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Two-day Regional Workshop “Teaching for Biliteracy”

Dual Language Washington, a special interest group of the Washington Association for Bilingual Education, and OSPI present co-author Karen Beeman and 20 Breakout Sessions by Leading Washington Dual Language Practitioners.

In response to our members request for practical, ongoing professional development and networking opportunities, Dual Language Washington and the Washington State Office for Migrant and Bilingual Education are honored to present a two-day, dual language institute for teachers in bilingual and dual language programs.

Click here to view the schedule >>>

Location: Tacoma Convention & Trade Center
Cost: $75 per day, $150 for two days
Clock Hours: up to 12 Clock Hours, 6 for each day
Audience: for Educators, K – 12

Click here to register >>>


Day One: Friday October 28, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

  • 5 one-hour breakout sessions led by leading dual language practitioners and directors
  • Each breakout session will include a workshop on, math, reading, writing, science/social studies/other
  • The learning targets focus on superior, practical practices leading to student success

Day Two: Saturday, October 29, 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

We are honored to host a one-day professional development with Karen Beeman, M. Ed., of Teaching for Biliteracy (, a leading author, educator and professional developer who is a featured presenter in the highest performing dual language school districts both nationally and globally. She has also been featured at many dual language conferences nationally. Karen will present on Teaching for Biliteracy: Strengthening Bridges between Languages focused on:

  • Review of the three premises for teaching for biliteracy and latest research
  • Exploring the Bridge within a Multilingual Perspective of Language Ability
  • Identifying the Strategic Use of Two Languages
  • Experiencing and Creating Bridges: Comparing and Contrasting Spanish & English
  • Exploring biliteracy units using the Biliteracy Unit Framework
  • Focus on developing highly effective, integrated and accountable units of study to excite, ignite, and delight all stakeholders.

For more information, contact Michael Shapiro:

Supporting Gifted Learners in Dual Immersion Programs

How do you support gifted students in your dual immersion program? The following are insights offered by national experts in dual immersion implementation responding to the inquiry of Michael J. Shapiro, Dual Language Washington Leadership.


Michael J. Shapiro, Bilingual Education Advisory Committee (OSPI), Vice Chair ,  Dual Language Washington, Leadership ,  Madison Elementary Dual Language Enrichment Program, Third Grade Teacher,  Southern Poverty Law Center, Leadership Council

The Mount Vernon School District is currently working on how best to address the needs of its highly capable students who are enrolled in its dual immersion programs. The same is being proposed in non-dual immersion settings. Through testing in both English and Spanish, highly capable students have been identified in elementary grades. There is a proposal to put all highly capable students into one classroom and then  distribute high achievers, mainstream, and below grade level students into the high achiever class as well as into the classes with no highly capable students. The term being used to identify this grouping is “clustering”. In our dual language fourth grade cohort of 50 students, 6 have been identified as highly capable.

Are you aware of other dual immersion programs who utilize clustering or research on the use of clustering in dual immersion settings? In addition, what are your thoughts about this proposal?

Responses from Dual Immersion Leaders:

Dr. Leo Gomez , Dual Language Training Institute

The position of Gomez & Gomez on this issue has always been to “not” cluster (or separate) the highly capable children and instead mix them with other children across classrooms, but provide them opportunities certain times in the week where they can come together for certain instructional/project-based activities. If program is implemented with full fidelity, the G & G DLE program uses instructional practices designed for “highly capable” children (the 28 best practices embedded in the program), but for all children in the program. The DLE program should deliver engaged, rigorous lessons at the level of the top 25% of the class (which would target the highly capable and high achievers) and through paired work, CR, (following lesson cycle) supports the lower students so that we close

academic gaps. I attached two documents related to what was mentioned in this discussion: 28 Best Practices and the DLE Lesson Cycle for your review.

I have not read any dual immersion literature or research regarding “clustering” for this group, but I imagine that some DL programs may do that or consist of only this group, which in essence creates segregated elite DL programs only for this group.

I have copied your email to Richard Gomez so that he may weigh in on your question. I’m sure he has additional insights, especially as it relates to WA perspective on the education of highly capable children.


