Tag Archives: Dual Language Education

PLC Series: Focus on the Strengths of Your ELs

Welcome back to the Heinemann Professional Development Professional Learning Community (PLC) series. We are excited to present a new format for the 2017-2018 year! 

Each month, we'll share 2 posts designed to provoke thinking and discussion, through a simple framework, incorporating mini-collections of linked content into your professional development time. 

This month, our posts will challenge us to examine literacy practices so we can be more inclusive of students who speak varieties of English as well those learning English.

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After discovering a pattern of deficit thinking about her child’s reading struggles, Cohort 1 Heinemann Fellow Lisa Birno embarked on action research to investigate instructional strategies that would “increase equity and engagement through the use of purposeful talk”.

In this post on the Heinemann blog, Lisa tells the story of how she began critically examine patterns of deficit language we sometimes use to describe learners. She writes, “In order to make sense of why the child isn’t learning the way we expect, our deficit language kicks in and it damns every child we use it on.”

Take a few moments to read her post and think about a time you recall defaulting to deficit-thinking, whether it be with a student, a family member, or yourself. What phrases of deficit language dominate this memory?

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Dual Language Education in the Era of Minority-Majority

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This week on the Heinemann blog, we’re sharing a series on Language in the Classroom. The series was inspired by an article published by NPR on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2016, on the ways we teach English Learners in our country. While the NPR article was specific to English Learners, our hope is to use that as a jumping off point to broader topics of language instruction in the classroom. Each day this week we will feature articles, excerpts and insights directly from Heinemann authors and affiliates that further the conversation surrounding language diversity in the classroom, the challenges it presents, and what we know works.


Adapted from Dual Language Education: Program Design and Implementation  by Sonia Soltero

What sets dual language apart from all other language programs is the opportunity to develop biliteracy and cross-cultural competencies alongside speakers of both English and another language. Because the languages and cultures represented in the school and community are seen as assets, everyone comes to the table with valuable contributions. This type of additive education embraces diversity and creates linguistic and cultural bridges between diverse groups.

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Dual Language Education – Not a Fad

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As our global economy increasingly demands a highly educated, bilingual and biliterate workforce, educators feel more compelled than ever to offer culturally and linguistically responsive education that speaks to these demands as well as the diversity of today’s student population. In Dual Language Education, Sonia Soltero provides a comprehensive view of what it takes to create well-designed, effective, sustainable dual language programs based on current dual language research and theory.  Each chapter examines the pedagogical and organizational principles of dual language education, and the specific conditions necessary for their effective implementation. Vignettes from teachers, parents, and school leaders, illustrate the transformative power of dual language education to benefit all students.

In this blog, taken from Sonia’s introduction, she writes about how dual language education is not a passing fad, nor is it an experiment for schools. 

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