Our SEAL team participated in a few engaging webinars to help boost the success of Dual Language Learners and English Learners during the month of June. We shared our knowledge as well as learned from partners and other experts during these insightful conversations. 

The following are key takeaways that emerged from these discussions:

Lessons from the Field – Kindergarten As a Sturdy Bridge: Transforming the Kindergarten Year

  • Host: U.S. Department of Education 
  • SEAL Panelist: Partner Amy Boles, Assistant Superintendent at Oak Grove School District
  • Key Takeaways:
    • SEAL programs teach rigorous and precise academic vocabulary to kindergarteners
    • Kindergarten is an important year to build upon emerging bilingual students’ assets, including their home languages
    • Engaging practices like dramatic play, hands-on activities and using microscopes promote joyful learning, especially for emerging bilinguals
    • Intentionality and a strengths-based mindset are important
  • Access webinar resources

Strengthening Kindergarten to Improve Children’s PreK-3rd Grade Experiences

  • Host: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading 
  • SEAL Panelist: Anya Hurwitz, Ed.D., Executive Director
  • Key Takeaways:
    • When we truly ground [our efforts] in assets, in seeing children for all of their potential across their multiple languages, cultures, and worlds and seeing teachers for all their potential, we create a stronger kindergarten and a stronger PreK through third grade experience.
    • Essential components:
      • Family partnerships that celebrate and build from the languages and cultures of the family and community
      • Teacher capacity building and agency so teachers can implement research based, linguistically and culturally sustaining instruction 
      • Comprehensive, rich language and literacy development integrated across content areas to support dual language learners
  • Access webinar resources

Following the Science: Bilingualism as an Asset Supporting Early Brain Development

  • Host: Campaign for Grade-Level Reading 
  • SEAL Panelist: Martha I. Martinez, Ph.D., Senior Director of Research and Evaluation
  • Key Takeaways:
    • SEAL highlights multilingual learners’ needs and gaps in the research around effective bilingual education and biliteracy development
    • Policies sometimes prevent the enactment of effective instruction for multilingual learners based on research that honors their cultural and linguistic backgrounds
    • Science of reading movement has often overlooked the needs of multilingual learners and effective practices for bilingual education
    • Important to change the narrative to include research on bilingualism and biliteracy
  • Access webinar resources