Blog

Where do I start?

Where do I start?

Guest post by Byron L. Williams, International Affairs Professional English as my mother tongue.  Spanish when I was in my teens. Sesotho (native language from the African country of Lesotho) when I was in my early 20s. Ukrainian (one of the native languages from the...

DC da un paso más hacia la educación bilingüe

DC da un paso más hacia la educación bilingüe

Por Olga Imbaquingo, El Tiempo Latino. 26 de Agosto, 2019 Artículo completo aquí Mientras algunos políticos conservadores, por un lado, van predicando que el inglés es el único idioma que se debe hablar; la sociedad estadounidense y la del Distrito de Columbia...

ACTFL Report Highlights Need For Languages in U.S. Workforce

ACTFL Report Highlights Need For Languages in U.S. Workforce

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), a longstanding partner in DC Immersion’s work, recently released Making Languages Our Business: Addressing Foreign Language Demand Among U.S. Employers. This report highlights the increased demand for...

2019 Multilingual Education Awards

2019 Multilingual Education Awards

Over 100 multilingual education experts, practitioners, and supporters from all over the District gathered once again on July 9, 2019 for DC Immersion’s second annual Multilingual Education Awards, generously sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and...

DC Funds Language Roadmap

DC Funds Language Roadmap

Demand for multilingual employees in the DC region has more than doubled over the last five years, yet less than 8% of DC students are on a path to becoming proficient in more than one language. On Tuesday, as part of the FY2020 Budget, the DC Council approved funding...

How to testify in front of the DC Council

How to testify in front of the DC Council

Providing public testimony at a DC Council hearing is one of the most effective ways of communicating with the legislators of the District of Columbia. You can testify in your personal capacity or on behalf of a community or organization you represent. Whether you are...

NYC adds 47 new dual language programs. Where does DC stand?

NYC adds 47 new dual language programs. Where does DC stand?

Last week, the Chancellor of New York City Public Schools announced the addition of 47 new PK dual language programs across all five boroughs in school year 2019/2020. And that is in addition to the 32 new dual language programs added in school year 2018/2019 In the...

The 2019 Multilingual Education Fair of DC

The 2019 Multilingual Education Fair of DC

On Saturday, January 26th, nearly 1,000 families, educators, employers, and community members from 3 countries, 11 states, and all 8 wards of the District of Columbia attended the 3rd edition of the Multilingual Education Fair of DC to discover local resources for...

Over 1200 Registered to attend Multilingual Fair

Over 1200 Registered to attend Multilingual Fair

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JANUARY 25, 2019 Washington, DC – DC Language Immersion Project will host the third edition of this free event this Saturday, January 26, 2019 from 10am to 2pm. Over 1200 pre-registered. Gallaudet University President Roberta J. Cordano said "We...

DC Council Majority Supports Dual Language Education Innovation

DC Council Majority Supports Dual Language Education Innovation

For Immediate Release - Washington DC January 10, 2019 During the first legislative session of 2019, a bill to support the expansion of dual language programs in District schools was co-introduced by a majority of D.C. Council members: Education Committee Chair David...

East End Ribbon Cutting for Elsie Whitlow Stokes!

East End Ribbon Cutting for Elsie Whitlow Stokes!

The ribbon cutting ceremony for the opening of Elsie Whitlow Stokes East End PCS embodies how far we have come in the understanding of and support for dual language programs in the District of Columbia. DC Immersion is incredibly proud of this progress. Read our...

Researching Best Practices on Expanding Teacher Pipelines

Researching Best Practices on Expanding Teacher Pipelines

PRESS RELEASE - Washington DC October 10, 2018 Partnership Between Qatar Foundation International and DC Language Immersion Project on Best Practices to Expand Multilingual Education Teacher Pipelines    To tackle one of the biggest hurdles to the expansion of...

DCAYA’s Advocacy Impact Award goes to … DC Immersion!

DCAYA’s Advocacy Impact Award goes to … DC Immersion!

In September, DC Immersion's Executive Director Vanessa Bertelli was awarded the 2018 Individual Advocacy Impact Award in recognition of her outstanding leadership and achievement in promoting citywide progress on behalf of youth, young adults and students. We are...

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month: ¿Quién soy entonces?

