Dual Language Immersion (DLI)
Dual Language Immersion (DLI) brings English Language Learners and native English speakers together in a classroom where they learn side by side. Classes are taught in both Spanish and English. In a DLI classroom, your student develops their first language while learning communication and literacy skills in a second language. The program improves academic achievement and graduation rates of English Language Learners and prepares them for success beyond the classroom. Your child will develop the ability to read, write and communicate in their first and second languages, as well as build multicultural awareness. Use the buttons to the right to learn more about how you can take advantage of this wonderful opportunity for your children. You can also download and read the brochure here.
Spanish speaking children serve as both teachers and learners in the classroom and their cultural-linguistic heritage is seen as an asset! English speaking families have the amazing opportunity to provide their children with a Spanish-language immersion program and cross-cultural exchange.
MMSD Dual Language Immersion: The What, Why, and How
Program Description: What is Dual Language Immersion?
In dual language immersion (DLI), native Spanish speakers and native English speakers maintain and develop their first language while acquiring native-like communication and literacy skills in a second language. Academic content is taught and assessed in two languages over an extended period of time. In MMSD, all of the non-Charter DLI programs at schools Grade 5K- Grade 8 follow the 50:50 model. Nuestro Mundo, which is a charter school, continues to use a 90/10 model. DLI teachers practice language separation to support language development goals. Both languages serve as a vehicle of instruction, a learning resource and a learning target within DLI programs. DLI programs enhance academic and linguistic abilities in two languages. Teachers in DLI programs integrate multicultural content to promote the development of cross-cultural competence.
Program Objectives: Why choose Dual Language Immersion for your child?
Effective DLI programs result in improved academic achievement and graduation rates of English language learners (ELLs), or students who speak a language other than English in the home. The DLI program supports district efforts to close the academic achievement gap between ELLs and their peers. In addition to enhanced academic achievement, DLI students develop the ability to read, write, and communicate in their first and second languages, which prepares them for full participation in today’s interconnected and increasingly competitive global context DLI programs reflect and honor the linguistic and cultural diversity of our community and prepare students for academic and personal success. DLI programs also report decreases in student mobility and positive outcomes for African American students as compared with non-DLI students of similar background. “Students who started out as English language learners and studied through bilingual immersion not only scored significantly higher than ELLs educated in English-only classrooms but also performed on par with native English speakers educated in English-only classrooms.” (Lindhom-Leary, 2004, Lindhom-Leary & Borsato. 2004, in press)
Program Model: How does it work?
DLI teachers help their students learn language and subject matter by centering the day on a common theme. DLI teachers also include language goals along with content learning goals and frequently check for understanding along the way. Having speakers of both English and Spanish, as well as students from different cultural backgrounds, provides authentic opportunities for students to learn from each other. To maximize learning, DLI classrooms are ideally composed of 50% to 60% students who speak all or mostly Spanish and 40% to 50% English speakers. Students are assessed in the language of instruction, except in cases of assessments mandated by the state.. Research has shown that students perform at or above grade level on standardized tests within five to seven years of experience in DLI programs.
Learn more about Dual Language Immersion, watch this video made by The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota. All Madison Metropolitan School District DLI teachers are trained in immersion through CARLA professional development offerings. Please note that there are some differences in programming from what is described in this video in St. Paul, Minnesota's school district and our own.