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Center for Catholic Education: Partnership with Archdiocese Establishes Dual Language Immersion Network
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SOE’s Center for Catholic Education is spearheading a unique effort to advance the implementation of dual language immersion in a network of eight Archdiocesan Catholic schools in Los Angeles.
These DLI schools, located in diverse geographical areas, are participating in professional development together, while supporting and learning from one another under the leadership and guidance of the CCE and the Archdiocese.
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In a global society, students educated in a dual language immersion culture graduate with significant advantages both professionally and personally, says Rosemarie Nassif, S.S.N.D., CCE executive director. “Our world benefits as dual language immersion encourages students to embrace diversity. We need citizens who embrace differences and see the value in other cultures,” Sister Nassif explains. “When students learn in two languages it positions them to value and learn about other cultures.”
Our world benefits as dual language immersion encourages students to embrace diversity. We need citizens who embrace differences and see the value in other cultures.
Collaboration in the DLI network
estimated
languages and dialects
spoken in Los Angeles
Sister Nassif notes that, while parish Catholic schools have the advantage of independent site-based management systems, the disadvantage to this structure is that it can inhibit these schools from collaborating in areas ranging from the professional development of teachers and principals to curriculum and pedagogy implementation, business efficiencies and marketing. The DLI network allows schools to engage together in ways that support, challenge and celebrate growth, while partnering to address obstacles.

“Research indicates that the major school functions of educational programming, management, school-community relationships, Catholic identity, finances and enrollment are strengthened as a result of the network or school-system approach to organizing schools,” Sister Nassif says. “Research also indicates that Catholic school systems can be successful only when correctly implemented and fully supported. The LMU Center for Catholic Education is charged with supporting and advancing the network strategy to ensure its success.”
Under the direction of Kara Lemma, SOE’s Dual Language Immersion Program director, the CCE is leading the network through professional development of its teachers and principals, by facilitating a support network among the schools and by bringing the schools’ students together for activities. As part of its role, the CCE will collect and analyze data on the impact of the dual language immersion model on student learning and the impact of a dual language immersion network of schools. The CCE will also support the growth of the network as the Archdiocese plans to open several more DLI schools in the coming years.
The Archdiocese of Los Angeles is arguably the most diverse diocese in the nation. An estimated 224 languages and dialects are spoken in Los Angeles. The Archdiocese’s DLI model of learning prepares its Catholic school students to be bilingual, biliterate and multicultural. The DLI schools engage students through learning content across disciplines in English and a partner language such as Spanish or Mandarin from TK through grade 8. Students also experience daily prayer, Masses, celebrations and performances in both languages.
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