We Engage Communities

Our communities guide us in everything we do. Based on their needs, we identify credible messengers and engage key-stakeholders to empower communities to coalesce around multilingual programs.

We strategically chose to concentrate our initial engagement effort in underserved communities east of the river. As a direct consequence, 2 dual language schools now exist where there were none.

Dual language programs looking to increase their at-risk population see us as a valuable community engagement partner and we work with other community engagement partners such as MySchoolDC and PAVE to address inequities in access to information.

 

OUTCOMES

  • 17 low-income communities engaged
  • over 60,000 followers informed through our website, newsletter and social media
  • our engagement materials downloaded across the world

The information was always there, but my community and I did not have access to it. DC Immersion changed that.

Fernanda Galindo Macias

Parent of a 2-year-old emerging bilingual

The Economic Imperative of Bilingual Education

The Economic Imperative of Bilingual Education

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 Immersion is quoted as saying “There needs to...

Systemic Expansion of Immersion Programs

Systemic Expansion of Immersion Programs

Current immersion programs are in overwhelming demand, touch only 1/3 of English Language Learners and are not accessible to most Ward 7 and 8 families.  Let's go one step further in making every DC school great by expanding immersion programs throughout the District....

Join the Conversation

Join the Conversation

  Do you share the vision and mission of DC Language Immersion Project?  Join our grassroots group by signing up here! A pop up will appear. Spread the word among your personal network – including family, friends, neighbors, and co-workers!  

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...

A Letter to Our Community

Dear Friends,The sad news is that DC Immersion is closing. The good news is that, together, we have built a network of support for equitable access to multilingual education in DC that transcends a specific organization. Thank you for advocating, learning, and...

These Friends Rock Dual Language – Follow Them!

There is a world of dual language knowledge in DC and beyond. Many of these educators, parents and organizations' passion for dual language predates DC Immersion, many of them have grown with us. We hope you can draw inspiration from these friends and walk with them...

Statement on DC Immersion’s Dissolution

Dear Families, educators, and partners, It is with great disappointment that we share with you that the DC Language Immersion Project (DC Immersion) is dissolving as a 501c3 organization due to a lack of resources after six years of tireless advocacy for multilingual...

What I Have Learned From Suppressing My Bilingualism

By: Thi Nguyen “Hey, can I talk to you?”, said Mr. Kim, my PE teacher, as he pulled me to the side of the soccer field. “I saw that you were talking to other Vietnamese students, and I want to remind you that it’s very important to speak English all the time in...

Julio Argueta Shares His Experience as a Multilingual Ambassador

For the last nine months, DC Immersion was joined by our Multilingual Ambassadors, eight seniors from the International Academy of Roosevelt High School DCPS. These students created outreach strategies to increase attendance to our Multilingual Education Fair of DC....

Open Letter to DCPS Chancellor on Houston Elementary

Dear Chancellor, Houston Elementary led the way in being the very first dual language program East of the River. DCPS listened to the wishes of the Deanwood community and in 2016 Houston Elementary enrolled an inaugural PK3 class of 30 students who would go onto...

Third Dual Language Program East of the River!

We are delighted to announce a third dual language program will open its doors East of the River in school year 2021-22. Last month, the DC Public Charter School Board moved to grant preliminary approval to Global Citizens Public Charter School to offer a dual...

Braitmayer Foundation Awards DC Immersion $35,000 Grant

  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  - Washington, D.C., April  16th, 2020 The DC Language Immersion Project (DC Immersion) is pleased to announce it was awarded a $35,000 grant from The Braitmayer Foundation. With this grant, DC Immersion looks forward to supporting...

Distance Learning: Language Teaching and Learning

We hope to grow this list of free online resources for virtual language teaching and learning. Please send your suggestions to johanna@dcimmersion.org. If you find this helpful, please support our work. Looking for virtual events? Check out our global calendar. We...

Omar Offendum: Peace Activism Through Languages

Known for his unique blend of Hip-Hop & Arabic poetry, Syrian American artist Omar Offendum shared his perspective on the power of languages in peace activism and uniting people all over the globe during the 2020 Multilingual Education Fair of DC.  Generously...

