Features of Dual Language Immersion in High Achieving Programs

With funding from the International Research & Studies program of the U.S. Department of Education, CAL is working on a three-year research study to 1) identify successful Spanish/English dual language immersion (DLI) programs by analyzing state-wide longitudinal data in the two program languages; 2) document characteristics of DLI in high achieving programs based on case studies; and 3) disseminate the results of the research study so that the study may be replicated and its results applied in programs with similar objectives.

The Features of Dual Language Immersion in High Achieving Programs project will address a critical need for evidence-based information on the characteristics of DLI, as it will provide a basis for replication of successful programs and better fidelity of implementation of these programs. The study will employ a mixed-methods methodology. Quantitative analysis will be carried out on three years of English and Spanish academic achievement data obtained from the Oregon Department of Education from twenty-three elementary DLI programs in order to identify the two programs that consistently show the highest adjusted average scores in academic achievement measures in both languages and for both native speakers of Spanish and English. These programs will then be studied in depth through classroom observations and focus group interviews with relevant stakeholders.

Results of the qualitative analyses will reveal program and instructional features found in programs with high levels of academic achievement in the two program languages. By focusing on a large sample of Spanish/English DLI programs across the state of Oregon that have consistently shown high achievement in both languages and documenting effective programmatic and instructional practices, findings from the Features of Dual Language Immersion in High Achieving Programs project will provide a much needed basis for replication of successful programs. Findings from the project will be disseminated through the CAL website, conference presentations, publications, and workshops for educators and school administrators.

The project is led by CAL Research Scientist Igone Arteagoitia, with support from CAL staff members Yu-Chia Wu, Shu Jing Yen, and José Medina. Kathryn Lindholm-Leary and Soria E. Colomer will serve as external evaluators.

Learn more about the Oregon Department of Education, Biliteracy Initiatives