Establish the chosen dual language immersion (DLI) education program based on recommended percentages of linguistic groups, adhering to all state and federal guidelines/requirements for English Learner education.

This is perhaps the most challenging part of setting up a DLI program, as recruitment efforts may result in a larger number of students from one of the linguistic groups in the program. Careful monitoring of program enrollment requests for linguistic group totals is vital to be able to target the marketing of the program to parents of students in the linguistic group that has the lowest number of registration.

  • Establish the DLI Education Program
    • Begin with a minimum of two kindergarten (or earlier, such as in transitional kindergarten in California, or as early as pre-kindergarten) classes
    • Add two more classes each year at the next grade level
      • If the class sizes in the primary grades are smaller than at the upper grades, then the two classes may end up being only one class once the DLI students reach those grade levels.
      • There will likely be some program attrition to make moving from two smaller classes to one larger class at the upper grades possible.
      • Having at least one large group of students at each of the upper grades is important in order to support the continuation of the DLI program at the secondary level.
  • Classroom Composition
    • Ideal classroom composition is 50% native English-speaking students and 50% native target language-speaking students.
      • Can be as low as 33% native English-speakers and 33% native target language-speakers.
      • The additional 34% of the class can be heritage language speakers, who have a background in the target language, but are not age-level proficient in the target language.
    • If there is not at least 33% of two different linguistic groups in the classroom, the program is considered a
      • one-way dual (two languages being used) language immersion (if more than 67% of the students in class are non-native speakers of the target language) program.
      • developmental bilingual program (if more than 67% of the students in class are English Learners).

Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education: Strand 1, Program Structure, Principles 1, 3, 4; Strand 3, Instruction, Principle 1; Strand 6, Family and Community, Principle 3; Strand 7, Support and Resources, Principles 1

If you would like an expert DLI consultant from CABE PDS to support you in planning and implementing your DLI program, submit your request below.