On Wednesday, May 28th, Dr. Kathryn Lindholm-Leary, Prof. Emerita San Diego State, was able to sit in on a discussion involving representatives from several departments at ECU concerning Dual Language Immersion programs. Included were possible steps for implementation and how DLI programs in schools would change the way we prepare educators to teach children through dual language education. She then gave a presentation to community members and school superintendents of Eastern North Carolina interested entitled “Benefits and Challenges of Dual Language Programs. Research and Implications.” She shared her findings about DLI effectiveness in student learning for both English-speakers and Spanish-speakers. She answered questions concerning this research, and participated in a discussion with several groups interested in learning more about this topic.
Thursday, May 29th, and Friday, May 30th, were spent visiting 2 different school settings in the area. First, we visited Greene County schools, a district which was a pioneer in our region, having implemented a DLI, the Los Puentes program, over ten years ago. With Dr. Lindholm-Leary, we observed classes at the elementary and intermediate level to assess the strengths of the program, as well as areas for growth and further development. On her last day here, Dr. Lindholm-Leary visited Pink Hill Elementary School in Lenoir County, to speak to teachers and administrators about dual language research, and gave a presentation to show concrete findings in the positive effects of this type of education.
Having Dr. Lindholm-Leary present with us for a few days gave us an additional perspective on our current and previous work on the Engagement and Outreach Scholars’ Academy project, along with an opportunity to reach out to the community and start a meaningful conversation on Dual-Language Immersion programs in our schools.
— Stephen Fafulas