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage month: ¿Quién soy entonces?

By Johanna Barrantes, DC Immersion's Engagement Strategist When I think of things that give me comfort, when I am able to collect episodes of my life to feel connected to myself and to the world, I can’t help but think back to the moments when I get to spend time with...

Why Language Matters to D.C. United

Why Language Matters to D.C. United

Here at DC Immersion we spend a significant amount of our time engaging families and communities about the importance of a multilingual education for all District residents. Guess how excited we were to hear members of the D.C. United team making that argument for us?...

The next DCPS Chancellor must be a champion of multilingual education

The next DCPS Chancellor must be a champion of multilingual education

The DC Language Immersion Project works to engage families, support educators, research best practices and advocate for a systemic approach to close the opportunity gap through multilingual education. In December of 2016, we testified in front of the Education...

Meet Marjoury Alicea, SBOE’s bilingual student representative

Meet Marjoury Alicea, SBOE’s bilingual student representative

The State Board of Education recently announced it’s selection for student representatives. We were fortunate enough to meet Miss Marjoury Alicea, the newly appointed student representative, and learned about her goals in this new chapter and how her bilingual...

Beyond a Bridge to Understanding

Beyond a Bridge to Understanding

By Martha G Abbott, AFT American Educator, Vol. 42, NO. 2, Summer 2018 Read more here. "Even before having children, Jimell Sanders was intent on ensuring that her local school would be able to offer the opportunity of early second language learning. A health systems...

2018 Multilingual Education Awards

2018 Multilingual Education Awards

On July 12th, 2018 the DC Language Immersion Project gathered the leading experts and practitioners of multilingual education to celebrate the work of a community committed to providing access to linguistic and cultural competence to all children. DC Immersion had the...

Are dual-language programs in urban schools a sign of gentrification?

Are dual-language programs in urban schools a sign of gentrification?

By Perry Stein, Reporter, Washington Post July 3 Read more here. "D.C. Public Schools is considering expanding the dual-language program at Tyler to meet citywide demand, and that possibility has some parents worried the District intends to attract more upper- income...

DC leads the way with a state-level Office of Multilingual Education

DC leads the way with a state-level Office of Multilingual Education

The District is poised to lead the nation with the creation of a state-level Office of Multilingual Education housed within the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, and tasked with setting a vision for multilingual education for ALL students across all...

Bridging America’s Language Gap: A Call to Action

Bridging America’s Language Gap: A Call to Action

DC Immersion is proud to partner with leaders in American business, government, and education in a national effort to strengthen language education so that individual Americans can more effectively participate in a global society, and the nation as a whole can prosper...

Handy guide to educate your preferred candidate

Election season is upon us. So we've compiled a handy guide to help you educate your favorite candidate about the need for more and better multilingual education in DC. CHILDREN IN DUAL LANGUAGE PROGRAMS ACHIEVE BETTER, WHATEVER THEIR SOCIOECONOMIC STATUS, ETHNICITY...

Invest 550,000 in FY2019 for Multilingual Education!

Invest 550,000 in FY2019 for Multilingual Education!

Demand for multilingual education in the District is off the charts, but only 8% of District youth have access to these opportunity-boosting programs. The Mayor’s proposed fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget DOES NOT include funding for multilingual education which is key to...

Summer Camps in DC Area

Summer Camps in DC Area We compiled this 2018 list of language summer camps for your young linguists. If you find it helpful, please remember to support our work! If you have any to add, please add them in the comments to this page and we’ll get right to it. F is for...

Letter: Bilingual Education Should Be Available to All Children

Letter: Bilingual Education Should Be Available to All Children

Below is DC Immersion's Executive Director Vanessa Bertelli's Letter to the Editor which was published on The Atlantic on February 3rd, 2018. Read more here. A reader argues that a more desirable workforce—and a more equitable society—hangs in the balance. Conor...

2018 Bilingual Education Fair of DC – all 8 wards and plenty more!

2018 Bilingual Education Fair of DC – all 8 wards and plenty more!

Over 300 participants from all 8 wards of the District of Columbia and from all neighboring cities and counties of Maryland and Virginia attended the 2018 Bilingual Education Fair of DC on January 20th, 2018 to learn about why, how and where to raise multilingual kids...

