Benefits and Outcomes of Dual Language Immersion
Research shows that long-term participation in Dual Language Immersion programs can produce benefits for students in many areas. Among others, the benefits of participation in dual language immersion programs include:
- World Language Proficiency
Students achieve high levels of world language proficiency in the immersion language. By enrolling in a Delaware Dual anguage Immersion program, students are on a pathway to read, write, speak, and listen in another language at high intermediate proficiency level by the ninth grade when they take Advanced Placement language and its corresponding AP test. By continuing study of the same language in high school, they can achieve advanced language proficiency skills and possibly earn credit towards a language minor at Delaware colleges and universities.
- Improved Test Performance
Research shows that immersion students perform as well or better than their non-immersion peers on standardized tests of English and mathematics, even when these assessments are delivered in English.
- Enhanced Cognitive Skills
Immersion students develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention control, better memory and superior problem-solving skills, as well as an enhanced understanding of their first language.
- Increased Cultural Sensitivity
Immersion students are much more aware of and show a more positive attitude towards different cultures and an appreciation of people who have different cultural perspectives and practices. A survey of top international business executives done by the Center for Applied Second Language Studies at the University of Oregon in 2007 showed that multinational businesses are looking for potential high-level employees with cultural sensitivities and the skill to perform in a foreign environment. “What really counts for multinational businesses is employees’ ability to effectively communicate in a variety of cultures and contexts. Bilingual employees are valuable, not only for their language skills, but also for their ability to interact effectively with people around the world in either their first or second language.”
- Long-Term Benefits
Immersion students are better prepared for the global community and job markets where world language skills provide them with an economic advantage. According to a Bloomberg study of most important languages for international business, Mandarin Chinese ranks first after English and Spanish ranks fourth. Delaware professionals such as those in medicine, international trade, pharmaceuticals, the oil and gas industry, power industry, luxury good and other transportation technologies encompass extensive multilingual networks locally and around the world. As business relationships deepen between Delaware and other countries, having skills to communicate in Mandarin Chinese or in Spanish will be an invaluable economic advantage.
Additional Resources on the Benefits of Dual Language Immersion
- Infographic on the Benefits of Multilingualism from the Office of English Language Acquisition (USED)
- Research-Base for the Benefits of Dual Language Immersion from the Delaware Department of Education
- "The Multilingual Mind" video on the impact of language learning on the brain
- Delaware Dual Language Immersion Proficiency Targets
- How DLI Students Progress Toward Language Proficiency - Video from Granite School District (Utah)
- World Language Proficiency