The74: A Call for CA to Invest in Bilingual Ed


California is the world’s fifth-largest economy and the most diverse in the nation. According to the Bay Area Council Economic Institute report, California’s economy is all about businesses going global and hiring a more diverse group of people  – thus, a multilingual workforce. The report goes on to say that California has the unique opportunity to foster early language skills in its 2.4 million multilingual children by implementing more multilingual programs across the state. Yet even with California’s visionary and innovative policies to support our future global needs – the English Learners Roadmap and Global California 2030 – we still trail far behind other states in actually offering bilingual education or dual-immersion programs especially to our multilingual learners.

Recently, two articles by Connor Williams, a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, delve into the challenges and possibilities for achieving California’s multilingual goals, highlighting key insights and opportunities. In his opinion piece in The 74, California Celebrates Its Linguistic Diversity While Shortchanging Bilingual Ed, he shares that while “the state has done much to align its vision for ELs’ success with research on these children’s linguistic and academic development” the state’s investments are not keeping up with policy goals – placing CA behind.

“This ranks California well behind its peers—both EL-rich states like Texas and Illinois and less linguistically diverse states like Wisconsin and Alaska,” states Williams in The 74.

Williams’ The 74 piece is a follow up to more in-depth Century Foundation report by William’s and Jonathan Zabala, Moving from Vision to Reality: Establishing California as a National Bilingual Education and Dual-Language Immersion Leader which provides an in-depth analysis into data, history and policy implications. The authors conducted nearly two dozen interviews with researchers, advocates, and other stakeholders in California.

“Indeed, support for ELs’ bilingualism has not been a priority even in other new statewide education reforms. As we outline in the report, though California has invested major new public resources in trying to achieve universal access to early education programs for 4-year-olds and growing the state’s roster of community schools — ELs’ unique strengths and needs have not been central to these initiatives’ designs.” – states Williams in The 74.

With 60% of California children under the age of 5 living in a household with at least one parent who speaks a language other than English, imagine the opportunities we have to not only build bilingualism and biliteracy as we also build a pipeline for bilingual teachers, engineers, health providers and more!

Indeed there is still work to be done. Take a look at how we rank nationally. Below is Table 2 from Moving from Vision to Reality: Establishing California as a National Bilingual Education and Dual-Language Immersion Leader.

Table 2. Williams,C.

As fellow education champions, we encourage you to take a few minutes and dive into both articles – and share with your network. Social links can be found on both webpages.

Join us in championing opportunities and implementing research and evidence-based approaches for all children to succeed.

Williams says, “It is time for state and local leaders in California to deliver on the state’s EL Roadmap and Global California 2030 promises by: 1. significantly expanding multilingual instruction in the state—particularly via linguistically diverse, dual-language immersion schools; 2. investing short- and long-term resources in efforts to grow the state’s bilingual teacher pipelines; and 3. ensuring that the state’s 1.1 million ELs—who gain unique linguistic and academic benefits from bilingual and dual-language programs—are prioritized for bilingual and/or multilingual learning.

Together, we can create the opportunities all our children deserve to succeed. #MultilingualismIsPower

The74: A Call for CA to Invest in Bilingual Ed2023-11-30T15:07:30-08:00

SEAL at CABE 2024



The California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE)’s 49th Annual Conference is in Anaheim on February 21 – 24, 2024 for “Strength in Unity: Embracing the Tapestry of Our Diversity, Cultivating Our Heritage, & Celebrating Our Multilingualism.” SEAL is a proud partner and will offer workshop sessions for educators, families and community partners. Details and times coming soon. We look forward to seeing you there! REGISTER TODAY!


SEAL Sessions:

Taller para familias – Promoviendo el bilingüismo: Compartiendo nuestras historias

Karen Ascencio & Ana Marisol Sánchez | Wednesday, February 21, 2024 | 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. 

Este taller le proveerá herramientas, y estrategias sobre cómo promover el bilingüismo en casa usando las mejores prácticas basadas en la investigación del modelo SEAL. ¡Salga con una colección de ideas para involucrar a sus hijos en el hogar y en la escuela!

Cross-Linguistic Connections in Multilingual Programs

Heather Skibbins & Ashleigh Williams | Thursday, February 22, 2024 | 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. 

Bilingual children need the skills to analyze and understand both their languages; to know how they work and how they are similar and different. This interactive workshop will explore how to develop students’ metalinguistic awareness through cross-linguistic strategies and practices. Through classroom videos and strategies such as TheDictado, Así se dice, and Metalinguistic Anchor Charts, we will equip teachers with the practical skills to develop students’ biliteracy through understanding the relationship between their two languages.

Strengthening Family Partnerships to Promote Bilingual Pride at Home and in the Classroom

Adriana Diaz & Sara Rizik-Baer | Thursday, February 22, 2024 | 4:45 – 6:00 p.m.