A thank you from John B. King Jr.

A thank you from John B. King Jr.

We asked former US Secretary of Education and current President and CEO of The Education Trust John B. King Jr. to welcome educators and families to the 2018 Bilingual Education Fair of DC. We got a passionate and encouraging speech filled with gratitude for the work...

Realizan Feria de Educación Bilingüe

Realizan Feria de Educación Bilingüe

Este sábado 20 se realizará en Washington, DC, la segunda edición de este evento con unos 40 expositores Redacción | El Tiempo Latino | 1/18/2018, La demanda de educación bilingüe y la necesidad de empleados bilingües se está disparando en todo el país y Washington,...

The Week Ahead: Bilingual Education Fair of DC

The Week Ahead: Bilingual Education Fair of DC

By Current News Staff WriterJanuary 17, 2018 The Bilingual Education Fair of DC will be held at the Thurgood Marshall Center at 1816 12th St., NW from 1 to 5 p.m. The fair is an event for Washington, D.C. region parents, educators and community members to discover...

D.C. Public Schools Hold Bilingual Education Fair

D.C. Public Schools Hold Bilingual Education Fair

By AFRO Staff, January 16th, 2018 Read more here. As part of the D.C. Language Immersion Project, the Thurgood Marshall Center, located at 1816 12th Street, NW, is scheduled to host a Bilingual Education Fair on Jan. 20 from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. The fair will allow...

Languages as privilege

Languages as privilege

Languages equal privilege. Languages are taught in private schools much more than in public schools. Wealthy Americans send their kids to Mandarin dual language schools in droves. Wealthier kids have Spanish speaking nannies, private language tutors, will go travel...

Achievement in DC’s dual language programs

Achievement in DC’s dual language programs

Over the last three years, DC Immersion has been working to gather data to study the impact of DC's dual language programs on achievement. Preliminary data obtained from the DC Office of the State Superintendent on Education (OSSE) shows students in dual language...

Advocacy Toolkit for DC Parents

Advocacy Toolkit for DC Parents

We've listened! Here is the ultimate advocacy toolkit to get a multilingual program started in your community. Tell us a little more about yourself so we can better support and connect you with other advocates in your community, and download the toolkit here. Or you...

Wonder Woman, languages and perception of time

Wonder Woman, languages and perception of time

Wonder Woman Speaks All Languages, Bends Perception of Time By Sarah Sloat Wonder Woman is a superhero of many talents: She’s got incredible strength and speed, and she seems to be both indestructible and immortal. But her most underrated skill of all is her ability...

3 days, 8 wards, 100 advocates and a U-Turn?

3 days, 8 wards, 100 advocates and a U-Turn?

Guest post by Fabrice Jaumont  Back from DC where I proudly supported the efforts of DC Immersion and its wonderful team in what is now referred to as the Bilingual Revolution in DC. During these three days, I took part in no less than 9 events and talked about my...

Prochaine destination de la “révolution bilingue” ? Washington DC

Prochaine destination de la “révolution bilingue” ? Washington DC

By Rémi Gaggioli, French Morning, October 17th 2017 Let's hear it in French now! « Nous voulons donner aux parents des outils pour qu’ils obtiennent de la municipalité qu’une éducation bilingue soit disponible dans leur communauté », explique Vanessa Bertelli,...

Multilingual Education is a Strategic Priority!

Multilingual Education is a Strategic Priority!

The new 2017-2022 DC Public School Strategic Plan was released this month. We are proud and excited that, after years of advocacy and community engagement, multilingual education is finally one of DC Public School’s Strategic Priorities, along with increasing...

An interview with Fabrice Jaumont

An interview with Fabrice Jaumont

Below is an interview with our friend Fabrice Jaumont author of “Bilingual Revolution: The Future of Education is in Two Languages”. He is one of the international authorities on bilingual education and community engagement relating to it. We owe him a debt of...

Praise from the Committee on Education

Praise from the Committee on Education

DC Immersion was among many respected education advocates to testify during the DC Council's Committee on Education hearing on the 2017-2022 DC Public Schools Strategic Plan. Together with other public witnesses, DC Immersion spoke out in support of DCPS strategic...