Power of Multilingualism In the Workforce

Distinguished experts from the healthcare, hospitality, intelligence community, and higher ed industries discuss the impact on their industry sector of hiring and working with multilingual employees. The session includes a presentation of the findings from the report...

The 2020 Multilingual Education Fair of DC

The 4th edition of the Multilingual Education Fair, held on Saturday, January 25th, 2020 welcomed a community of families, educators, young adults, college students, employers, and other community members from 5 countries, 14 states, and all 8 wards of the District of...

Language Summer Camps 2020

We compiled this list of language summer camps for young linguists: F is for French, M for Mandarin, S for Spanish, I for Italian, G for German, A is for Arabic and J is for Japanese. Each camp features a significant element of foreign language and/or culture, and is...

DC Immersion Turns 5!

"Since 2014, we have been hard at work to allow all DC children to communicate with more friends, to make the world a smaller place, while increasing equitable access to opportunity. Thank you to all of our partners, volunteers and donors - you make this work...

Dual Language Open Houses

Want to learn more about dual language immersion programs in DC? Attend one of the many upcoming open houses to find out how they work, who they serve and how each one of them uses innovative practices to boost achievement and prepare DC kids for a global future....

Online Shop Now Open!

Our online shop has released in time for the holiday season! Support equitable access to multilingual education in DC while getting gifts for students, colleagues, teachers, family, friends, and yourself! Sizes available range from Youth XS to Adult XXL. All Proceeds...

DC Immersion at ACTFL 2019

The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) hosted their 2019 annual convention and world languages expo at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. Pre-convention workshops began Thursday, November 21, and the schedule programs ran through...

Brainstorming Equity of Access to Dual Language

On November 23, 2019, in collaboration with our partners at University of Maryland's National Foreign Language Center (NFLC), DC Immersion presented on the recently published report, Demographics and Equity of Dual Language Immersion Programs in Washington, D.C. at...

La Suissesse qui veut rendre Washington bilingue

Our executive director was the guest of the 12th episode of the Révolution Bilingue podcast by Fabrice Jaumont. Enjoy!   Passage par Washington pour ce douzième épisode de Révolution bilingue en partant à la rencontre de Vanessa Bertelli. Cette suissesse...

Demographics and Equity of Dual Language Immersion Programs in Washington, DC

An analysis of the demographics of kindergarteners in DC public dual language immersion (DLI) schools as compared with non-DLI schools, to move beyond anecdotal evidence, and inform the debate on equity of access to and enrollment in DLI programs. The report highlights areas of concern, and identifies policies and further research needed to allow the District’s most vulnerable students equitable access to these opportunity-boosting programs.

Un Tiempo Lleno de Memorias Dejadas Atrás

By Heriberto Silvano Delgado, DC Immersion's Multilingual Ambassador (English version further below) El mes de la herencia hispana me hace preguntarme de qué manera mucho de los jóvenes hispanos conocieron el significado de ser Hispano/a. En mi experiencia personal...

Our Goals (x4 by 2030)

DC Immersion is working to quadruple the number of seats in quality dual language programs by 2030 with a focus on low-income and at-risk communities. By 2023, our goal is: The District will have legislation mirroring California and New York giving families a right to...

Meet our Multilingual Ambassadors

In August 2019, eight seniors from the International Academy of Roosevelt High School DCPS joined DC Immersion for a 6 months internship. As part of the Multilingual Ambassadors program, the students will learn outreach strategies to inform DC's diverse communities...

Where do I start?

I created these resources to make it easier for people of color to access cost-effective experiences with highly beneficial return on investment. Guest post by Byron L. Williams, International Affairs Professional English as my mother tongue.  Spanish when I was in my...

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

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

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...

OSSE Multilingual Learners Conference

Made possible also thanks to DC Immersion and its advocacy partners' work that led to the creation and programmatic funding of the Office of Multilingual Education within the Office of the State Superintendent for Education, OSSE’s Multilingual Learner Conference...

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

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?

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

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

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

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!

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

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!

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?

"'La Comunidad'" by ever/siempre is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 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...

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 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

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

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

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?

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

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

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!

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

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!

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.

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

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

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

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 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

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

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 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?

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

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!

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

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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?

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

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

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

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...

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

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

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

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!

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

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

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

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...

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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