Cobb County Schools Bilingual Programs

Dual Language Immersion

Dual Language Immersion is a way to learn academic content while acquiring another language at the same time. Starting the 2015-2016 academic year, Cobb County students have the opportunity to participate in the Dual Language Immersion Program (DLI). The goals of the program are for the students to develop literacy skills in both English and the target language while attaining a high level of academic achievement that is at or above their grade level in all content areas and to develop a world cultural sensitivity.  Each school/community chooses the immersion language for its school.


What schools and grade levels are currently offering the DLI program?

Dual Language Immersion programs provide students with academic instruction in two languages. In addition to gaining grade-level content-area knowledge and skills, students develop higher levels of language competency.

The list below indicates the available bilingual programs available in Cobb at the Elementary and High School levels.


Elementary Schools (K-5)

DLI programs at the elementary level will continue to grow one grade level at a time every school year as students move from Kindergarten through 5th grade. Please see the chart below for a list of current schools offering the Dual Immersion program, the language of the program, and the grade levels available for each academic year. 

 School Year 2022 - 2023

School  Grades
WL Languages SpanishCampbell Middle School  6 - 7 

WL Languages SpanishClarkdale Elementary

1 - 3 
WL Languages SpanishDowell Elementary K - 5 
WL Languages SpanishFair Oaks Elementary 1 - 5 
WL Languages Spanish Floyd Middle School 6
WL Languages SpanishHollydale Elementary  1 - 5 

WL Languages SpanishMableton Elementary

K - 5 
WL Languages SpanishNickajack Elementary
K - 5 
WL Languages Spanish Norton Park Elementary  1 - 5 
WL Languages Spanish Riverside Elementary 2 - 4 

WL Languages Spanish Russell Elementary

K - 5 
WL Languages Spanish Smyrna Elementary  K - 5 


How does it look in the classroom?

Groups smallElementary: Instruction is divided between two high-quality, creative classrooms: one English and one immersion (target language) with fifty percent of the academic day taught in English and fifty percent of the academic day taught in the target language. Students enjoy the advantage of two caring, highly qualified teachers. The English-speaking teacher uses half of the instructional day to teach English Language Arts, literacy, and content area support.  The immersion teacher uses the other half of the day to teach math, science, social studies, and target language literacy. Teachers are trained in the use of instructional strategies that promote language learning and academic development.


What skills/content do the students learn in the DLI program?

Content area distribution


Students in the Dual Immersion Program learn the concepts and skills for the various subject areas at the same time that they develop the ability to read, write, speak, and listen in another language.  Students learn the same concepts and skills for the various subject areas as their grade-level peers at the same time that they develop the ability to read, write, speak, and listen in another language. Students receive math, science, and social studies instruction in a target language, such as Spanish, French, or Chinese.  


What are the benefits of Dual Language Immersion?

Language Skills: Students achieve high proficiency in the immersion language. Immersion students become bilingual and biliterate.

Improved Performance on Standardized Tests: Immersion students perform as well as or better than non-immersion students on standardized tests of English and math administered in English.

Enhanced Cognitive Skills: Immersion students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem-solving skills as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.

Increased Cultural Sensitivity: Immersion students are more aware of and show more positive attitudes towards other cultures and an appreciation of other people.

Long Term Benefits: Immersion students are better prepared for the global community and job markets where a second language is an asset.


Language Academies - High School (9-12)

DLI programs at the high school level will continue to grow one grade level at a time every school year as students move from 9th through 12th grade. Please see the chart below for a list of current schools offering the Dual Immersion program, the language of the program, and the grade levels available for each academic year.

School  Grades

WL Languages Spanish Sprayberry High School - ISLASHS.Mascot Small

 9 - 12
WL Languages Spanish Walton High School - ISAWalton Logo  9 - 12



Vinings Lifestyle - Dual Language Program Take Root in Smyrna"The world is quickly changing – there is no doubt about that. It is now vital to stay ahead of the curve with both business and cultural practices.  With that process, however, comes a need to adapt, which can include adjusting the way classes are taught in local schools. Georgia’s Dual Language Immersion (DLI) Program Initiative has plans to do just that.

With ten schools, Cobb County has the largest number of schools participating in this program. The program started last year at Smyrna Elementary and in 2016-2017, Smyrna schools Nickajack Elementary, Norton Park Elementary and Russell Elementary will also be participating. Private schools are also offering more intense language programs. For example, Atlanta Trilingual Academy in Smyrna offers a full language immersion program and St. Benedict’s Episcopal School teaches all students Spanish daily.

Students involved in a dual-language class typically spend half of their school day taking classes in the chosen immersion language while the remaining half of classes are taught in English. Target language classes include math, science, literacy, and social studies, while English language arts, reading, and specials are taught in English." 

Click HERE to read the full article.

Source: Vinings Lifestyle

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EdWeek NCSchoolSuccess

This Education Week article talks about the academic gains of students participating in the Dual Language Immersion program at Collinswood Language Academy in North Carolina.

"At Collinswood Language Academy, a K-8 dual-language school in a working-class neighborhood in this Southern city, students produced some of the highest math achievement scores in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district.

And that's the case even though they learn all their math in Spanish, and take North Carolina's annual end-of-grade math exams in English."

Click HERE to access the article.


More from Education Week on Dual Language Immersion and Bilingual Education:


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NYC DLI Programs

New York City Education Department to Add or Expand 40 Dual-Language Programs


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DLI parents

This ERIC Digest publication addresses some of the initial questions parent may have about language immersion programs. It answers the following questions:

  • What is a foreign language immersion program and how does it work?
  • Why should I consider enrolling my child in an immersion program?
  • How will learning everything in a second language affect my child’s English language and literacy development?
  • Will my child become proficient in the second language? How long will that take?
  • Is immersion an appropriate choice for all children?
  • What can I do to support my child’s immersion experience if I don’t speak the second language?


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DLIPrograms Rise

This article from the Language Magazine presents information on the increase of Dual Language Immersion programs at the national level.

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Dual Language Reading SkillsThis article from the Language Magazine presents the results of the Institute for Education Science Grant "The Effect of Dual-Language Immersion on Student Achievement in the Portland Public Schools". Language Magazine highlights the improvement of students' Reading skills in English while promoting proficiency in two languages.


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The Dual Language Immersion Program at Riverside Primary is highlighted during the visit of a representative of the Governor's Office to the school.


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Bilingual and Dual Language Education CALThe Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) provides genral information, resources, and profesional learning opportunity to learn about bilingual and dual language education. 

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