DLI Research Alliance

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DLI Research

Dual language immersion can level the academic playing field for hundreds of thousands of students across the United States.

Dual language immersion (DLI) programs are rapidly becoming prominent across the country in cities and rural communities alike. As the linguistic diversity of US schools continues to expand, DLI programs invite students to use their linguistic abilities as key assets in expanding multilingual instruction with native English-speaking students. These programs have been found to significantly raise student achievement in core subjects for both ELs and native English speakers. 

Dual language education opens a necessary window for educational equity by increasing the achievement of all students. DLI programs have been found to reduce achievement gaps between different groups of students, eliminating predictable trends about which students are the highest and lowest achieving in a school system.

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Our Alliance and Mission

The Alliance is a network of K-12 practitioners and education researchers seeking to advance quality and build capacity in dual language immersion learning by identifying core features and variables for quality implementation in DLI. These programs can successfully prepare students to be bilingual, biliterate, bicultural, and career and college-ready. The Alliance is positioned to address issues in research and policy to ensure long-term success for this important intervention strategy.

We seek to develop and carry out a rigorous research agenda on topics that matter to all schools involved in, or planning to be involved in dual language learning. The Alliance will advance equity and excellence in education by providing credible, nonpartisan research and evidence about policies and practices that promote student success. Specifically, we will:

  • Conduct rigorous applied research in collaboration with policymakers, educators, and other stakeholders;
  • Develop and maintain an archive of available longitudinal data on dual language immersion programs and communities to support ongoing research, and;
  • Disseminate research findings to multiple audiences around the nation.

Our Team

The Alliance is led by Dr. Robert Slater, co-director of ARC at American Councils. To ensure that the Alliance addresses a wide spectrum of research and policy questions that reflect the needs and concerns of school districts, we have identified a Steering Committee that works toward setting the agenda and future of the partnership.

Steering Group Members

  • Mr. Michael Bacon, Portland Public Schools
  • Dr. Donna Christian, Center for Applied Linguistics
  • Ms. Lynn Fulton-Archer, Delaware State Office of Education
  • Dr. Jennifer Li, The RAND Corporation
  • Ms. Rosa Molina, Association of Two-Way and Dual Language Education (ATDLE)
  • Mr. Gregg Roberts, Utah State Office of Education
  • Ms. Sylvia Romero-Johnson, Madison (WI) Public Schools
  • Dr. Robert Slater, American Councils Research Center
  • Mr. Jon Valentine, Gwinnett County (GA) Public Schools

Our Partners

We are joined in this initial effort by a group of founding partners. These partners already represent more than 500 dual language programs, with over 70,000 students enrolled in these programs. These include:

  • Delaware Department of Education, World Languages and International Education
  • Gwinnett County (GA) Public Schools
  • Los Angeles Unified School District
  • Louisiana State Department of Education, World Languages
  • North Carolina Department of Public Instruction
  • Madison (WI) Metropolitan School District, Office of Multilingual and Global Education
  • Portland (OR) Public Schools, Department of Dual Language
  • Utah State Office of Education, World Languages
  • CARLA, University of Minnesota

Learn More

Contact Dr. Robert Slater.