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

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Build Responsive Approaches to Curriculum and Instruction


The North Star

PreK-3 programs serving dual language learners develop and implement approaches that include explicit goals for first and second language development and align with the Preschool Foundations, the Preschool Guidelines, and the English Language Development and Common Core State Standards for Language and Literacy.

Why This Matters

Incorporating children’s home language in preschool and early elementary instruction is increasingly recognized as critical to the robust development of children’s home and English language skills. Advancing models of instruction and resources that promote first and second language development is key to minimizing achievement and opportunity gaps for DLLs and setting them on course to become bilingual.

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Near-Term Opportunities

  • ADVANCE understanding of the development of English language proficiency.
    • USE the English Language Development Foundations/standards to monitor growth towards English language proficiency during the preK-3rd grade period to inform teaching practice.

    • MONITOR initial identification for accuracy and predictability.

  • ENGAGE families
    • USE LCFF family engagement funds to bring linguistically and culturally diverse family perspectives into classroom instruction and nurture home languages.

    • DEVELOP a cadre of diverse parent advocates to encourage greater language-focused instruction opportunities made possible through Proposition 58.

    • CONDUCT community education campaigns educating families about dual language education, their role in supporting home language development, and the benefits of bilingualism.

  • CAPITALIZE on state and federal policies favorable to PreK-3 integration.
    • LEVERAGE the opportunity for multilingual instruction that Proposition 58 opens to promote targeted conversations and local control planning processes for DLLs in PreK-3 settings.

    • IDENTIFY and promote opportunities within ESSA to strengthen preschool education within TK-12 programs.

    • SUPPORT Prop 58 implementation with an eye to directing resources toward PreK-3 DLL instruction.

  • INCREASE access to instructional resources focused on linguistic diversity.
    • EXPAND availability of curricular and instructional resources for teachers of young dual language learners.

    • ADVOCATE for stronger support and dissemination of current state guidance documents (e.g., Preschool Program Guidelines; Family Engagement Framework).

    • SEEK funds for a hub that curates resources on different types of DLL and multilingual models used in the state and their associated outcomes.

Longer-Term Opportunities

  • BUILD PreK-3 continuity/ articulation to support dual language learning.
    • EXAMINE the alignment of widely used PreK curricula and instructional approaches to those that are used in TK-3 for their effectiveness with DLLs/ELs.

    • DEVELOP at the district, county, and state level, explicit philosophies to support dual language learning through a variety of models in a PreK-3 frame and dedicate resources to that end.

    • DEVELOP or modify curricula for the PreK-3rd continuum that are developmentally and linguistically appropriate.

  • EVALUATE instructional models & curricula.
    • SEEK funds for studies that assess the effectiveness of different instructional models (English immersion; transitional programs; maintenance bilingual programs; and two-way immersion) used in PreK and TK settings.

    • EXAMINE the efficacy of curricula used with dual language learners.

  • ESTABLISH normative profiles of bilingualism by examining how first & second language acquisition develop & influence each other over time.
    • DEVELOP within normative ranges, time expectations for various components of first and second language acquisition (i.e., speaking, reading, writing) to inform pedagogical practice.

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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