Éxito para todos? : examining two-way dual language implementation and outcomes for Black students
Two-way dual language immersion programs have expanded over the past few decades. An increasing number of districts, schools, and communities are embracing the prospective academic outcomes of language education programs, resulting in bilingualism, biliteracy, and biculturalism for both English-dominant and language-minority students (Izquierdo, 2011). Effective language education programs are characterized as programs that successfully promote academic achievement and other academic outcomes for all learners (Howard et al., 2018). Numerous studies and research findings on two-way dual language emphasize and highlight the successful outcomes of emergent bilingual students who participate in dual language education programs and the components that elevate student outcomes for this population of language learners (Howard & Sugarman, 2007; Howard, Sugarman, & Christian, 2003; Lindholm-Leary, 2001, 2005, 2012, Thomas & Collier, 1997, 2009, 2012, 2014). However, there are a limited of studies that specifically look at the participation of Black students in dual language education. Implementation of two-way dual language immersion programs leads students to bilingualism, biliteracy, and overall improved academic proficiency; therefore, it is critical for the field to understand the factors that define exemplary dual language program implementation while closely examining the educational outcomes for Black students that participate in language education programs. This study examined the effectiveness of dual language program implementation and reading achievement outcomes for Black students who participate in dual language programs. With a mixed methods research approach, this study investigated the implementation of elementary and middle school dual language programs in an urban district in southeast Texas. The study utilized interviews, documents, and existing student achievement data. The epistemological origin of this study was grounded in subjectivism, found within the philosophy of interpretivism, as meaning is created from something applied to the object by another source (Crotty, 1998). Process theory (Mawell, 2013) influenced the interpretation of the data and findings. The findings indicated that participation in dual language programs can help to improve the academic outcomes of Black students when well-implemented according to the program model. With the growing attention of schools and districts implementing dual language programs, there are significant implications for scientific research to investigate and thoroughly understand how the implementation of these models impacts the academic outcomes of Black students.