and believe in their hearts that an education in two languages is a right and not just an option, for students and their families.
These are exciting times for Dual Language Education, as we see more and more school districts around the country committing to the strengthening and expansion of K-12 Dual Language Education. Motivations for this growth in DLE programs range from a desire to close the achievement gap between linguistically and culturally diverse students and their white peers, to a desire to ensure that the United States has an adequate multilingual, multicultural citizenry that can contribute and compete in our global community.
For Dual Language Education of New Mexico (www.dlenm.org) the primary motivation for expanding our dual language programming, is a desire to build on the linguistic and socio-cultural capital of our lower socio-economic communities, and finally ensure success for our historically underserved students. The challenge is great, but as we engage with our community stakeholders and like-minded organizations, we are beginning to see resources aligning that will not only help to launch new programs, but also sustain K-12 dual language pathways well into the future.
We need to fight to change the deficit narrative that currently exists around second language learners.
The work ahead of us is enormous, as we advocate for bigger and better teacher preparation programs that will produce committed bilingual educators who are effective, and believe in their hearts that an education in two languages is a right and not just an option, for students and their families. And the politics need to change as well, as most educational policy continues to support an English Only and an educational system that only embraces the western civilization at its core. We need to fight to change the deficit narrative that currently exists around second language learners. These students are not broken, they come to us ready to learn, and have linguistic and cultural assets that must be fully realized to not only ensure their success in school and life, but to be shared that with their monolingual peers who have not yet experienced the beauty of an emerging bilingual's existence.
Dual Language Education of New Mexico (www.dlenm.org) stands ready to engage. To contribute and support what is needed to fully realizing the dream of K-12 dual language education. With our partner organizations like ATDLE, CABE, the BUENO Center, CAL and dozens of local school districts, we will overcome our current challenges, and deliver the promise of K-12 Dual Language Education.
¡Seguimos con la cosecha!
*Dual Language Education of New Mexico (www.dlenm.org) is an educational non-profit that provides support services for program and professional development needs in dual language communities in New Mexico, and across the United States. DLeNM is also the proud host of the annual La Cosecha Dual Language Conference (www.lacosecha.dlenm.org) which welcomed 2600 dual language educators and supporters from 37 states and seven countries in 2017.