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5.2 Securing Support for your Dual Language Program

OVERVIEW

Support for the dual language education program is critical to its success and security as the program moves forward. There are many types of support to secure:

Board/District Support

  • Districts may require a board action to adopt the dual language education program.
    • They may ask for a board study session prior to a board meeting to consider the request and then vote on it at the next board meeting to give them time to deliberate.
  • The district will designate the location for the program and identify the program structure (whole school, strand within a school, etc.).

Human Resources Support for Teacher Recruitment

  • Survey the district for teachers with credentials or authorizations that would allow them to teach in a dual language setting.
    • Determine these teachers’ interest in staffing the dual language education program at the designated location.
  • Job description may need to be rewritten to reflect the appropriate credentials or authorizations to teach in the target language.
  • Job description should include the requirement that the teacher possess high academic language and native-like proficiency in both the target language and English.
  • Interview panel should include at least one person that is highly bilingualandbiliterate.
    • Many districts have a community member who is a native speaker of the target language group participate in the interview.
  • The interview questions may need to be revised to reflect the context of a dual language education setting.
  • A portion of the interview should be conducted in the target language.
    • The response to the questions in the target language should be considered on two levels: for content and for language proficiency.
    • The applicant’s oral proficiency should be included in the evaluation of the applicant’s overall qualifications for the position.
  • The applicant’s oral and written proficiency in the target language should be assessed during the interview and be included in the evaluation of the applicant’s overall qualifications for the position.
    • Often, the assessment of the applicant’s written proficiency is done prior to or at the conclusion of the interview.

Teachers’ Union Support

  • Various aspects of the program may need an informal or formal agreement with the union.
    • It is recommended that teachers that are assigned to the program be placed on a separate seniority list to protect the program, as it requires a specialized credential.
    • If there is a stipend or additional release days that will be offered to teachers in the dual language program, that may require an agreement with the union.

Student Services Support (Dual Language Education Program Enrollment Policies)


  • Intra-district and inter-district transfer policies
    • Examine current district transfer policies to determine if any might need to be revised in the event that there is great demand for the program within the district and from surrounding districts
  • Board-approved enrollment priorities
    • Determine what the policy and procedure will be if there is a greater demand for the program than openings available.
      • Many districts are moving to a lottery for all students to avoid litigation over the manner (date, availability) the enrollment information on the program was disseminated.
    • Consider whether any of the following might have enrollment priority:
      • Board members’ children
      • Siblings of students in the program
      • Program staff (certificated, classified, administration) children
      • Inter-district transfers
      • Intra-district transfers
    • A list of students enrolling in the program will need to be monitored.
      • For programs that will include at least two linguistic groups, a separate list for each group will need to be kept, in line with the enrollment priorities determined, above.
    • Determine what the policy and procedure will be if there is a greater demand for the program than openings available.
      • Many districts are moving to a lottery for all students to avoid litigation over the manner (date, availability) the enrollment information on the program was disseminated.
    • Determine the length of parent commitment to the dual language education program.
      • Draft letter explaining why commitment necessary.
        • Districts typically ask parents to make a commitment for a minimum of 5 years to see students through to the time when their academic achievement and linguistic acquisition begins to exceed those of their peers not in the program.
      • Include the provision that parents must participate in an exit interview should they decide to withdraw their child from the program before the end of the 5 years they initially committed to.
      • Seek district approval for letter, and have it translated into the target language.
      • Include parental agreement and signature on the form at the informational sessions for the program.
      • Include these two provisions (multi-year commitment and exit interview) in the informational material about the program.

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