Parents are key in growing and sustaining a dual language immersion (DLI) program. Being able to continue engaging them and developing a partnership in support of the program as it grows will be extremely critical. Communicate from the onset, the commitment involved in DLI. Provide opportunities for parents to be active participants in the school and classroom.

  • Upon enrollment, communicate the length of parent commitment to the DLI program
    • Draft a letter explaining why commitment is necessary
      • Districts typically ask parents to make a commitment for a minimum of 5 years to see students through to the time when their academic achievement and linguistic acquisition begins to exceed those of their peers not in the DLI program.
    • Include the provision that parents must participate in an exit interview should they decide to withdraw their child from the program before the end of the 5 years they initially committed to.
    • Seek district approval for letter, and have it translated into the target language.
    • Include parental agreement and signature on the form at the informational sessions for the program.
    • Include these two provisions (multi-year commitment and exit interview) in the informational material about the program.
  • Facilitate monthly meetings with parents of students in DLI program to address their questions and concerns and provide education opportunities
    • DLI program design
    • Second language acquisition
    • Literacy/biliteracy
    • Homework
    • Cooperative learning
  • Provide regular parent education opportunities
    • English as a second language classes for parents of English Learners
    • Target language as a second language classes for parents of English-only students
  • Facilitate formal and informal DLI program celebrations to showcase student work in two languages and to encourage parent interaction across languages and cultures

Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education: Strand 7, Support and Resources, Principles 1, 3


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