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Vol. 5 No. 1 (2021): Dual Language Research and Practice Journal

A Comparison of Fourth-Grade Students Taught in English-Only Classrooms and Spanish-Only Classrooms in the Same District

January 17, 2019


Language immersion programs are becoming more available as a form of school choice in both private and public education in the United States and beyond. While there is research on the benefits of immersion education regarding overall intelligence, there is still much skepticism as to why parents would place their child in an immersion program vs. a traditional program where all academics are taught in English. This study presents the data from two schools in the same school district in a Midwest state that took the bold move to create a stand-alone one-way Spanish full immersion school. The analysis show that students educated in the immersion program scored statistically better than their similarly situated peers on the Smarter Balanced Assessment in mathematics and the Measure of Academic Progress in mathematics and reading. The analysis also showed the students educated in the immersion program performed better than their similarly situated peers on the Smarter Balanced Assessment in English language arts and the ABC District Writing Assessment, but statistical significance was not found. While this study is based upon a one-way full immersion program, the findings may also apply to dual and two-way immersion programs where similar results may be achieved for English Language Learners educated in their native language as well as in English.



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