learn / 2015

Learning Through Dual Language Immersion

Learning Through Dual Language Immersion

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Maker Challenge by Patrick Henry Foundation

As Los Angeles has become increasingly more diverse, the Patrick Henry Foundation was established to obtain funds to increase dual immersion education throughout Los Angeles beginning at the elementary school level. Patrick Henry Foundation was established by parents of Patrick Henry Elementary, one of Long Beach's most established and well-recognized Spanish/English dual immersion education programs in order to raise funds to provide increased educational opportunities to students in LA.


In what areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • South Bay
  • Antelope Valley
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles
  • LAUSD
  • Patrick Henry Elementary School, Long Beach, CA

How do you plan to use these resources to make change?

  • Conduct research
  • Engage residents and stakeholders
  • Implement a pilot or new project
  • Expand a pilot or a program
  • Mobilize for systems change
  • Advocate with policymakers and leaders
  • Implement and track policy

How will your proposal improve the following “Learn” metrics?

  • Percentage of children enrolled in early education programs
  • Percent of community college students completing a certificate, degree, or transfer-related program in six years
  • Youth unemployment and underemployment
  • District-wide graduation rates
  • HS student proficiency in English & Language Arts and Math
  • Academic Performance Index* scores
  • Student education pipeline (an integrated network of pre-schools, K-12 institutions, and higher education systems that prepares students for seamless transitions between high school, higher ed
  • Suspension and expulsion rates (Dream Metric)
  • Truancy rates in elementary and middle schools (Dream Metric)
  • Students perceived sense of safety at and on the way to school (Dream Metric)

Describe in greater detail how you will make LA the best place to learn.

Substantial research and scholarly articles have touted the benefits of bilingual and multilingual education as a means of increasing connectivity among groups, overcoming stereotypes, creating stronger social bonds and increasing both the intelligence and emotional state of students as they become adults.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan has regularly voiced his support and the need for additional resources to be devoted to dual language instruction as a means for creating more well-rounded native English speakers and increasing the graduation and success rates of English-language learners.

The 90-10 model, which is based off Canada’s model of teaching native English speakers French and vice versa, has shown that those immersed in a two-way language educational model from elementary school often outperform their peers who are only learning in one language, including in language arts and math.

The California Department of Education lists 201 current schools that offer some form of dual immersion, 58 of which are located in Los Angeles County, which represents almost 30% of all dual immersion programs in California. This year, the Association of Two-Way & Dual Language Education (ATDLE), a national organization providing resources and implementation for dual immersion programs throughout the United States, awarded Patrick Henry Elementary with its Certificate of Excellence Award for dual language education. Only one school is given the award per year out of more than 1,000 dual immersion schools overseen by ATDLE.

The award and longstanding success of Patrick Henry Elementary demonstrates why the Patrick Henry Foundation is positioned to make Los Angeles the best to learn. Last year, we funded iPads and 3D printers for two pilot projects at Patrick Henry Elementary and neighboring Keller Middle School. The iPads are being used to incorporate digital learning methods into the dual language model with great success. Likewise, the 3D printer pilot project has enabled increased creativity and art through experiential learning.

Additional resources will allow the Patrick Henry Foundation to convert the successes of the pilot project into fully funded ongoing educational opportunities throughout Los Angeles.

The Patrick Henry Foundation also created a program entitled Beyond the Bell that offers a variety of enrichment courses both before and after school, including chess, music and engineering. Extra funding would increase this programs reach.

Please explain how you will evaluate your work.

Our board regularly meets to evaluate the progress of the foundation. We have internal policies and procedures in place to track the data with respect to how our donations have benefited the school and what programs are working more than others.

Fortunately, we have been able to target highly dedicated teachers and staff members who volunteer their time because they want the additional educational tools and resources the foundation can provide outside the normal channels from a publicly funded request. As a result, the staff and teachers, who are liaisons to the board, monitor and report back on the programs implemented by the foundation, which we then double check.

The foundation also conducts annual surveys of staff, faculty, students and parents of the schools we service in order to obtain feedback. Our 2014 survey results, in conjunction with the California Office to Reform Education (CORE) survey, demonstrates Patrick Henry is one of the highest rated programs.

How can the LA2050 community and other stakeholders help your proposal succeed?

  • Money (financial capital)
  • Publicity/awareness (social capital)
  • Education/training
  • Technical infrastructure (computers, etc.)
  • Community outreach
  • Network/relationship support
  • Quality improvement research