Bilingual Revolution in DC

Bilingual Revolution in DC

Looking for information you can use to make bilingual education happen in your community? Join fellow parents in your community at a venue near you over the weekend of October 20th-22nd! In response to the skyrocketing and unmet demand for dual language programs in...

Bilingual education benefits all students

Bilingual education benefits all students

In response to a recent article suggesting that the rising popularity of dual language programs could leave Latinos behind, we feel data, research and a broader perspective are needed. This complex topic cannot be reduced to Latinos versus rest of DC residents, nor...

Monolingual parents of kids in dual language – you’ve got this!

Monolingual parents of kids in dual language – you’ve got this!

So you’ve won the lottery and your child is about to begin the adventure of a lifetime - learning in two languages. You are excited but also anxious about how to help your child when you do not speak or understand one of those languages.  Though you are not with your...

Rising popularity of dual-language education could leave Latinos behind

Rising popularity of dual-language education could leave Latinos behind

By Tara García Mathewson, US News, July 31, 2017 This article raises the very important issue of who should have priority in the expansion of bilingual education at a critical time, as DCPS is about to issue its strategic plan which will include the expansion of dual...

Bilingual Daycares in DC

Bilingual Daycares in DC

We're with you. Your young child's brain should get on with one of the things it does best at this age - acquire languages! To help you out, we compiled this listing of center based daycares (D) and home and family daycares (HD) with immersion or bilingual programs....

What does the District gain with languages?

What does the District gain with languages?

We condensed the top reasons the District should actively and purposefully pursue multilingual education from early childhood to the workforce. Download here and enjoy!

DC Immersion’s Jimell Sanders selected on SBOE #DCGradReqs Task Force

DC Immersion’s Jimell Sanders selected on SBOE #DCGradReqs Task Force

We are very proud to announce that our Director of Engagement and stellar education advocate Jimell Sanders has been selected to be on the DC State Board of Education's High School Graduation Requirements Task Force. Under the leadership of Ward 1 representative Laura...

Growing demand for bilingual employees in the DC Region

Growing demand for bilingual employees in the DC Region

A new report by bipartisan research group New American Economy indicates that there is a growing need for bilingual employees in the US workforce. In fact, demand for multilingual employees more than doubled over the last five years. We asked New American Economy to...

Strand Programs v. Whole School Programs

Strand Programs v. Whole School Programs

DC Public Schools (DCPS)’ four strand programs - Tyler, Cleveland, Marie Reed and Powell - are at a crossroad. Historically, other strand programs (SWS, Logan Montessori, etc.) have eventually moved on to whole school programs. DC Immersion believes making the...

Language Summer Camps 2017

Language Summer Camps 2017

We compiled this list of language summer camps for your young linguists. If you find it helpful, please remember to support our work! If you have any to add, please add them in the comments to this page and we'll get right to it. F is for French, M for Mandarin, S for...

How will you Lead with Languages?

How will you Lead with Languages?

"Our national security, economic competitiveness and fabric as a united people demand that we increase our nation’s language skills and global competence." This is the introduction to the national call to action of the Lead With Languages campaign. We are very proud...

Invest In Languages Week

Invest In Languages Week

The demand for K-12 language immersion in DC still dramatically outweighs the available slots at immersion schools. This means every year hundreds of DC students are prevented from attending language programs because there are not enough seats. This lack of seats...

Talking points on ESSA

Talking points on ESSA

ESSA provides an opportunity to harness concrete, innovative, research-based initiatives that narrow the achievement gap, support all of DC’s student populations, and allow our children to develop critical 21st century skills and make DC’s workforce competitive. In...

2016 Annual Report

2016 Annual Report

Looking back at 2016, we cannot help being incredibly proud of what DC Immersion achieved. With the help of countless, passionate volunteers and strong partner organizations, we educated many more DC residents on the benefits and challenges of bilingual education,...

It’s a Gap-Closing Strategy!

It’s a Gap-Closing Strategy!

Over the last two and a half years, DC Immersion has been making the case that dual language programs should be better supported and expanded because they are an effective way to increase proficiency across all of our DC student populations. You can read our latest...

DC’s First Bilingual Education Fair

DC’s First Bilingual Education Fair

Why, How and Where to Raise Bilingual Kids - even if you only speak one language Organized by DC Language Immersion Project with support from French Morning Supported by Rochambeau, The French School of Washington DC, Whole Kids Academy and Qatar Foundation...

