George Mason University professors Thomas and Collier recently published the results of their longitudinal research in dual language urban school in North Carolina.  In their book Dual Language Education for a Transformed World they state “When comparing Dual Language (DL) classrooms to […] mainstream English classrooms:

  • African American native English speakers in DL score very significantly higher on state tests as well as norm-referenced tests than African American students in the English mainstream classroom
  • Title I-eligible students in DL score significantly higher  on state tests as well as norm-referenced tests than Title I-eligible students in the English mainstream classroom
  • Special needs students in DL score higher on state tests than special needs students in the English mainstream classroom
  • White native English speakers in DL score higher on state tests as well as norm-referenced tests than White students in the English mainstream classroom
  • Student overall attendance is better in DL programs
  • Significantly fewer behavioral referrals are experienced in DL classes than in the English mainstream classes

In their book Languages and Children – Making the Match researchers Curtain and Dahlberg state “Children of color, children from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, and English Language Learners make the greatest proportionate achievement gains from foreign language study. Early foreign language study is less dependent on previous verbal learning than most other elements of the elementary school curriculum and this allows some students to succeed who have otherwise experienced repeated failure in school.”