Educadores de Dual Language,
Happy año nuevo! I wish you a healthy, rewarding, and maravilloso 2020!
Two years ago, I began writing this dual language column for duallanguageschools.org. It has been such a pleasure to serve the dual language community in this fashion. And, a lot has happened in two years, but some things remain constant. Our amor for dual language, the desire to better serve emergent bilingual students, the sometimes difficult task of advocating for our programs, the yearning to positively impact the world around us—these things continue to fuel our fire as we overtly declare advocacy for multilingual programming.
It is also important to understand that although all teachers work hard to meet their students’ needs, dual language teachers are at a different level of commitment. Despite the pressures of standardized assessments, inequity in terms of resources, a lack of commitment to multilingualism by some school/county/state/national educational leaders, and the overt disdain by some towards anyone who dares speak a language other than English, we, along with our emergent multilingual students, persevere in the name of equity, social justice, and all that is fabuloso!
In 2020, we must remember that we are not alone. We have each other. As we struggle with all that is expected of us, we can find comfort in the fact that there are other dual language warriors ready to cause a desmadre.
We are ready to fight for what is right if it means creating educational access for every student, but especially for those who have been marginalized, oppressed, and systematically forced to deny their mother tongue, culture, and soul by an educational system that has often viewed them as less than.
Juntos, we can move forward step by step. Our journey as dual language educators is an honorable one. We have the research to support our efforts, but more importantly, we have the ganas to ensure that our students have every opportunity to be multilingual and that they fully understand that the ultimate goal in life is to be of service to others.
Su colega and friend,
Dr. José Luis Medina Hernández Franco López Jr. Díaz-Cruz