6 Potential Brain Benefits Of Bilingual Education

6 Potential Brain Benefits Of Bilingual Education

Yes, we all know, but it's nice to be reminded by the latest NPR Education podcast in the series 5 Million Voices (that is the number of students in the US who are English language learners). Attention, empathy, reading (English), school performance and engagement,...

Partner Language Proficiency as an Indicator of School Performance

Partner Language Proficiency as an Indicator of School Performance

On November 16th, 2016 DC Immersion testified on the Every Student Succeeds Act or #ESSA in front of the DC State Board of Education. Our testimony made the argument that the level of proficiency in the partner language should count, together with other standard...

Teacher Sourcing for Dual Language Programs

Teacher Sourcing for Dual Language Programs

Our panelists presented and discussed with an audience of close to 100 teachers, paraprofessionals, embassies' cultural attachés, local and federal government officials, deans of local universities, policy experts and school district officials from across the DC...

Working with Georgetown University on Research on Assessment

Working with Georgetown University on Research on Assessment

We are excited to be working with Georgetown University's Assessment and Evaluation Language Resource Center AELRC on much needed research on partner language assessments in DC's dual language programs. "Assessment and evaluation are key elements in a comprehensive...

California Parents Who Want Dual Language Could Get It

California Parents Who Want Dual Language Could Get It

Under Prop58, aka The California Multilingual Education Act, expected to be overwhelmingly approved on November 8, schools are mandated to implement a dual language program if more than 20 parents in any grade or 30 parents across the school request it. The initiative...

Where is DC on the Dual Language Policy Spectrum?

Where is DC on the Dual Language Policy Spectrum?

The Joint National Committee on Languages (JNCL), among other things, analyzes state policies that support dual language immersion. It recently looked at where DC falls on the spectrum of state support for dual language programs and found that, despite evidence-based...

2016 State of Dual Language in DC

2016 State of Dual Language in DC

This infographic looks at the state of dual language education in DC. There are currently 14 elementary school dual language programs, 4 middle and 3 high school programs, for a total of 21 programs. Eight of these are Public Charter Schools, while 13 are DC public...

Better understanding the demand for dual language programs

Better understanding the demand for dual language programs

To better understand the demand for dual language programs in the District, in partnership with the National Foreign Language Center of the University of Maryland, and with the support of a majority of the existing dual language programs in DC across both sectors, DC...

Dual Language as Desegregation Tool

Dual Language as Desegregation Tool

Click the image below to read how dual language programs can be used as a tool to desegregate socioeconomically our schools, narrow the achievement gap and increase opportunity.

El valor económico y social de una educación bilingüe

El valor económico y social de una educación bilingüe

On Saturday June 4th 2016, DC Immersion held its first community forum aimed at the Latino population of Ward 1, presented by National Foreign Language Center of University of Maryland and co-hosted by the Mayor's Office on Latino Affairs and the State Board of...

Skylar wants to speak to her friends

Skylar wants to speak to her friends

DC Student's Perspective Skylar, an English native speaker third grader in one of DC's existing dual language immersion programs reminded us that students too must have a voice in this conversation. In an increasingly linguistically diverse city, children want to be...

Destacan valor de la ensegñanza en dos idiomas

Destacan valor de la ensegñanza en dos idiomas

By Milagros Meléndez-Vela, El Tiempo Latino, May 27, 2016 El Tiempo latino reported on the hosting of our Ward 1 community engagement forum El Valor Económico y Social de tuna Educación Bilingüe "“Estamos muy entusiasmados con la oportunidad de llevar el mensaje a la...

El valor económico y social — 4 de junio de 2016

El valor económico y social — 4 de junio de 2016

Matricúlese en Español aquí bilingue.eventbrite.com ¿Cómo funcionan los programas bilingües y cómo afectan el progreso académico tanto para hablantes nativos como para los que no son nativos? ¿Cuál es el valor de la competencia lingüística y cultural para la nueva...

DLI Network

DLI Network

As part of a broader strategy to support existing dual language programs in DC, with this new bulletin we aim to share information and report back on DC Immersion's activity. We hope you find it useful and look forward to your feedback. If you are an administrator or...

