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High-Quality Dual Language Programs: Recipes for Success

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Dual language programs, an instructional setting where students learn academic content and literacy in two languages, are powerful learning environments that more and more schools are embracing to promote academic achievement and deep cultural understanding for multilingual learners. We have embraced dual language programming with our own resources at Ellevation, and on this two-part series on Highest Aspirations we sat down with our own DL Instructional Content Specialist, Sandra Medrano-Arroyo, to learn exactly what makes for high-quality programs and how we can better embrace bilingualism. 

Sandra has over 20 years of multilingual education experience as an educator. In our conversation you'll hear her remarkable ability to bridge the gap between research and practice by breaking down concepts and findings into bite-sized pieces that educators can use right away. We hope you enjoy the insight and expertise Sandra shares on a topic that is inextricably tied to our mission of ensuring multilingual learners have access to high-quality, equitable instruction.

Ensuring High-Quality Dual Language Programs and Embracing Biliteracy

Guided listening questions:

  • How might growing up as a multilingual learner shape the message that educators communicate to their EL students and families about home language and learning English?
  • What are some of the most important sources of research on dual language programs and how can they help school leaders and educators shape valuable learning experiences for all students?  
  • What are the three pillars of dual language and what role does each of them play out in high-quality programs?
  • What challenges do we face in addressing the shortage of bilingual educators and what are some possible solutions?

Guided listening questions:

  • How can we help colleagues, families and community members become advocates for dual language programs?
  • What does it mean to truly embrace biliteracy?
  • Why is embracing bilingualism good for all students?

Resources mentioned in the episode:

Sandra Medrano-Arroyo presently works at Ellevation Education as the Dual Language Instructional Content Specialist, where she has spearheaded the creation of two new instructional practices specific to the needs of Dual Language programs.  In over 23 years in education, she has served the needs of emergent bilinguals and various sub-groups in a number of roles: teacher, academic coordinator, school director, recruiter, instructional specialist, and program planner. Prior to Ellevation, Sandra served as the Manager of Multicultural Education for the 11th largest school district in the US, overseeing the ESOL program for over 34,000 students, including a two-way dual language program that served over 9,000 students. Since 2016, she has also served as a PD Consultant for the National Association for Bilingual Education.