Dual Language SchoolsSummer: Time to Celebrate, Time to Advocate

Author Photo: Dr. Bill Rivers

By: Dr. Bill Rivers

Executive Director of Joint National Committee for Languages

By the time you read this, schools will be letting out all over America. For us, that means scrambling to keep two kids busy while Mama and Baba work. As for my work, I know that I am lucky and privileged. However grim our parlors times appear, we are fighting for the right.

Advocating for America's Languages, and for biliteracy and bilingualism for all America's children, continues to be an astonishing and exciting journey.

At the end of this month, the American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese celebrates its 100th year, with a very special annual conference in Salamanca. AATS y P is kindly bringing yours truly over, to talk to American teachers of Spanish and Portuguese about the Working Group on Languages of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Centenary meeting of AATSP will bring together world language and dual language teachers, as well as the Spanish Association for Bilingual Education. Part of our celebration,

and equally importantly, part of the effort of the Working Group, is noting, promoting, catalyzing, and assisting the amazing expansion of the Seal of Biliteracy in the US - at this writing, at least 45 states and D.C. have adopted the Seal, or are working on doing so. That's worth celebrating.

It means that state legislatures, state boards of education, and diverse educator associations at the state level now promote bilingualism and biliteracy, for all students. This gives us reason to be optimistic about America's languages, and about what they signify - the cultural and ethnic diversity of our country. At least as far as biliteracy goes, we are moving to a better place.

Continue reading to find out more about Bill River's summer advice...