Tara W. Fortune
Immersion Program Director–Retired

Tara Williams Fortune served as the director of the Immersion Research and Professional Development Program at the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota from 2002–2019. She devoted most of her professional time to the preparation and continuing education of language immersion educators throughout the U.S. Her publications include two co-edited volumes on immersion research, Pathways to Multilingualism: Evolving Perspectives on Immersion Education (2008, Multilingual Matters Ltd.) and Immersion Education: Practices, Policies and Possibilities (2011, Multilingual Matters Ltd.), and Struggling Learners & Language Immersion Education (2010, University of Minnesota). Fortune’s research interests have includes immersion students’ oral language proficiency development and the struggling immersion learner.

Tara continues her work as a consultant on Dual Language and Immersion Education.
She can be reached by e-mail: fortu001@umn.edu


  • Ph.D., 2001. Curriculum and Instruction, University of Minnesota.
    Dissertation Title: "Understanding Immersion Students' Oral Language Use as a Mediator of Social Interaction in the Classroom"
  • M.A., 1995. Second Languages and Cultures Education, University of Minnesota. Plan B Paper Title: "The Private Bilingual Schools of Mexico City: An Immersion-Model Approach to Second Language Acquisition."
  • B.A. 1978. Classical Languages, German, and Humanities, College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN

Selected Publications

Fortune, T. W., & Tedick, D. J. (2015). Oral proficiency development of K-8 Spanish immersion students. Modern Language Journal, 99(4), 637-655.

Genesee, F. & Fortune, T. W. (2014). Bilingual education and at-risk students. Journal of Immersion and Content-Based Language Education, 2(2),196-209.[Special issue: Language Immersion Education: A Research Agenda for 2015 and Beyond, edited by Tedick & Bjšrklund].

Tedick, D. J., & Fortune, T. W. (2013). Bilingual/Immersion teacher education. In C. Chapelle, (Ed.), The Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

Fortune, T.W., Wieland, M., & Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative Team. (2012). Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative “Design Model Membranes” Unit. Retrieved January 4, 2013 from http://www.carla.umn.edu/immersion/MMIC/unit_membranes.html

Fortune, T. W. (2012). What the research says about immersion. In Asia Society (Ed.), Chinese language learning in the early grades: A handbook of resources and best practices for Mandarin immersion (pp. 9-13). Retrieved from http://asiasociety.org/education/chinese-language-initiatives/chinese-language-learning-early-grades

Tedick, D. J., Christian, D., & Fortune, T. W. (Eds.) (2011). Immersion
education: Practices, policies, possibilities
. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters,

Fortune, T. W. (2011). Struggling learners and the language immersion
classroom. In D. J. Tedick, D. Christian, & T. W. Fortune (Eds.) Immersion education:
Practices, policies, possibilities
. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters, Ltd.

Fortune, T. with M. R. Menke. (2010). Struggling learners & language immersion education: Research-based, practitioner-informed responses to educators’ top questions (CARLA Publication Series). Minneapolis: University of Minnesota, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition.

Fortune, T. W. & Tedick, D. J. (Eds.). (2008). Pathways to multilingualism: Evolving perspectives on immersion education. Clevedon, England: Multilingual Matters, Ltd.

Walker, C.L., Ranney, S. & Fortune, T. W. (2005). Preparing preservice teachers for English language learners: A content-based approach. In D. J. Tedick (Ed.) Second language teacher education: International perspectives (pp. 313-333). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.

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