Brody Bluemel, assistant professor of applied linguistics and the director of the Delaware State University English Language Institute, has been awarded a three-year $246,600 grant from the U.S. Department of Education for his research project titled “Instructional practices, proficiency assessment and language development in dual-language immersion classrooms: A longitudinal study.”

The project will work specifically with bilingual immersion programs throughout Delaware to document learning practices, as well as research content versus language development.

Since then-Gov. Jack Markell launched his “World Language Expansion Initiative” in 2011, the number of dual-language immersion programs in Delaware has grown significantly. Currently, 12 of the state’s public school districts are now offering dual-language immersion programs that begin in Kindergarten. The programs are all Chinese-English or Spanish-English, through which the students spend half of each day learning in one language and the other part of the day learning in the other.

As the principal investigator for the grant, Bluemel is collaborating with colleagues from Penn State University Kevin McManus, co-PI, and Jim Lantolf, consultant. Bluemel is also the director of a new master’s degree program, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages/Bilingual Education, which is connected to his research work.