Supporting Educators of Bi/multilingual Students
By Sam Aguirre:
For many schools across the country, distance learning continues to be the norm. One of the concerns shared by many educators is the need for professional learning opportunities in which teacher-teams can reinforce their common understanding and collaboration for supporting bi/multilingual students. WIDA Español has developed a free webinar to support this need.
Last November, WIDA Español released a self-paced webinar titled Introduction to Pedagogía con Respeto: The Spanish Language Development Framework. The webinar is designed for educators working with bi/multilingual students in k-12 schools. Regardless of the role in the school structure, every educator has something to gain from this webinar. Administrators, teacher leaders, and both bilingual and monolingual teachers can view the content (available in both English and Spanish) and explore the concepts presented. Through self-paced reflective activities, the webinar provides an opportunity for educators to analyze their linguistic beliefs, their use of terminology for bi/multilingual students, and even acquire new tools that can inform their practice.
The webinar is designed to be completed individually, but I recommend that teacher-teams plan for reflection time in which they compare notes and share out their responses to the prompts in the participant guide. I encourage all educators to set a debrief time with their colleagues, creating a safe space where they can reflect on the concepts of the webinar and find meaningful ways to further support their bi/multilingual students. In sharing their linguistic portraits, their path to bi/multilingualism, and even their take on the WIDA Guiding Principles, teachers can learn from one another, build stronger bonds across their teams, and develop a set of priorities for supporting their students.
WIDA Español also recognizes that educators can benefit from working directly with a trained consultant to take a deeper dive into the topics covered in the self-paced webinar. With that in mind, we have developed an opportunity for an eFacilitated online workshop through the WIDA Store. You can find times and dates of upcoming workshops or inquire about opportunities for your school or district by visiting the WIDA Workshops webpage.
I hope you and your colleagues find this free webinar meaningful and that reflection time with your team leads to greater collaboration and common understanding to support your bi/multilingual students. I also encourage you to share your learning on social media by using the hashtag #WIDAEspañol. That way, you can share your learning with other educators and we can continue to support one another in these times when we are all teaching and learning from home.