Last Saturday, March 23rd, Multilingual Programs and its Dual Language team hosted the Inaugural Dual Language Summit for teachers and administrators.
The 112 participants, from 51 campuses, had the opportunity to choose from sessions that went over effective practices to implement a Dual Language program, how to build parental engagement, scaffolding strategies for all content areas, ways to support newcomers, among other 23 sessions of which, 5 were delivered in Spanish.
Teachers, administrators and teacher development specialists interacted with educational professionals, colleagues and experts in the field such as session presenters professors emeriti Dr. Viginia Collier and Dr. Wayne Thomas, renowned researchers for their work on Dual Language long-term effectiveness for linguistically and culturally diverse students.
“It is so exciting to watch what is happening in HISD, one of the largest school districts in the country, and seeing that you are also one of the top dual language school districts!” said Dr. Collier after being asked about the progress the district has made since the professors started observing and researching the district’s practices. “We are very proud that year by year the program is expanding and observing that your kids’ scores are on a high level” Dr. Collier emphasized.
Dr. Wayne Thomas added: “We have been following the district for more than 20 years, and it has been a real pleasure to watch the progression of improvement and diversification of what HISD is capable of, both instructional and in terms of data analysis.”
Other guest speakers who shared their expertise to teachers and administrators were Dr. Mario Ferron, Dual Language Director at San Antonio ISD, and Adrian Mendoza, Math Instructional Specialist at San Marcos Consolidated ISD.
Dr. Ferron presented strategies on how to increase parental involvement in Dual language programs, as well as, best practices for Secondary and Elementary administrators. Mr. Mendoza engaged dual language teachers by sharing strategies that promote a growth mindset in mathematics when teaching second language learners.
Dual Language and PD Manager Xochitl Lege highlighted the importance of the district’s campuses participation. “The main purpose is for teachers and administrators to enhance their existing program and explore best practices using all the instructional resources available,” she said. “It is great to see that every year we are able to provide further support to our campuses. Seeing how teachers will be supporting students with the use of strategic language acquisition techniques and utilizing didactic material, online platforms or tools to make their classroom an engaging environment is just very inspiring.”
There was a lot of collaboration, networking, and sharing of ideas among all participants. The 48 Elementary and 3 Secondary campuses will surely continue to maintain a high-level, rigorous instruction so that students keep making progress.