The expansion of dual language programs is the imminent trajectory for the future. Every year, more and more programs begin their implementation phases-and we couldn't be happier. The best way to start a dual language program is by seeking advice from already successful dual language programs. However, there is not currently an open dialogue between administrators of programs to learn from each other. This week, we are offering advice on ways to connect with other dual language programs.
1. Attend Conferences
Conferences like CABE, NABE, TESOL, La Cosecha are some of the best ways to connect with other dual language programs. People attend these conferences with the intent of learning and improving, so feel free to come with an open dialogue and the questions necessary to improve your program. Of course, it can be intimidating to approach those that you don't know, and humbling to admit the flaws of your program, but to obtain a more bilingual world, dual language programs must continue to be open to change and growth.
2. Utilize the Events Calendar
To find events to connect with other dual language programs, you can use the free events calendar on DualLanguageSchools.org, that allows you to post events and find events in your area. Some of these events are free and made for networking purposes, so are easier to attend than registering for a conference. You can also host and post your own events on the calendar, which allows you to create your own networking event to learn from other programs. They say you must create your own destiny-so facilitate something yourself to get the information you need.
3. Use Social Media
Social Media is an amazing tool to connect with others who have similar interests to you. If you don't already follow the Facebook page, there are many people who may have similar questions that you do regarding your program. Feel free to pose questions to the community on whatever challenges you're facing-the page is meant to be an open forum for those interested in dual language education.
4. Contact your Dual Language State Network
Many dual language programs are unaware of the resources that lie in your own backyard. Check if your state has a Dual Language Network, a statewide community that advises dual language programs in your state. Networks often host events and offer resources to improve your program. If your state does not have a state dual language network, consider starting one, it can be the most valuable resource in connecting with other dual language programs.
5. Connect with Others on the Forum
Utilize the free forum to connect with other dual language programs about your specific needs and interest. Social media can often be daunting and can cause people to chime in about irrelevant topics. By posting your particular question on the forum, you are creating a specific trajectory for your questions and an informative dialogue that goes to the exact audience pertaining to your question.
The dual language community is one of the most accepting, diverse, intellectually curious and empathetic groups in the world. We are grateful to have people who are willing to help, be open to ideas, and learn from each other. Take advantage of this community by following our tips in learning from other programs. Let us know how they go for you by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org!