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CARLA conference: powerful and relevant, plus new tools to help immersion educators


As Dr. Anthony Muhammad stated in his recent blog post, “One critical need of a professional is access to powerful and relevant learning opportunities.” We know, just as our educational partners do, that professional learning is a process, not an event. But, every now and then, an event can surely be embedded into a pretty awesome process!

Team add.a.lingua just got back from CARLA’s Sixth International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education in Minneapolis. We spent time facilitating pre-conference workshops and attending symposia and lectures with the top researchers in the field. The conference was chock-full of opportunities to connect with teachers who are working with immersion learners each and every day. And…hey…on a personal level, it wasimg_3091 even the first time I got to connect with someone (apart from where our family is from in Puerto Rico) who shares my same last name! As I spoke with Debbie, it became clear that we share much more than a name. Just like our colleagues at the conference we’ve all got a die hard love for kids and for offering them a quality dual language immersion education. How much more powerful or relevant could that that be?

At CARLA, we were affirmed in our work of aligning add.a.lingua program models and services to the top research in the field. We were also really encouraged by the response from immersion educators around the globe to the add.a.lingua quality quadrants and success indicators. At a time when schools work so hard to calibrate their programs in a standards-based way, so many new friends shared that having immersion-specific guidelines for their programs is truly both powerful and relevant.

In an effort to extend the reach of the powerful learning that took place at CARLA, we’ve developed a brand new online resource. Now, schools can take advantage of the add.a.lingua immersion educator toolkit for FREE at my.addalingua.com/educator.

To access it, simply join our community of immersion educators by creating a free account. As you peruse the material there, think about how you and your colleagues might:

  • Use the language proficiency demystified, the community FAQ’s or the instructional tools (the contract lesson, the notice-practice-produce document, the immersion language only timeline lesson), as valuable sources of short readings that would be great for staff meetings or calibrating conversations. Select one of the docs, and pick some solid strategies for processing them with your team. Then, use that time to focus on YOUR program with goal-setting and messaging alignment in mind.
  • Take some time to explore immersion practice right there in your school. Look at the add.a.lingua quality quadrants and success indicators. In what ways might you and your immersion teachers select some of those success indicators to engage in dialogue about instructional practice? In what ways are those indicators living and breathing in your classrooms? If they’re soaring in some classes, how might you set up a learning lab experience to bring teachers in to observe one another? If there’s a particular indicator that appears more challenging, how might intentional dialogue foster the development of tangible action steps to get you where you want to be

 

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As you explore your program more deeply and set goals, we welcome you to reach out to our team. Whether you’re looking for full-on partnership or a series of workshops, we’re here to help you process your journey.  We’re always excited to meet and collaborate with school leaders and teachers who are 100% set on achieving high quality immersion programming so that ALL students experience a bilingual education that is both…you guessed it…powerful and relevant.

 

Filed under: Research

About the Author

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Stephanie Irizarry holds undergraduate ​teacher certification in Spanish and Elementary Education, an M.Ed in Literacy Studies with emphasis in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL),​ and is near completion of an additional M.Ed. in Interdisciplinary Studies with Certification in Dual Language and Immersion Education. Her broad teaching experiences in dual language immersion programs and​ in​ English learner contexts provide her with deep insight into the needs of new and existing dual language immersion programs.​ Co-author of the publication Lending Student Voice to Latino ELL Migrant Children's Perspectives on Learning (2013), she knows that students increasingly take ownership of their education when their voices are honored and expectations are held high. Stephanie is the proud mom of two boys and is thrilled that they'll know the joy of learning in high quality dual language immersion environments as they grow. She enjoys spending time with her husband and children, travel, latin dancing, and reading in Spanish.

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