The outstanding opportunities, but persistent challenges, of dual language education
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As highlighted in the Cambio Center's November 2015 e-brief, dual language (DL) education programs are growing exponentially in the United States. (See the latest report from the Department of Education.) By some accounts, these programs -- especially two-way immersion models that integrate students from two different language backgrounds and use both languages in the classroom -- are the "astounding" answer to desegregating our schools, preparing children for a transnational world, and developing smarter thinkers. However, scholars like Nelson Flores remind us that the politics of language education and history of racism in U.S. schools make it very difficult to realize the "rich promise" of DL education for all students, especially those from minoritized groups. This e-brief will review research that documents the outstanding opportunities that DL programs provide, as well as introduce some of their persistent challenges.