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

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Nurture California's Early Education Workforce

The North Star

Institutions of higher education and the professional development community build curriculum, coursework, and continuous learning opportunities that have dual language learning as a key component of developing and supporting teachers.

Why This Matters

Along with parents, teachers have the most significant and long-lasting impact on a child’s educational trajectory. Teacher preparation, recruitment and retention, as well as ongoing professional development support a strong workforce. Investing in educators with an explicit emphasis on serving DLLs is therefore crucial to promoting these children’s academic success.

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Near-Term Opportunities

  • Preparing Educators
    ENHANCE teacher competencies to include a focus on dual language learners.
    • REQUIRE that Child Development Permit revisions include an explicit focus on competencies for dual language learning, diversity, culture, and equity.

  • Preparing Educators
    INCORPORATE instruction of dual language learners into college-level early childhood curricula.
    • ASSIST college faculty in modifying their curricula to include a strong emphasis on first and second language acquisition and best practices for young dual language learners.

    • ADVOCATE for integration of information on second language acquisition and effective teaching practices for dual language learners within the coursework of the Curriculum Alignment Program (CAP) of the community colleges.

  • Preparing Educators
    EXPAND pool of diverse & multilingual early childhood educators.
    • RECRUIT more multilingual and culturally diverse high-school students who have earned the State Seal of Biliteracy to enter teacher preparation programs and incentivize them to pursue educational pathways that leverage their multilingualism.

    • DEVELOP and incentivize Grow Your Own Teachers initiatives that are responsive to the needs of particular linguistic communities. Grow Your Own Teachers programs, underway in a number of states, are initiatives to diversify, recruit, and retain the teaching workforce.

  • Preparing Educators
    INCREASE access to preservice training focused on working with dual language learners.
    • EXPAND training grants for higher education to provide specialized education for individuals interested in working with young DLLs.

    • ENSURE that any support for Proposition 58 implementation focusing on preservice teacher preparation includes guidance and funding for early childhood educators.

  • Preparing Educators
    ENSURE leadership at all levels understands & supports dual language learners.
    • INVEST in initiatives to support stronger leadership of center directors, principals, superintendents, and other administrators who will establish school climates supportive of dual language learners and their families.

    • ENSURE that DLL expertise is represented in work groups or advisory bodies to provide integration of information about the unique needs of dual language learners.

  • Preparing Educators
    PROMOTE professional development that supports an integrated PreK-3 system.
    • INTEGRATE and co-fund professional development for PreK teachers and for TK-3 teachers, especially in settings with large concentrations of dual language learners.

    • DEVELOP at the district level, TK-3 professional development explicitly embedded in a shared understanding of the importance of first language support for children classified as dual language learners or English learners.

  • Preparing Educators
    INCREASE capacity for quality professional development training & support.
    • DEVELOP competencies for consultants providing professional development and learning opportunities that stress a deep understanding of both first and second language acquisition, child development in the early years, and effective pedagogy.

    • BUILD collaborative approaches to professional development that could include pooling expertise and funding endowed experts to build capacity.

    • WORK with the California Collaborative for Education Excellence to build system-level capacity for professional learning with respect to dual language learners.

Longer-Term Opportunities

  • Preparing Educators
    EXPAND higher education offerings to include a focus on dual language learners.
    • SEEK funds to expand college-level early childhood and elementary coursework that addresses DLL instruction.

    • CREATE a doctoral program for early childhood education and leadership (PreK-3) with a strong emphasis on dual language learning.

    • FUND institutions of higher education to develop specialized cohort programs to facilitate transfer between 2-year and 4-year institutions for educators currently serving young DLLs.

  • Preparing Educators
    BUILD a skilled workforce of diverse, multilingual educators.
    • CREATE pathways for early childhood paraprofessionals– such as teaching assistants, home visitors, and volunteers– with second language skills to develop the competencies needed to become lead teachers and compensate their dual language capabilities accordingly.

    • DEVELOP cohorts of multilingual educators by expanding funding for programs with this purpose.

  • Preparing Educators
    INCREASE access to and quality of professional development opportunities for educators working with dual language learners.
    • CREATE incentives for building professional learning communities throughout the state that pair PreK-3 educators with colleges and universities to strengthen DLL programs.

    • ALLOCATE resources to support coaches with DLL expertise, and teacher release time for professional development and planning related to infusing a focus on DLLs into instruction and curriculum.

    • IMPROVE DLL-focused training for teacher educators both in and out of higher education.

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 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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