EdSource article highlights the $5 million in professional development training opportunities for early learning teachers of dual language learners (DLLs) that Early Edge California helped to include in 2018-19 state budget.
Teacher training for bilingual children has primarily been focused on K-12 programs. This year, the California Department of Education awarded $5 million for Early Learning through the Dual Language Learners Professional Development Grant. The grant went to six organizations that train Early Learning teachers who work with DLLs and was made possible through efforts by Early Edge California in collaboration with other advocacy partners and Assemblymember Reyes.
Sobrato Early Academic Language (SEAL) is one of the organizations that received the grant. Laurie Olsen, founder and strategic adviser of the SEAL program said she has seen real changes in classrooms where teachers have taken the training. “Kids talk more,” she said. “They’re producing a lot more language and a lot more complex academic language.” Children in classrooms with SEAL-trained teachers often have fewer behavior problems, because they are more engaged and focused on classroom activities.
“These are very exciting times,” said Patricia Lozano, executive director of Early Edge California, a nonprofit organization that advocates for young children and is helping the California Department of Education implement the grant. “We’ve come so far in recognizing the benefits of speaking more than one language. All kids benefit from learning two languages. Hopefully California will be a leader in implementing this everywhere.”