In 2011, then Gov. Jack Markell signed an initiative to launch dual language immersion programs in the state’s public schools starting at the Kindergarten level. There are now twelve school districts in the First State using these programs -- some which teach Chinese, and others which teach Spanish.
The state considers them a success and they continue to expand to more schools and up the K-12 ladder. But just how well are they working? Are they making a measurable difference with students? Those are questions Delaware State University Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics Dr. Brody Bluemel hopes to answer. Bluemel was recently awarded a three-year grant of more than $240,000 by the U.S. Department of Education to research the effectiveness of these programs so far.
In this week’s Enlighten Me, Delaware Public Media’s Nick Ciolino speaks with Bluemel about his approach to evaluating language immersion, and the potential benefit Delaware could see from implementing these programs on an unprecedented scale.