International Children Digital Library (this is an AWESOME app: it provides access to free books from around the world)
- List of apps for reading in Spanish: http://www.mommymaestra.com/2013/02/apps-for-reading-in-spanish.html
Read Conmigo is a free parent focused literacy program that promotes billingualism by providing parents with unique learning tools like billingual children’s books for FREE to help improve the learning environment at home. If you go to their website, you can begin to receive their books. Check out www.readconmigo.org.
See the article below from Best Colleges Online: