Early Edge California and the California Department of Education (CDE) recently hosted the third in their series of convenings that are held for the organizations who received Dual Language Learner Professional Development (DLL-PD) grant funding as a result of a $5 million investment in California’s 2018 budget cycle. The organizations include California Preschool Instructional Network (CPIN), Cal State University Channel Islands (CSUCI), Preschool Guided Language Acquisition Design (GLAD), Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) Model, Language Learning Project, and Faculty Initiative Project. These convenings serve to identify implementation successes, challenges, and lessons learned while allowing participants to identify opportunities for learning and collaboration, and inform and improve statewide policy and professional development efforts.
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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the convening was virtual. All grantees were able to participate, and were engaged and grateful for the opportunity to share and learn from one another. Deputy Superintendent for CDE’s Teaching and Learning Support Branch Sarah Neville Morgan was also in attendance.
Attendees had the chance to hear from grantees about how they have been adapting their professional development models for distance learning in real time. Grantees had the opportunity to discuss challenges, needs, and emerging strategies in supporting DLLs and their families during COVID-19. Some key takeaways from the discussion include:
- There is a need to focus on strategies (not programs) that work, regardless of setting, and that are based on adult-child interactions.
- There is a need to support families in the use of technology.
- Our current reality involves supporting both the child and the family, and this looks different than classroom work.
- Families and teachers need basic information regarding dual language acquisition and the benefits of bilingualism.
- The use of video for teachers to view exemplar practices with DLLs is even more critical now. How can we use this technology to support teachers?
The Early Edge California team ended the day by providing an update on the California state Budget, the Master Plan for Early Learning and Care, and our legislative advocacy work around DLLs. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, this work is more important than ever, and we need to work to ensure that DLLs are not left further behind. Early Edge California is committed to advocating for the needs of DLLs, their families, and the teachers who serve them. We are using these convenings as an opportunity to identify the needs directly from the practitioners on the ground.
We would like to thank the Sobrato Family Foundation and The David and Lucile Packard Foundation for supporting the DLL-PD evaluation and these grantee convenings.