The Center for Education Market Dynamics • August 08, 2023
As classrooms continue to become increasingly diverse, it’s critical that all educators, from district leaders to classroom teachers, identify and hold the needs of multilingual learners (MLLs) at the forefront of decision-making and material accessibility.
According to the U.S Department of Education, students who are MLLs number 4.9 million nationwide, representing about 10% of the student population (and growing).
Facilitating academic success for MLLs can feel daunting without effective instructional materials and teacher guidance on ways to support students in thriving academically. However, assessing existing frameworks and practices is the first step in ensuring an impactful strategy is implemented.
Assessing your district’s existing instructional materials is a process that requires ongoing review and monitoring. By considering elements such as disciplinary language development and cultural representation, accessibility, curriculum alignment, curriculum-specific professional development, and open feedback from students, teachers and families, districts can work to ensure that their instructional materials are responsive and effective for all students.
So as district leaders and educators, what does this review and advocacy look like?
For District Leaders:
- Download the Criteria Review of Instructional Materials’ Success and address MLL linguistic and instructional needs and assets in your own adoption and implementation process.
- Review case studies that showcase professional development supports for MLLs (Start with these three Case Studies: San Leandro, San Diego, and Stockton).
- Bring together different stakeholders (district leaders, administrators, department leads) to train them on the evaluation tool. Start with these Curriculum Adoption Committee Recommendations.
- Train staff on an instructional materials review process and provide ample opportunities for reflection and feedback.
- Build partnerships with community organizations that work with MLLs and can help advocate for HQIMs (High-Quality Instructional Materials) that are linguistically and culturally responsive.
- Collaborate with other districts that have successfully implemented HQIMs for MLLs to help understand best practices and build a case for the adoption of similar materials.
- Work with state and federal officials to advocate for Title III funding and resources to support the implementation of HQIM for MLLs.
- Find important educator resources to determine if your current curriculum and practices meet the needs of MLLs.
- Advocate for training and curriculum-specific professional development on implementation.
- Identify the areas where your curriculum is lacking support for both language and content development, and provide recommendations for improvements that would better the materials.
- Collaborate with other educators, such as bilingual education teachers, to share information about effective HQIMs for MLLs.
- Communicate with families to build support for HQIMs for MLLs (This can include holding parent-teacher conferences, creating informational materials, or engaging in other forms of outreach to keep families informed).
Together We Can Create An Equitable Future
Ready to take action? Watch the “Defining Success for Multilingual Learners in Math With High-Quality Support” webinar, where Jeff Livingston, Partner at EdSolutions and Co-Founder of The Center for Education Market Dynamics, leads a panel discussion with experts and educators focused on addressing the linguistic and instructional needs of multilingual learners in California.