David Rogers, Executive Director, Dual Language Education New Mexico 

My opinion on clustering comes most from my years as a school principal with one of our states best gifted/talented programs.   Clustering can be helpful for scheduling purposes (ie. for when enrichment activities can/should be provided to that specific group), but you want to make sure you don’t isolate these students from the general population because A) they are academic models and resources for their peers, and B) in many cases the enrichment activities aren’t as linguistically rich or challenging, when provided through the Spanish language.  If you have been sensitive to this in your decisions for classroom and/or group placement, then it can be a very good thing.  As for the research, good luck . . . .  I would probably turn to the same folks as you in order to find a school community or two that is trying on something similar.  Kathryn Lindholm-Leary and Rosa Molina are doing much work in your area, and would be the ones who could most likely find you a pair.  I’m presently in Costa Rica studying a program that focuses on Global Learning and there are a bunch of highly capable students participating (mostly because they have had higher socio-economic opportunities).  Dr. Elizabeth Howard is also working at the school during her sabbatical, so let me ask her about schools who are doing similar clustering of students.


Ann E. Ebe, PhD, Coordinator of Bilingual Programs,  Associate Professor of Literacy Education, Department of Curriculum & Teaching , Hunter College, City University of New York

If  I’m understanding this correctly, students who are identified as “highly capable” are put together in one class and then “high, med, and low” children are distributed among all the classes. The idea would be at all of the ‘high flyers’ would be in one class – if I’m reading this correctly.

Both colleagues immediately commented on how deeply troubling and disturbing the ‘highly capable’ (vs not highly capable?) terminology was. We also have not heard of tracking in DL programs. In fact, a lot of the literature (in general) is against tracking. Having mixed ability classrooms is much more typical, with a focus on differentiation. One colleague wrote:

They probably should think about the benefits of heterogeneous classes for everyone and talk about what differentiated instruction would look like in each language. 

Another colleague wrote:

I do understand that programs use assessments to get a sense of their students’ abilities.  It is paramount that DL programs use multiple measures that match the language goals of the program in order to assess their students.  For example, when I was a teacher and we were doing classroom reorganization, we would sit down with each students’ running records in English and Spanish.  We would also have some math assessments and a general idea of their ‘language dominance’ and lastly we would consider their behavior and attitudes.  Based on all these measures we would create classes that were truly heterogeneous and most importantly balanced.  I don’t have research to back this up, but I do think that balance across multiple measures is important in order for things like grouping and student partnerships to work.


Virginia P. Collier, Ph.D., Professor Emerita of Bilingual/Multicultural/ESL Education,  George Mason University

I haven’t kept up with this issue.  Our latest book (Creating Dual Language Schools for a Transformed World: Administrators Speak) has a very brief section written by Marjorie Myers (pp. 5-6) on this kind of careful distribution of students in each classroom for making sure that students of all levels work together and help each other, and as a principal of a dual language school (in Arlington, VA), Marjorie finds this works very well and is important to do.  I certainly have always advocated for integration and mixing of students in dual language classes.  The power of dual language itself is that students are constantly teaching each other, and when we mix students across ethnic background, social class, and abilities, they learn powerful lessons from each other.


Elizabeth LaFever,  Additive Bilingual Developer, Spanish Dual Language Program,  Bellevue School District, WA

I  was talking with Tina and she said that within the Mandarin program they chose not to cluster students who have been identified in K-1.  Teachers are given materials to extend and enrich.  After 2nd grade if students are identified as gifted they can opt to transfer into the gifted program which is located at a few other schools in our district.  One rationale they had for not clustering was the workload on one teacher of having many IEPs.

I guess my wondering is what are the benefits of clustering?  I haven’t read research on it, I’m curious to learn more.

We do have supplemental enrichment programs (1 x/week?) at our 3 spanish DL schools but at this point they are all in English.  I hope that in the future we can include something in Spanish as well.

Naselle-Grays River Valley School District: One Bilingual Mandarin/English Elementary Teacher

Naselle-Grays River Valley School District is currently recruiting for a Washington certified highly qualified elementary teacher with Mandarin language fluency.  This recruitment is targeted to fill a 3rd grade teaching position.  NGRVSD established a Mandarin language immersion program in the 2013-14 school year.  In 2015-16 the school will once again be hosting two College Board teachers and will have an immersion program for grades K – 3.  The program is eventually planned to expand to K-5.  The program is 50/50 immersion, with core curriculum being taught in Mandarin for half of the school day.  There are also opportunities to provide music, art, cultural and PE instruction in Mandarin.

