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Promoting Bilingualism While Healing "La Herida Abierta" with Dr. Carolina Lopez

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How are educators reaching ELs and bilingual students in a border district during a pandemic, both in addressing immediate needs for support and in looking ahead at the impact of learning loss on the future of instruction? What techniques can educators use to identify different types of bilingual learners and evaluate the effectiveness of their program and instruction? How might we transform the subtractive model of schooling that is rooted in generations of an “English only” mentality to celebrate bilingualism and encourage students to take pride in their native dialect? We discuss these questions and much more with Dr. Carolina Lopez.

Carolina Lopez is in her twentieth year in education and is a Bilingual and ESL Strategist at Weslaco ISD, located in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas .  Prior to serving as the Bilingual and ESL Strategist, she served as the Secondary English Language Arts & Reading Strategist.  She has a Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies with a minor in Bilingual Education, a Master of Education in Reading, and a Doctorate of Education in Curriculum and Instruction with a Specialization in Bilingual Studies.  She is a Texas certified Reading Specialist, Master Reading Teacher, and Principal. She taught for sixteen years at the elementary, secondary, and post secondary level. In 2016 she was named the Texas Association for Bilingual Education Secondary ESL Teacher of the Year.  She is also a published author in the NABE Journal of Research and Practice. She has served on numerous committees at the state level to address the needs of English learners and currently serves on the Texas Education Agency Assessment Educator Advisory Committee.

As you’ll hear in our conversation, Dr. Lopez is a fierce advocate for bilingual education in a region that has struggled with a fixed mindset on English only programs - something which she sees as part of a larger issue she refers to as “la herida abierta”, or the “open wound”, which she believes educators can help to heal.

You can connect with Dr. Lopez by emailing her at or find her on the Weslaco ISD  Bilingual / ESL Department website

During our conversation, we mentioned the following books and resources:

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