A Sneak Peek into the NYC Symposium; A Word with Dr. José Medina

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At this year’s symposium for the New York City Department of Education, Dr. José Medina attended not only as a keynote speaker, but also a breakout session leader. Dr. Medina is one of the most influential advocates, supporters, and leaders within the dual language/ bilingual education field.

Dr. José Medina has served in the field of education, PK-12 grades, for close to 25 years. He has been a teacher, an assistant principal, a dual language principal, and a Director of Dual Language and ESL Education at the district level. Serving emergent bilingual students has always been at the forefront of José’s work, and continues today, as he serves dual language programs across the country and internationally.

At the personal level, both Medina’s parents had limited access to education; his father only had the opportunity to finish fifth grade, and his mother sixth. His parents’ educations gave him a true insight for the oppressive discrimination that students and families who don’t speak English as their first language, often encounter in the United States.

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For several years, Dr. Medina guided the professional development and research in a collaborative fashion at the Center for Applied Linguistics as the Director of Dual Language and Bilingual Education. This gave Medina the opportunity to become one of the co-authors for the Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education : Third Edition, a resource that is used widely around the United States – as well as internationally – to implement and continuously improve dual language programs.
While José was humbled by the opportunity to serve at the prestigious Center for Applied Linguistics, he recently left the organization to continue his work and with an overt focus on equity and social justice, often forgotten in dual language/bilingual education.

The three goals of dual language – bilingualism & biliteracy, grade-level academic achievement, and sociocultural competence – should drive all programming and biliteracy decisions.

Continue to the next page to learn more about Dr. José Medina and his new consulting company…

With the goals in mind, and the drive to hone into the sociocultural competence and culturally-relevant goals of dual language/bilingual education, Dr. Medina started his own boutique education consulting company, Dr. José Medina: Educational Solutions, creating education access for all students, families, and communities. Whether it be regarding the program structure, alignment and the following of guidelines for research, or comparison of the curriculum and instruction that students receive in both English and the partner language with the authenticity of the language, equity and social justice are always at the forefront driving the new consulting company to be as successful and efficient.

Photo for Article: A Sneak Peak into the NYC Symposium;  A Word with Dr. José Medina

Social justice and equity are not just a part of the company’s professional values and drivers; they are a leading force for hiring staff and assessing a student’s experience as a bilingual learner. The company also works to create accessibility for parents to become dual language advocates and partners within the education system, rather than playing a hands-off role with their student’s education.

I am so excited that Dr. José Medina: Education Solutions is going to have an opportunity to serve at the symposium for the New York City Department of Education, as it is a chance to interact with the type of community and varied diverse stakeholders that we strive to serve.

Continue to the next page to learn more about Dr. José Medina and his new consulting company…

At the symposium, Dr. Medina shared research with his audience and explained his perspective and experience having worked both at the administrator level and district level. Medina felt confident that the audience left the symposium with a better understanding of what his new consulting company is striving to achieve. As a keynote speaker and breakout session leader, Medina tackled difficult questions, content, research, and implementation in terms of program structure, curriculum, and literacy instruction with both elegance and grace.

As a former principal, I love serving administrators because I feel like I can give them an insight – whether monolingual or bilingual. All administrators have the capacity to really be a great dual language instructional leader, as well as an advocate – Dr. José Medina

One of the things that Dr. Medina and his colleagues did at the symposium was reiterate and re-emphasize the idea that both the English teacher and partner language teacher are responsible for the biliteracy development of a student. Even though they may only be facilitating their lessons in their respective language, they are both a crucial piece to the development of an emerging bilingual student’s language development.

Photo for Article: A Sneak Peak into the NYC Symposium;  A Word with Dr. José Medina

Dr. Medina encouraged audience members to come with an open heart and an open mind. He pushed the thinking so that his audience members not only aligned with the latest research, but also continued to dissect personal biases and belief systems in terms of what dual language is and the educational access created for dual language programs. His attendees were ready to have fun, ready to learn, and ready to be challenged.

At the end of the day, dual language – and being a dual language administrator – is about entering the school system, that has often forgotten and marginalized student groups, and disrupting that space in the name of equity and social justice. That’s the job. – Dr. José Medina

Angela Palmieri
Author: Angela Palmieri

Angela Palmieri is the founding teacher of a Spanish dual language immersion program in Glendale, California. She currently teaches sixth grade language immersion and has been an educator for eighteen years. She traveled to New Zealand on the Fulbright Distinguished Award in Teaching in 2016 to research and document the cultural practices taught in Maōri-medium schools. Angela holds a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from the Principal Leadership Institute at UCLA, a Master’s degree in Reading and Language Education, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Learning Education from CSULA. Ms. Palmieri is currently a doctoral student in the Educational Leadership Program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Ms. Palmieri was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela, to Italian immigrant parents, and speaks Spanish and Italian fluently. She is a social justice-driven advocate for bilingual and indigenous language education and is an avid traveler. Angela travelled to China and Mongolia on a Fulbright-Hays Group Projects Abroad grant in June and July of 2018.

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