This workshop offers effective practices and strategies to build family partnerships that foster strong community engagement and empower families to take an active role in students’ learning. Using research-based approaches from the SEAL model, come away with ready to go workshops you can immediately incorporate at your sites to build bilingual/bicultural pride with families at home and in the classroom.

Coaching: The Essential Role to Enact Powerful, Lasting Reform 

Ana Marisol Sanchez & Molly Moyer | Friday, February 23, 2024 | 10:30 – 11:45 a.m. 

Implementing lasting systems change, as prescribed by the CA EL Roadmap, requires the essential role of a Coach to hold the vision of success for Language Learners. Activities will prepare participants to articulate an approach in their district to create structures that enable powerful teacher collaboration centralizing DLLs. Tools & Templates to assist in strategic planning and assessment to inform instruction and ensure continuous improvement at the system and classroom level will be provided.

Leading for Equity: The Power of Dual Language Programs

Judith Alcala, Ulises Gonzalez & Charice Guerra | Friday, February 23, 2024 | 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. 

Dual language programs are a transformative resource to create equitable classrooms that multilingual students deserve. This session is designed to elevate and inspire school leaders as they plan, implement, and strengthen elementary dual language programs. Drawing from the CDE book, Improving Multilingual and English Learner Education: From Research to Practice, school leaders will be invited to think critically about dual language programming as an opportunity to lead for equity.

Designated and Integrated ELD: Using Language Functions as a Bridge

Ashleigh Williams & Heather Skibbins | Friday, February 23, 2024 | 3:15 – 4:30 p.m. 

Are you struggling to design student-responsive Designated ELD that builds upon what students are learning in Spanish? Bilingual teachers will explore SEAL’s model of language functions, graphic organizers, differentiated sentence frames, and transfer lessons while developing a deep understanding of how to bridge what their students are learning in Spanish into content-based Designated ELD. We will examine classroom artifacts and videos to show how you can connect what you are doing throughout your day in a way that develops academic language and literacy in both languages.

Supporting Bilingualism in Preschool and Transitional Kindergarten

Sara Rizik-Baer & Karen Ascencio | Friday, February 23, 2024 | 4:45 – 6:00 p.m. 

This session will explore current research on meeting the needs of young DLLs, particularly in the area of oral language development in both their home language and English. We will discuss what is meant by “rich, complex, precise language” and the various roles adults can play to foster and advance oral language skills within the context of thematic instruction. Additionally, we will Introduce key strategies to take back to your classroom to support this work.

Designated ELD that Targets Your Students Needs

Molly Moyer & Adriana Diaz | Saturday, February 24, 2024 | 9:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. 

Need help planning “in response to” Designated ELD lessons? We will share a formative assessment technique, Oral Language Analysis (OLA), used in the SEAL model to help you successfully plan and implement responsive DELD lessons. Through watching videos, analyzing ELD standards, and opportunities for hands-on application and reflection, you will walk away with quick and easy-to-use templates and tools for planning and implementing formative assessments for DELD lessons with your students tomorrow!

SEAL at CABE 20242024-01-30T22:58:29-08:00

SEAL at La Cosecha 2023


This fall SEAL offered two interactive workshops for educators, families and community partners at the 28th Annual La Cosecha Dual Language Conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The four-day event was themed “Honoring Our Story: Reclaiming Our Past Through Empowerment and Action.” 

SEAL partner Dual Language Education of New Mexico hosted this national conference that helps drive our work, keeps us abreast of the latest research developments, and sparks valuable networking opportunities. We’re honored to have been among 235+ professional presentations and workshops designed to support dual language education. 

Our Sessions:

Effective, Integrated, and Responsive ELD for Dual Language Classrooms

  • Heather Skibbins, Ana Marisol Sánchez & Patricia Montes-Pate
  • Presentation

Strengthening Family Partnerships to Promote Bilingual Pride at Home and in the Classroom


About SEAL

SEAL (Sobrato Early Academic Language) is a nonprofit dedicated to advancing the educational outcomes of multilingual learners. Through its research and evidence based approach, SEAL is building the capacity of California preschools and elementary schools to deliver language-rich, joyful and rigorous education for all children. A multiyear evaluation found that SEAL improved teaching practices and English learners demonstrated stronger engagement, positive language development and academic outcomes.

SEAL at La Cosecha 20232024-01-12T10:42:42-08:00

SEAL Quarterly Newsletter | October 2023


This past quarter marked a significant milestone for SEAL as we completed our fourth year as an independent nonprofit. In collaboration with our partners, we have worked to play a vital role in inspiring positive changes in school systems and policy development while expanding our impact across the state.

The journey continues, and these past few months have been filled with exciting developments.

Read our October 2023 newsletter to learn more!

SEAL Quarterly Newsletter | October 20232023-11-15T11:34:27-08:00
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