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Preparing Teachers to Work With Multilingual Learners with Dr. Sera Hernandez

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What has changed in bilingual teacher education over the last 5-10 years and how have those changes affected the field? How have policy changes and initiatives like the Seal of Biliteracy affected dual language programs and bilingual education? What are some of the most effective ways of preparing preservice and inservice teachers to work with dual language and English language learners?  We discuss these questions and much more in part 1 of a 2 part series with Dr. Sera Hernandez, Assistant Professor of Dual Language and English Learner Education at San Diego State University.

Dr. Hernandez earned her Ph.D. from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Education with a degree in Language, Literacy, and Culture. With an interdisciplinary academic background, her research bridges the fields of educational linguistics and the anthropology of education to examine the sociocultural, linguistic and political contexts surrounding educational language policies and bilingualism and biliteracy practices in the U.S. and abroad.

Her research focuses on the impact of state and federal language and education policies on language and literacy practices in Spanish and English in schools, homes, and communities across California, the U.S. and internationally. Her work strives to better understand the language and literacy development of emergent bilinguals (i.e., DLLs, ELLs) starting in early childhood and specifically how educational language policies and program models facilitate or undermine language learners’ access to equitable schooling experiences. Her research and teaching also involve multiple international programs that examine equity issues around language policies and teacher education, namely in Mexico, the Republic of Palau, and Switzerland.

Dr. Hernandez has worked in public K-12 schools and universities for 20 years and has facilitated trainings for over 1,500 teachers and administrators across the U.S. in the OCDE Project GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design) model. She is currently a lead trainer for the California Association for Bilingual Education’s Binational Project GLAD model which works with bilingual educators on both sides of the border to foster and build collaborative binational relationships and better schooling experiences for binational students in the U.S. and Mexico as they become bilingual, biliterate, and bicultural.

You can learn more about Dr. Hernandez and the Dual Language and English Learner Education Department at San Diego State University by visiting their website. Also, be sure to check out this recent article from EdSource about their federal grant to help recruit potential bilingual teachers from local community colleges