The New American Foundation’s Dual Language Learners Work Group published reports today examining how three communities—Washington, D.C., San Antonio, and Portland, Ore.—have stepped up efforts to serve their expanding populations of young dual-language learners.
Written by Conor Williams, a senior researcher at New America and the DLL work group’s founder, and Amaya Garcia, a policy analyst at New America, the reports examine each locales’ strategies for supporting the development of dual-language learners, those students who are learning English even as they continue to develop proficiency in their home language. Each report offers an in-depth look at the policies, politics, and program changes underway in each city.
The work group convened in late 2014 to survey the current research and identify potential policy priorities for states and districts as they grapple with the rapid increase in “ethnic and linguistic diversity” underway in their schools.
In the District of Columbia, the team examines efforts to boost investment in quality early-education programs, expand dual-language-immersion programs, train teachers to work with dual-language learners, and address performance gaps between DLL and non-DLL students.
In San Antonio, Williams explored the city’s sales-tax funded preschool program, use of data to evaluate their work, and family engagement plans, including efforts to align education and social services across multiple generations through the city’s federal Promise Neighborhood.
In the David Douglas school system in Portland, the report takes stock of the design and implementation of the district’s revamped English-language-development model and the systemwide focus on building academic content into the model.
Here’s a look at the reports:
A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.