NC DL/I Programs in the News

This page is a collection of articles, news releases, videos and other information shared in the media about North Carolina's dual language/immersion (DL/I) programs. If your program has been in the spotlight, please forward the details to so that they can be posted here and included in listserv announcements.

Buncombe County Schools' Glen Arden Elementary DL/I Program Featured in Facebook Video

Imagine being back in kindergarten learning reading, writing and math. Now, imagine you are learning it all in Spanish. That's the idea behind the Dual Language/Immersion Spanish program in Buncombe County Schools. Glen Arden Elementary was the first school in the district to offer this option to students. Now, Avery's Creek Elementary, Oakley Elementary, and WD Williams Elementary all offer dual language/immersion programs. Watch this video to find out why this has become a popular option in our school system!

Celebrate NC Public Schools: DL/I Program at Siler City Elementary School (Chatham County)

Chatham County Schools’ first dual language/immersion program (DL/I) students are at ease speaking two languages – a key goal of a school where every student spends time learning in both English and Spanish. Now more than a decade old, the school’s DL/I program was adopted by the district to better serve Siler City’s growing population of Hispanic families and children, many of whom come to school with only limited mastery of English. Research shows that all children – English and non-English speakers alike – benefit from learning through a DL/I approach. See the entire article plus pictures at

Celebrating World Cultures and Embracing Diversity through Two Languages at Collinswood Language Academy in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools (Magnet Schools of America)
Over the last few years, Collinswood Language Academy, a K-8 magnet school in Charlotte, North Carolina that serves about 750 students, has made remarkable strides as the state’s first dual language program. This once failing school now ranks first among all kindergarten through eighth grade schools in its district for meeting federal and state annual measurable objectives. Last year, it was also designated as a Merit School of Excellence by Magnet Schools of America. Read the March 2015 article online at

Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools (CMS) Dual Language Programs Help Close Achievement Gaps

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools added dual-language immersion programs at Huntingtowne Farms IB and Starmount Academy this year. Educators say it’s the best way to give all students the same opportunities. See the article and video at

Cherokee Immersion School Aims to Keep Language Alive (ACTFL SmartBrief)

Students attending a Cherokee immersion school in North Carolina have a heavy burden -- keeping the language and culture alive. There are fewer than 300 native speakers in the state. School leaders hope the school can help reverse that trend.
Read the March 2015 article and see the news video at

Chinese DL/I Program at Waddell Language Academy: An Asia Society Program Profile

Asia Society is featuring E.E. Waddell Language Academy's Chinese dual language/immersion (DL/I) program in its program profiles this month. E.E. Waddell Language Academy, formerly known as Smith Academy of International Languages, is one of the oldest DL/I programs—with one of the longest-standing Mandarin programs—in North Carolina. Waddell Language Academy is located in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is a part of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district. The program was initiated in 1993 at Bruns Avenue Elementary School as a K-3 German Immersion partial magnet program. French and Japanese immersion joined the German program at Bruns in 2001. Following the program move to Smith Language Academy in 2002, the program was expanded from K–5 to K–8. In 2007, Chinese Immersion was added to the language offerings. E. E. Waddell Language Academy offers dual language/immersion in Chinese, French, German, and Japanese in grades K–5.

See the complete program profile at

Dual Language/Immersion Programs Prove Successful: Immersion Students Earn Higher Scores on Tests (The Daily Tarheel)

On a Wednesday morning, 17 students in Pedro Ortiz’s fourth-grade class sit in a circle on a rug displaying a world map, reading from composition notebooks. They’re talking about spaceships. A girl raises her hand to contribute, then pauses, trying to think of how to say “taking off” in Spanish. This scene is commonplace at Carrboro Elementary School, where students can spend half the day learning about everything from rockets to writing skills completely in Spanish.

“I love the culture of our school,” said fourth-grade teacher Kendall Brees, who teaches dual language students during the English half of the school day. Experiences like this have proved beneficial for young students. In March, VIF International Education, a Chapel Hill-based nonprofit that develops global education programs, released results from an evaluation by UNC’s Education Policy Initiative at Carolina. Complete April 2015 article online at

How Dual Language/Immersion Programs Support All Language Learners (ASCD SmartBrief)

Two-way immersion -- in which students who are proficient in English and those proficient in Spanish learn together -- can benefit students and families, writes Ester J. deJong, professor of ESOL/Bilingual Education at the University of Florida. In this commentary, Jong outlines the benefits of such programs and references the North Carolina studies done by Thomas and Collier. Read the August 2015 article online at

Immersion School Works to Save the Cherokee Language (Our State magazine)

At an immersion program in western North Carolina, the endangered Cherokee language finds new life among young speakers. Read the March 2017 article online at

Language Programs Boost Academics in Buncombe Schools

By Julie Ball, Asheville Citizen-Times
Teacher Diana Restrepo held a card with a picture of a pair of socks to her forehead. She couldn’t see the picture on the card, but through a series of questions to her first-graders, she made guesses. Restrepo asked her questions in Spanish. The children listened and answer “si” or “no.”

These students are in their second year in the popular Spanish immersion program at Glen Arden Elementary. Starting in kindergarten, students learn from native Spanish speakers. They hear almost all Spanish during the school day. The teacher assistant in Restrepo’s class is also a native Spanish speaker.

This year, the program added a second kindergarten class. It is one of four dual language/immersion programs offered at Buncombe County elementary schools. The program at Glen Arden is for native English speakers. Avery’s Creek, Oakley, and W.D. Williams elementary schools have dual or two-way language programs. Each class has native English speakers as well as students who are learning English. Students in those classes hear mostly Spanish in the early grades and gradually increase the amount of English instruction.

See the complete article at

Students Portray Historical Figures in English, Spanish (Statesville Record & Landmark)

East Elementary students show off language skills: Take a stroll down Women’s Way. You might just find American Red Cross founder Clara Barton speaking in Spanish. Or perhaps you fancy Leadership Lane, where miniature versions of Moses, Benjamin Franklin and Martin Luther King Jr., are showing off their bilingual skills. If it seems confusing, it needn’t be. It’s just another day at East Iredell Elementary School.
Read the April 2015 article at