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 high-in-demand multilingual education, the DC Language Immersion Project (DC Immersion) and Qatar Foundation International (QFI) are proud to be partnering on much needed research on national and international best practices to expand dual language and world language teacher pipelines.
 
Research findings will help superintendents across the country decide which approaches and policy leavers are right for their school districts. “We are excited to be able to support the implementation of more language programs across the country by making best practices on teacher sourcing available to all states and school districts” said QFI Executive Director Maggie Mitchell Salem.
 
“None of the research conducted over the last 20 years looks comprehensively at the many policy levers and practical solutions available to increase teacher pipelines for dual language and world language.” said DC Immersion’s Director of Teaching and Learning Linsey Silver “This is crippling as schools, school districts and states often end up having to reinvent the wheel in the push to expand these programs without the benefit of analysis on cost effectiveness and implementation timelines of the different options.” 
 
The research will span very disparate areas – from immigration regulations to reciprocity agreements with foreign countries, from tweaking of certification requirements to cooperation with local universities and teacher unions. “It is not only broad subject-wise, it is broad geographically too, as innovators are sprinkled across the country, and often their policies and approaches are not trumpeted about” said Vanessa Bertelli, Executive Director of DC Immersion.
 
In addition to the national scope of the research on best practices, the grant awarded to DC Immersion supports the District of Columbia in the implementation of these best practices. “The grant will allow DC Immersion to support the Office of the State Superintendent of Education’s Office of Multilingual Education as it works to remove roadblocks to more multilingual education from birth to workforce” said QFI Program Officer Kelly Doffing “We are excited to be a part of the District’s work to pave the way to a linguistically and culturally competent citizenry.”
 

QFI is Qatar Foundation International (www.qfi.org) was founded in Washington, D.C. in 2009 and is a member of the Qatar Foundation for Education, Science, and Community Development.QFI engages a global community of diverse learners and educators, fostering global competency and 21st century skills through the exploration of the Arabic language and the Arab world’s societies and cultures.  QFI’s vision is of a world that embraces and respects diversity, values lifelong learning, and empowers individuals to take action to shape their future.

We focus on student-centered learning environments that foster a deeper understanding of the Arab world through the teaching of Arabic, and about the region’s societies and cultures. We partner with primary and secondary schools, universities, multilateral entities, and other philanthropic organizations to ensure that our programs advance students’ acquisition of global competency and 21st century skills.

 
The DC Language Immersion Project (www.dcimmersion.org) is a nonprofit working to engage families, support educators, research best practices and advocate for a systemic approach to equitably increasing opportunity and strengthening communities through multilingual education. Its vision is a quality multilingual education for every child in the nation’s capital to become empathetic citizens of the world, and for the District and its future workforce to compete successfully in the global marketplace.

Dear Families, educators, and partners,

In 2020 we announced that the DC Language Immersion Project would close its doors due to lack of resources. However, before completely dissolving the organization, we recently asked a group of local and national educators if they - individually or collectively - would be interested in continuing the work of advocating for multilingual education in the District of Columbia. We are pleased to announce that a few individuals responded yes and volunteered to forge a plan to continue this vital work.

So, we are not closing our doors but we are entering a six-to-twelve-month period of dormancy as we determine the best path forward for the DC Immersion Project.  Thank you for your continued support and please stay tuned for updates.

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