7 Tips to Develop Leadership in Your Dual Language Students

Every Dual Language student, despite their age, gender, race or any form of orientation has the potential to be a great leader. While it’s true that some students may exhibit more traits associated with good leadership, the truth is any student’s leadership ability can be groomed and nurtured. There is no better place to start grooming and nurturing a student’s leadership skills than Dual Language school. Dual Language Teachers bear a great responsibility of building the leadership skills of their students.

The following are 7 tips to bring out leadership qualities in your Dual Language students:

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1. Be the kind of leader you want your Dual Language students to become

Naturally, your students will tend to follow the precedent that you set. Therefore, the most effective way to instill leadership qualities in your students is to do things in the manner that you would like them to do. Be a good example. Show them what it means to be a passionate, bilingual, courageous, emotionally intelligence, flexible, and adaptable leader in the classroom. Let your students experience the good feeling of making a meaningful impact on another person’s life. Be passionate about bilingualism, and show them how this has benefited your life, this will allow your students to see what they can do with the power of being bilingual, too.

2. Put them in charge

Ensure your Dual Immersion students are involved in various leadership opportunities in the classroom. It can anything from steering a group discussion, handing out materials, to introducing a lesson. Make such opportunities part of classroom procedures. Activities involving student leadership in the classroom help students most when teachers compliment their abilities. If one student is more proficient in the target language than their peers, this will help motivate them and want to reach the same level as their peer.

3. Encourage your Dual Language students to get involved in extracurricular activities

Extracurricular activities play an important role in building the characteristics of a leader. These activities will give your students opportunities to run meetings and plan their own projects. Allow them to do this in a bilingual fashion, so that they can see the benefits of being bilingual early on. An ideal way to go about this is to start small clubs for various specialties which the students can join and run their affairs. Such small groups often attract children with leadership skills. Get the parents involved too, use family engagement to allow students have the target language involved in all facets of their life, school, extra curriculars, and home. Parents can help run the extracurriculars, and then have an integral part in their child’s education, too.

4.Emphasize on the importance of social interaction.

Every Dual Language student in your class is endowed differently, so it’s essential that you create an environment which supports student interaction. Social interaction goes a long way to ensure kids learn to get along with their peers and to cooperate across differences. Especially for ELLs, who may have just come to the country and have not found their personalized community yet.

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Continue reading to find more helpful tips for your classroom..

5. Instill good communication skills

Leader are good communicators. Effective communication is the core pillar of leadership and building healthy relationships. Teach your Dual Language . students to listen keenly and understand the articulated issues before responding. Be patient, as some students may not feel comfortable speaking in either language yet. Nurture their communication skills so that they can distinguish from what is important and what is not and be able communicate the way forward in a problematic situation. Dual immersion programs are proven to develop strong communication competencies for students.

6. Deliver personalized leadership lessons

Give your students insights into your path, and what it took you to get there. Allow them to understand that being bilingual was a challenge for you, and the social implications you felt while learning. Allow them to understand what leadership entails and why it’s an important aspect of an individual’s daily life. Remind them that you were once in their shoes, and allow them to look to you as a role model. You can also find an accomplished mentor to talk to your students on the leadership topic.

Photo: 7 Tips to Develop Leadership in Your Dual Language Students

7. Give your Dual Language students space to pave their own path

Whenever you assign leadership roles to your students and they show willingness to accomplish them, leave them to struggle with those roles. Even if they fail, they are learning a lesson that will offer many benefits in the long run. When they have learned what need to work on, offer a helping hand thereafter. Failure happens to be a very good teacher in our lives. As a teacher, you can build their confidence by encouraging a comeback.

As a Dual Language teacher, it’s important that you teach your students to be persistent in all facets of their life. Allow them to see that it’s OK to make mistakes, OK to fail, what’s important is to learn from your mistake, and continue to try. Let them remain tenacious and determined.

Teachers have a huge responsibility in creating leadership in their Dual Language students. Teach your students to be good listeners, critical thinkers, resolute decision makers and people who look into both sides of an issue before responding. Use the above-mentioned tips to mold your Dual Language students into useful and productive, persistent, and biliterate leaders of our society.

Patricia Griselda Pérez
Author: Patricia Griselda Pérez

Dr. Patricia Pérez holds an A.A. from Ohlone College: B.A. and M.S. degree from California State University, East Bay and an Ed.D. from the University of San Francisco. She serves as an educator, consultant and teacher coach, which provides professional development, curriculum development and multicultural awareness services to local and international educational institutions and corporations. Dr. Pérez is fluent in Spanish and began her career as an elementary school teacher in a bilingual classroom. In the past two decades, she has developed a wide range of experience working at every level of public education, providing support to educators and directly to students. Her interest focus on promoting educational excellence through equity in order to overcome institutional barriers that confront underserved students of diverse backgrounds. Dr. Pérez is also an accomplished writer and has published in the areas of multicultural education and organizational management and leadership. She is a contributing author to Multicultural Education in Practice: Transforming One Community at a Time and Collaboration and Peak Performance: A Multidisciplinary Perspective for Emerging Leaders.

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