Our panel discussion on Language Immersion in Urban Public Schools: Benefits and Challenges was a very successful inaugural event for the DC Language Immersion Project.

Here is the permanent youtube link to the recording of the panel.

Here is the storify.

Several people asked for the slides/docs of the panelists’ engaging presentations – here they are!

Marty Abbott – Language Immersion on Urban Public Schools: Benefits and Challenges

Gina Bowler and Delores Millhouse – Parents are Powerful Advocates

Maquita Alexander – Chinese Immersion, Implementation, Reflections and Next Steps

Lynn Fulton-Archer – From Vision to Implementation: Delaware’s Focus on “Providing Students with a World of Advantages”

Thank you to our great panelists and to our inspiring moderator Kavitha Cardoza!


Below is the full program

Language Immersion in Urban Public Schools: Exploring the benefits and challenges

Thursday December 4th, 2014 at 6pm

Great Hall of MLK Library, 901 G Street NW

Co-hosted by DC Public LibraryDC State Board of Education and DC Language Immersion Project

Sponsored by Ward 5 Council on EducationWard 2 Education NetworkWard 7 Education CouncilWard 4 Education Alliance, Ward 8 Education Council, Ward 1 Education Collaborative, Capitol Hill Public Schools Parent Organization (CHPSPO)Education Town Hall

Moderated by Kavitha Cardoza


Welcome by Richard Reyes-Gavilan, Executive Director of DC Public Libraries (TBC)

Remarks by Mark Jones, President of DC State Board of Education Screening of clip from documentary “Speaking in tongues”

Marty Abbott, Executive Director at American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) – What research shows about the benefits of education in a Language Immersion context

Delores Millhouse and Gina Bowler of My Bilingual Child – How a grassroots community organization successfully advocated for the creation of three additional Language Immersion schools in Prince Georges County

Maquita Alexander, Head of School at Washington Yu Ying PCS – Implementation and timing issues in new Language Immersion programs

Donna Sothern, Spanish immersion teacher at Cleveland Elementary DCPS – Effects of bilingual education on classroom dynamics and learning

Lynn Fulton-Archer, Education Specialist, World Language Immersion, Delaware Department of Education – Implementation of the Governor’s World Language Expansion Initiative – Language Immersion as a turnaround tool

Sally Schwartz, Founder and Executive Director at Globalize DC – The missing link between DC jobs and the jobs of our children


Visit Ms. Arranz’s virtual immersion classroom before and after the panel discussion! Ms. Arranz will be available before and after the panel discussion to answer your questions on how a Language Immersion classroom is different from a regular classroom, how Language Immersion is an accelerated program as opposed to remedial, and addressing common parents’ anxieties relating to Language Immersion.


This panel discussion is intended to inform parents, educators, administrators, and community from all eight wards on the benefits and challenges of implementing Language Immersion programs in our public elementary schools. The hope is that a coalition of stakeholders across the traditional public and charter sectors will engage in drafting a strategic plan for expanding Language Immersion offerings in DC.