California's Gold | An Advocacy Framework for Young Dual Language Learners

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Support Assessment in Both Languages


The North Star

The first and second language proficiency of every young dual language learner will be appropriately and accurately identified. Culturally, linguistically, and developmentally suitable assessment of students’ first and second language content knowledge will be conducted.

Why This Matters

Because young dual language learners experience their world and approach learning through two languages, their demonstrated skills and abilities are distributed across both languages. Therefore, screening, observation, and continuous monitoring in both languages are necessary to support the instruction of DLLs.

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Near-Term Opportunities

  • INCORPORATE considerations for dual language learners into California’s quality framework.
    • ESTABLISH a dual language learner work group with the California QRIS Consortia’s review process to advocate for DLL considerations.

    • DEVELOP indicators of DLL family engagement for inclusion in the QRIS central quality matrix.

  • ADOPT policies & practices that promote appropriate use of assessment.
    • ADVOCATE for districts to adopt a policy of using formative and summative assessments that are developmentally appropriate to inform pedagogical practice.

    • PROVIDE additional support to strengthen training for the Desired Results Developmental Profiles (DRDP).

    • ENGAGE families meaningfully in the gathering and interpreting of assessment information.

    • PROVIDE sufficient professional development to ensure that those conducting assessment and analysis are knowledgeable.

  • ENSURE that assessment tools address the needs of diverse students.
    • PROMOTE district use of developmentally, culturally, and linguistically sound assessment.

    • ENSURE that interpretation of assessments reflect the life conditions of students particularly families and communities.

    • REVIEW and revise kindergarten entry assessments that specifically meet the needs of DLLs.

  • ESTABLISH processes for gathering & sharing data on DLL children & their families.
    • ADVOCATE for family surveys that define DLLs and background information to ensure mandatory data collection of home language information.

    • ESTABLISH processes for systematic sharing of home language information between PreK and K-3 settings.

Longer-Term Opportunities

  • PROMOTE investment in improvement of assessments in California.
    • INVEST in assessments for dual language learners in multiple languages to better reflect the diversity of the state’s population.

    • DEVELOP an array of tools and approaches to ensure fair, accurate assessment of not only language and literacy, but also socio-emotional development and subject-matter knowledge for DLLs.

    • EXAMINE how formative assessment is utilized to inform instruction for DLLs/ELs.

Key Areas for Action

California’s Gold elevates four areas for action that are critical to a high-quality PreK-3rd grade system. If attended to, these areas could significantly advance the education of DLLs and strengthen the state's early learning system.
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    Workforce Development
    A strong workforce of teachers and administrators responsive to the unique learning needs of DLLs.
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    Curriculum & Instruction
    Curricular and instructional models and resources attuned to the diverse learning needs of DLLs.
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    Assessment
    Assessment approaches that more accurately depict and measure how DLLs are learning.
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    An Aligned PreK-3 System
    An integrated early childhood and TK-12 system that recognizes the importance of continuity and coherence with the early childhood period and that meets the needs of DLLs.
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