"The Governor’s World Language Expansion Initiative is an aggressive world language plan to prepare generations of Delaware students with the language skills to compete in an ever-changing global economy at home and around the world. In essence, Delaware will begin to graduate globally-competitive students with advanced-level proficiency in languages, giving them an economic edge in the multilingual and multicultural workforce."
Delaware is on the move to create more Mandarin and Spanish immersion programs. From the DFM News article “Taking the plunge: Foreign language immersion to start early-on for Delaware students” by Larry Nagengast (here):
Three Delaware school districts will use “immersion programs” to introduce kindergarten students to foreign languages this fall, but it’s not a sink-or-swim proposition.
Rather, it’s the start of an extended journey toward passing Advanced Placement exams for college credit in Mandarin Chinese or Spanish by the time students are in ninth grade, and speaking the languages at an advanced level by their senior year of high school, said Gregory Fulkerson, education associate for world languages and international education at the Delaware Department of Education.
The Caesar Rodney School District will offer instruction in Chinese, while the Red Clay and Indian River Districts will offer instruction in Spanish. The Colonial School District is considering adding a Chinese immersion program, but will not do so this year.
The programs are the first steps in the Governor’s World Language Expansion Initiative, a plan developed by the Markell administration to equip Delaware students with the language skills needed to compete in a global economy. “By 2020, we hope to have 20 fully functioning immersion programs in Chinese and Spanish in the state,” Fulkerson said……
The Governor’s World Language Expansion Initiative says (here):
World language capacity is crucial to Delaware for the state to maintain and strengthen its domestic economy. Delaware graduates who enter the job market without the ability to speak a world language other than English are at a significant disadvantage.
A few students have the opportunity to begin to learn another language in middle school, and few have a chance for a language learning experience of any kind in elementary school. Most students in Delaware currently do not begin learning another language until they reach high school.
Delaware students will begin their study of either Mandarin Chinese or Spanish in an elementary immersion program in kindergarten or first grade and continue language study into middle school.
These students will be able to achieve Advanced Placement credit by ninth grade and will be encouraged to begin study of an additional world language, such as Arabic, that could also culminate in additional Advanced Placement credit by graduation.
Delaware students may also be able to participate in dual-credit options with Delaware institutions of higher education to further their language abilities and enter college with a number of world language credits that could easily count toward a minor or major in the language.
A robust world language performance-based assessment system is at the core of this aggressive plan. This system will assess program effectiveness and monitor the progress of student language growth against established proficiency targets. This also ensures students exit their K-12 experience with the needed advanced-level language skills…..
The Governor’s World Language Expansion Initiative is an aggressive world language plan to prepare generations of Delaware students with the language skills to compete in an ever-changing global economy at home and around the world. In essence, Delaware will begin to graduate globally-competitive students with advanced-level proficiency in languages, giving them an economic edge in the multilingual and multicultural workforce
Delaware has about 130,000 students in 208 schools (102 elementary schools) (here).