story by Claire Miller
The U.S. has seen a steady increase in dual language bilingual education (DLBE) programs, which use two languages in K-12 classroom instruction to help students become proficient in more than one language. Such programs are named in many ways in different contexts, and in Georgia, they tend to use the term dual language immersion.
Though DLBE programs offer benefits for participating students, they’ve also brought to light some inequities that children and families face, according to Garrett Delavan, College of Education & Human Development assistant professor of world language, dual language and ESOL education.
“DLBE programs are increasingly used as an instrumental strategy to keep and attract families of economic and racial privilege in schools they might otherwise not attend, which often results in the crowding out of students traditionally served by bilingual programs,” he explained. “Scholars increasingly use the analogy of gentrification to name this marginalizing or pushing-out effect of the DLBE boom.”
Delavan is the lead co-editor for an upcoming special issue of Language Policy that will offer a research-based conversation on what scholars call “DLBE gentrification” and provide a roadmap for future research projects.
He is co-authoring the issue’s introduction and an article on state education policies that privilege the 50-50 model for dividing time between the two languages over more equitable models that allow more time in the partner (or non-English) language.
CEHD Associate Professor Sue Kasun and doctoral student Zurisaray Espinosa also co-authored an article for the issue entitled, “A Black Mother’s Counterstory to the Brown-White Binary in Dual Language Education: Toward Disrupting Dual Language as White Property.” Their research highlights how African American parents experience marginalization in DLBE settings.
The special issue, which comes out this August, will include articles from newer voices in the dual language education field and end with commentaries from Guadalupe Valdés – whom Delavan and others credit with initiating the DLBE gentrification conversation in the late 1990s – and Patricia Gándara, a prominent critic of the segregation of Latinx students in the U.S.
“I am looking forward to bringing together voices of established and emerging scholars around a common theme of their research,” he said. “We hope the issue heralds the next decade of research by creating a forum to compare findings across geographical contexts, which will have distinct implications for policymakers as well as for language education scholars committed to equity and social justice.”
For more information about the journal, visit https://www.springer.com/journal/10993.