It’s been a busy year for us at add.a.lingua. Besides onboarding a Director of Strategic Impact and a Director of Immersion Academic and Instructional Alliances, we have also attended a number of conferences and trainings as both presenters and participants. In September, Stacey headed to Brazil to facilitate several conference sessions surrounding cross-linguistic and form-focused instruction. While learning with colleagues from Beit Yaakov Escola in Sao Paolo and hundreds of immersion educators in Brazil, she was also able to explore Sao Paolo with host Lyle French and fellow guests Fred Genesee, Margo Gottlieb, Kathy Escamilla, and others.
In November several members of our team began a multi-day training with Carolyn McKanders via the Adaptive Schools Foundation Seminar. We are excited to practice many of the meeting facilitation strategies Carolyn and her team shared with us. Let us know if you notice new behaviors in our summer training sessions. We’ve been practicing the power of “what? why? how?” in our internal meetings, and look forward to implementing tried and true processing protocols with our partner schools. Learn more about adaptive schools training here.
A long way from Brazil, add.a.lingua kicked off off December with a road trip to Lansing to participate in the Office of Professional Preparation Services’ Winter Conference. As sponsors of the event, we had the opportunity to talk to administrators and central office personnel from around the state at our grab a cup and power up station.
Besides our team chatting over coffee with educators from around the state, add.a.lingua co-founder, Stacey Vanden Bosch, presented, along with Dr. Brian Davis of Holland Public Schools, on the historical implications surrounding “bilingualism” in the U.S., as well as the goals, philosophy and research supporting dual language immersion education. Dr. Davis also provided attendees with a glimpse into some of the encouraging academic data trends from Holland’s two-way 90-10 dual language immersion program. Early data trends from Holland Public Schools provide local evidence to support the efficacy of quality dual language education and underscore reports published earlier this year by Portland and Houston.
Although conferences and professional learning seminars are anticipated events on our calendar, and adding new team members furthers our immersion vision, we find ourselves closing 2015 by reflecting with gratitude on what makes it all possible – people.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart. – Nelson Mandela
At our annual add.a.lingua team Christmas party, we spent time celebrating, not only what our partner schools have accomplished and the projects we had completed, but also – one another – our immersion colleagues – and most importantly – the students we serve. In this season of reflection and hope for the new year, we invite you to do the same…at the end of a day…or a year…it’s relationships with people that matter. Thank you for building them – in multiple languages.
To learn more about add.a.lingua happenings in 2015, check out our “rear-view mirror” recap…
- Hosted our brilliant friend, Dr. Diane J. Tedick, in west Michigan to discuss the latest research in dual language immersion education.
- Traveled to ARC to further establish a partnership that makes resources for our immersion partner programs reliable and consistent.
- Birthed my.addalingua.com and an immersion student data tracker.
- Grew our team to include two new directors, Stephanie Irizarry and Chris Marlink.
- Gathered together with our largest group of teachers for our summer training event.
- Welcomed new partner schools and expanded our network to the west coast.
- Supported the good folks at Student Language Exchange with our #addalanguage campaign.
- Sent Stacey presented with researchers in the field of immersion education at the Brazilian Immersion Conference.
- Produced a podcast and webinar outlining key features of a gold standard dual language immersion program as invited participants in connected educators month.
- Hosted policy makers on a tour of add.a.lingua partner schools so they could get an inside look at the good things happening.
- Gave addalingua.com a refresh to better reflect our services and support for new and existing immersion programs.
- Joined the Michigan Department of Education at the OPPS winter conference.
From the entire add.a.lingua team, we wish you all a joyous new year!