Principal Carolyn Rodd from Collinswood Language Academy, a K-8 dual language school, states that her school’s students learn from both classroom instruction and from social interaction. Since the student population is steadily 50% Spanish-speaking, 50% English-speaking, “There’s this rich intercambio, which is absolutely beautiful,” she says.
Moreover, Principal Rodd addresses how dual-language education shows benefits beyond the attainment of a second language: “Immersion strategies just amplify the amount of neuro connections, and the ways the brain explodes in a positive way when learning a second language… There’s tremendous research around that.”
According to the news article, North Carolina started to address achievement gap concerns in 2007 with a three-year study on dual-language programs in the area. The study found, “that students in dual language programs outperform their peers in English-only programs across the board.” The study also found that “economically disadvantaged students thrive in dual language programs,” and while “Fifty-three percent of students at Collinswood are economically disadvantaged… the school was given a higher grade by the state than other district schools with majority low-income students.”
The article concludes by addressing a major concern for many dual language programs: a shortage of qualified teachers. The TWIN-CS Network, privy to the successes of bilingual education, endeavors to provide a supportive environment not only for established dual language educators, but also provides supports for aspiring dual language educators.
-Melissa Hoppie, Graduate Student Researcher