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A Perfect Vision: 3 Key Takeaways from NABE for Multilingual Programs

This year's NABE (National Association of Bilingual Education) Conference theme of “a perfect vision” reminds us that this is precisely what we strive for when it comes to all students, but particularly multilingual learners.   

The takeaways from NABE 2020 will stay with us and continue to impact our daily work to help multilingual learners achieve their highest aspirations.  Here are a few to consider: 

Quality resources that provide equitable learning experiences for multilingual learners is a must in a Dual Language program. 

Multilingual students must have instructional materials that take into consideration their academic and linguistic needs, encourage the use of their linguistic repertoires, provide them with a sense of pride, and respect and value the program’s partner language.

Locating resources that support high academic achievement for all multilingual students while building biliteracy, developing sociocultural competency, and bridging target languages is a struggle that a majority of districts are presently facing. Which is exactly why we were so excited to announce the launch of our instructional strategies in Spanish for bilingual or dual language programs at NABE!

ellevation booth at nabe 2020 for multilingual leanersLinguistic repertoires must be valued and encouraged.

A change in mindset is required in order to recognize, value, and develop all of the language.  abilities that multilingual learners bring to our schools each day. This includes regional varieties, social language, and languages learned throughout their life experiences.  Allowing them to leverage their languages not only increases language acquisition at a faster pace but demonstrates a sense of admiration and respect for the linguistic and cultural assets they bring.

Biliteracy and bilingualism is more than the ability to read and write in two languages.

Students in a dual language program must develop a deep understanding of the structures of the two languages. They must be able to comprehend and appropriately use cultural aspects of both languages as well as develop metalinguistic awareness.  These goals can only be met if equal attention is provided to both languages within a program. 

NABE 2020 provided us a wonderful opportunity to spend some quality time with passionate bilingual educators from across the country.  Regardless of where you are in the implementation of a dual language or bilingual education program, we encourage you to work towards a “perfect vision”, creating equitable, engaging and effective learning environments for all.

As for Ellevation, you can count on us to continue aligning our actions to support the perfect vision of equity for multilingual learners.