Dual Language Immersion (DLI)
"It is estimated that more than half of the world’s population uses two or more languages in their everyday life, but it remains difficult to know the exact number of people who speak more than one language."
What is a Dual Language Immersion Program? Dual Language Immersion Program divides its instructional time equally between English and the immersion language throughout the elementary grades. In APS, the content areas taught in the immersion language are math, science, and immersion language literacy. Dual Language Immersion Schools might be misleading, as DLI programs typically run WITHIN a school where traditional classes are also found. For example, Bolton Academy has four Kindergarten classes with two of the four classes participating in the DLI model. Since 2015, the DLI model has been a state approved delivery model for multilingual students. This allows students to learn academic content in both their native language and a foreign language. This enables Bolton to be a two-way program where the students population consists both native English and Spanish speakers and allows them to learn together in a systematic way where both groups become bilingual and biliterate.
Since 2015, the DLI model has been a state approved delivery model for multilingual students. This allows students to learn academic content in both their native language and a foreign language. This enables Bolton to be a two-way program where the students population consists both native English and Spanish speakers and allows them to learn together in a systematic way where both groups become bilingual and biliterate.
What is the goal of the Dual Language Immersion Program? The goal of the Dual Language Immersion program is to provide educational experiences, from Pre-Kindergarten through grade 12, that support the academic and linguistic development in two languages and that develop students’ appreciation and understanding of their own and other cultures. Students are taught English Language Arts, Reading, Writing, and usually Specials in English. 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. At Bolton, we provide a DLI experience from kindergarten through 5th grade with Spanish being the target language.
How does immersion differ from other types of language instruction? Immersion programs use the target language for content instruction and as a means of full communication. This authentic communication allows students to learn a second language in a similar manner to the way that they learned their native language. Unlike traditional second language courses which focus simply on conversation and vocabulary acquisition.
How can parents support their children at home if they do not speak one of the languages? Parents are encouraged to support their students at home the same way they would in a traditional classroom setting. Read as much as possible to and with your child in the language you speak at home; skills will transfer to the other language. Teachers will be in touch through email and newsletters with tips and suggestions for homework and extra support. Some parents decide to learn the other language with their students.
“Research on…supporting home language development, including fostering bilingualism, maintaining cultural connections and communication with family members, and the transferability of home language skills to English language acquisition, suggests that systematic and deliberate exposure to English, paired with supporting home language development within high-quality educational settings, can result in strong, positive outcomes for multilingual children who are learning English in school. (Non-Regulatory Guidance: English Learners and Title III of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), p. 20
See also the Policy Statement on Supporting Children who are Dual Language Learners in Early Childhood Programs published by the Departments of Education and Health and Human Services, which provides background supporting the language development of young learners.