A top-ranked education journal* in the US just published a study on the efficacy of immersion learning on student performance. The article is open-access and is available here.
Some key findings:
“We find that students randomly assigned to immersion outperform their peers on state accountability tests in reading by about seven months of learning in Grade 5 and nine months of learning in Grade 8. Examining mathematics and science scores, we find no statistically significant immersion benefit but also no detriment. This is important given that students receive 25% to 100% of their mathematics and science instruction in the partner language through Grade 5.”
WOW! By 8th grade DLI students are almost a full year ahead of their peers in their English reading. No detriment on math and science. Plus they are bilingual! This is a PHENOMENAL finding. Children can be bilingual without having any adverse impact on other aspects of their education.
More from the article: “What is clear is that among students randomly assigned to immersion, those whose native language matches the partner language show a 6 percentage point reduction in the probability of being classified as an English Learner as of about fifth grade and a 14 point reduction in sixth grade. This finding corroborates other research showing an immersion advantage in English Learner reclassification beyond the early grades.”
In other words, students who native language is not English also have significant benefits from DLI VS non-native English speakers who are not in DLI.
This is cutting edge research that needs to be shared!
*The American Educational Research Journal is the flagship journal of the American Educational Research Association. This is one of the best education research journals in the world!