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Immersion Education and Research

One of the priorities at CARLA has been to support immersion education through ongoing research and the development of a sustainable national network of immersion educators dedicated to exchanging information, research findings, and resources.

Professional Development & Outreach

    American Council on Immersion Education (ACIE)

    ACIE strives to promote communication among immersion educators,and others interested in immersion education. See the newsletter archives for free online access to past newsletter articles.

    Language Immersion Education in Minnesota

    This 15-minute, must-see video on the role language immersion programs can play in addressing Minnesota’s achievement gap and preparing its children to compete in the global economy.

    CARLA Summer Institutes

    Each summer CARLA offers specific professional development opportunities for immersion educators including teachers, administrators, curriculum coordinators, as well as other educational specialists who work with immersion programs.

    Immersion and Dual Language Education Conference

    CARLA founded the International Immersion and Dual Language Education Conference in 1995, hosted the conference every four years from 2004–2016, and cosponsored the conference in 2012 in Utah and 2019 in North Carolina. The goal of this unique conference was to bring together researchers and practitioners, national and international colleagues, and PreK-20 immersion and dual language program professionals serving a variety of learner audiences, including language majority, language minority, and indigenous learners. Learn more about the history of this conference.


    Research-to-Action Briefs

    CARLA's new series of annual Immersion Research-to-Action Briefs provides a readily digestible means of keeping educators informed about ongoing research in the field of language immersion education that has implications for their daily practice. 

    Immersion Bibliographies

    These topically-organized bibliographies on immersion offer a vast array of useful references for the immersion educator, researcher, parent, or student. 

    What the Research Says About Immersion

    This chapter written by Tara Williams Fortune outlines key findings for both advantages and challenges of immersion education. It is included in the Asia Society publication Chinese Language Learning in the Early Grades.

    Immersion Research Projects

    CARLA's Immersion Education and Research Project and the University of Minnesota have provided funding and/or support for faculty, staff and graduate student research. Publication citations and brief descriptions of various research initiatives are referenced chronologically in this section.

    CARLA Bibliography

    The CARLA bibliography contains more information on publications and presentations by faculty and staff involved in immersion education projects at CARLA.


    Dual Language and Immersion Family Education – NEW!

    This website provides guidelines and materials for family education professionals and an online repository of useful resources for families who wish to deepen their understanding of dual language immersion.

    Dual Language and Immersion Teacher Assessment Rubrics – NEW!

    This website provides research-based teacher assessment rubrics specifically designed for dual language and language immersion education (DLI) contexts. The rubrics are research-based, context-dependent, formative, developmental, and educative; they are meant to help teachers to learn and improve their practices by interacting with them.

    Immersion Education Resources

    This section features information about organizations, publications, websites, and listservs that support immersion education.

    Global Literacy through Mandarin Immersion and STEM Project

    With funding from the USDE Foreign Language Assistance Program, the Minnesota Mandarin Immersion Collaborative (MMIC) curriculum team repurposed Boston Museum of Science Engineering is Elementary® curriculum for the Gr. 3 unit entitled "Just Passing Through: Designing Model Membranes" and created an expanded multidisciplinary unit of study that introduces a new framework for integrating, differentiating, and assessing immersion language development.

    Struggling Immersion Learners Resources

    The handbook "Struggling Learners & Language Immersion Education" provides dual language and immersion educators with rich information and practical resources that address common concerns with children who struggle with language, literacy and learning.  A companion website lists print and web-based resources that address immersion educators’ top questions about struggling immersion learners. There is also a section of the Immersion Bibliographies on struggling learners.

    Immersion Teaching Strategies Observation Checklist

    The Immersion Teaching Strategies Observation Checklist was initially developed in 2000 during a CARLA summer institute facilitated by Tara Fortune at the University of Minnesota. "Effective Immersion Pedagogy" institute participants included immersion researchers, teachers, curriculum specialists, and administrators. This collaborative institute by-product was intended to support pre-service and practicing teachers with their ongoing professional development goals. It can be also used to inform and focus classroom observation for program leaders. In 2014, Tara Fortune revised the checklist to include recent research findings and practitioner feedback.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Immersion

    This section provides a response to questions that are often asked about immersion education.

    Directories of Immersion Schools in the U.S.

    The Center for Applied Linguistics offers directories of total and partial foreign language immersion programs, as well as two-way immersion language programs in U.S. schools. State directories for California and Texas are also listed.



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