Dual-Language Classes for Kids Grow in Popularity

Dual-Language Classes for Kids Grow in Popularity

In increasingly global economy, more parents seek leg up for their children through early immersion programs By Janet Adamy, The Wall Street Journal, April 1, 2016 Penelope Spain is desperate to make her 3-year-old son fluent in a second language. Last year, the...

D.C. Schools Expand Dual-Language Programs

D.C. Schools Expand Dual-Language Programs

By Natalie Gross, Education Writers Association, March 18th 2016 The news of Houston Elementary DCPS having been authorized to start a dual language immersion program in the fall of 2016 was covered by the Latino Ed Beat of the Education Writers Association "“We know...

Cost of dual language

Cost of dual language

The actual short and long term cost implications of implementing dual language programs in DC needs to be better understood. In the meantime, with the help of DC budget analyst Mary Levy, we compared the operational budgets of all elementary dual language programs...

Languages as a Pathway to Opportunity

Languages as a Pathway to Opportunity

On Saturday, February 20, 2016 DC Language Immersion Project, DC Public Library and DC State Board of Education hosted Languages as a Pathway to Opportunity sponsored by Alliance Française DC and Quebec Bureau. The forum explored the value of language in a global...

Dual Language Drought | Capital Community News

Dual Language Drought | Capital Community News

By Jonetta Rose Barras, December 24, 2015 "The District must grow a pool of global citizens fluent in various world languages and cultures, if it’s serious about developing long-term relations with countries like China and expanding employment opportunities for its...

First Dual Language Program East of the River

First Dual Language Program East of the River

Lots of lucky dads and moms in the boundary of Houston Elementary, the District’s 14th elementary dual language program, and the first East of the River. Here's to many more! We are proud to have contributed to this happening and look forward to continuing to work...

FLES v. Dual Language Programs

FLES v. Dual Language Programs

In comparison with FLES programs (Foreign Language in Elementary School), dual language immersion programs are less expensive, more impactful in terms of achievement and results on the District’s future workforce. 1. FLES is part of the answer in the short...

A New Network of Dual Language in DC

A New Network of Dual Language in DC

With the pretext of celebrating its first anniversary, DC Immersion invited all the administrators and key educators of DC's traditional public and public charter dual language programs to attend a talk by Dr. Robert Slater Co-Principal Investigator of the...

The Economic Imperative of Bilingual Education

The Economic Imperative of Bilingual Education

By Melinda D. Anderson, November 10, 2015 The Atlantic explores why states are aggressively pushing for immersion programs. "The jobs expected to grow most in the next 10 years are heavily related to languages—hospitality, tourism, marketing, and healthcare,” DC...

Download our factsheet and our banner!

Download our factsheet and our banner!

We are working on a number of materials to help our grassroots members inform their communities, their schools and their elected officials about the benefits of language immersion programs and their impact on the DC economy. Here is something to get you started!

Stories from the Nation’s Capital

Stories from the Nation’s Capital

By Amaya Garcia and Conor P. Williams, New America Education, October 2015 "On a muggy evening in early June a few blocks from the U.S. Capitol, a group of parents and community advocates is gathered in the gym of a local school to learn about the educational benefits...

Language immersion schools flourish in D.C.

Language immersion schools flourish in D.C.

By Moriah Costa, June 12, 2015 "The D.C. Language Immersion Project, a language education advocacy group,  is the biggest force behind expanding programs in the District. The group often hosts educational meetings on the benefits of language programs." Read full...

Myths and Realities on Immersion’s Impact on Achievement

Myths and Realities on Immersion’s Impact on Achievement

Thank you to all the teachers, parents and community who came to our community engagement forum in Ward 6 to explore Myths and Realities on Immersion's Impact on Achievement with Dr. Robert Slater, Co-Principal investigator of the Portland Study. Io said it best...

New Advocacy Group Pushes for Multilingualism in D.C. Schools

New Advocacy Group Pushes for Multilingualism in D.C. Schools

By Conor Williams, New America Ed, February 27, 2015 D.C.’s dynamism as a local community was on full display earlier this week at a panel event hosted by the DC Language Immersion Project. The discussion, titled “Economic and Workforce Development Impacts of Language...

DC Language Immersion Project