Preferred candidates will be native Mandarin speakers or at least fully fluent in Mandarin and have experience teaching upper elementary students.  The candidate selected to fill this position will help to continue the development and expansion of the program and it’s curriculum and ultimately serve as the Mandarin language immersion program coordinator for the school.  Consequently, the most qualified candidates will have program development and leadership skills

Please apply through the job posting on  For additional application information please contact Marilyn Strange at Naselle-Grays River School District ( (360)484-7121.  For more information about the Naselle Mandarin language immersion program please contact Allen Lebovitz, parent support group representative, ( (360)903-4809.  For more information about NGRVSD please visit

Burlington-Edison HS Spanish Teacher



The Burlington-Edison School District is seeking qualified applicants for a full-time Spanish position at its 2A high school beginning in the 2015-16 school year. The district is located in Skagit County, Washington, and approximately 70 miles north of Seattle on the I-5 corridor. Student enrollment of the grades 9-12 high school is approximately 1200.


  • Valid Washington State teaching certificate with appropriate endorsement(s). Must meet Highly Qualified status. Multiple endorsements preferred.
  • Comprehensive knowledge and application of Spanish instruction and methods for wide ranges of student abilities at all grade levels, 9-12.
  • Priority given to applicants meeting other qualifications who are fluent in Spanish; to applicants with experience teaching “Heritage” or “Accelerated” Spanish language classes; and to applicants with experience teaching AP Spanish classes.
  • Knowledge of the Common Core Standards, performance based assessment and ability to incorporate relevant curriculum into coursework.
  • Demonstrated knowledge Danielson instructional framework and research based best practices.
  • Evidence of leadership skills, positive human relation skills, and organizational/management skills.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of the physical, psychological, and social characteristics of high school students.
  • High degree of flexibility, scholarship, commitment to accomplishment, and enthusiasm for profession.
  • Knowledge of or amenable to learn, use and integrate the district’s technology strategies, systems and curriculum software programs as well as demonstrate knowledge of and integrate the District’s Technology Competencies.
  • Ability to communicate effectively with students, staff and parents.
  • Ability to pass Federal/State criminal history background clearance and all other mandated clearances.


  • Effectively plan, implement, and evaluate instructional activities for all assignments to meet varied student aptitude and interest as well as district goals.
  • Challenge students through advanced coursework, including AP classes, in an effort to best prepare students to meet the rigors of post-secondary education.
  • Establish and maintain effective standards of student behavior needed to provide an orderly and productive learning environment.
  • Work cooperatively as a member of a building team to meet building and district goals and communicate effectively with students, staff and parents.


  • 180-day base contract with “TRI” schedule and supplemental contract for any extracurricular activities.
  • Salary in accordance with current negotiated salary schedule.
  • Medical, dental and other insurance benefits are available from district-approved plans.
  • This position is part of the local bargaining association.
  • Pursuant to RCW 28A.405.070, job-sharing applications will be considered.


  • To apply, go to The Fast Track link is under “Jobs” and “Current Job Opportunities.”
  • Interviews will be scheduled and selection made based on candidates’ area(s) of expertise and interests as they relate to the existing and future program development and the needs of the district.
  • When hiring and promoting personnel, consideration is given to experience and performance in developing effective parent, family and community partnerships.

The Burlington-Edison School District is an equal opportunity employer. The District shall provide equal employment opportunity and treatment for all applicants and staff in recruitment, hiring, retention, assignment, transfer, promotion and training. Such equal employment opportunity shall be provided without discrimination with respect to race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably-discharged veteran or military status, sex, sexual orientation including gender expression or identity, marital status, the presence of any sensory, mental or physical disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Dr. Jeffery A. Drayer, Assistant Superintendent, Title IX Officer; Mr. Jeff Brown, Special Education Coordinator, Section 504 Officer. The District is a smoke-free/drug-free workplace.

Myths about Dual Language Learners article

This message was shared by Kelly Aramaki in Seattle Public Schools.

The Foundation for Child Development has released an updated report that challenges common myths about dual language learners (DLL) in PreK-3rd grade. The brief not only provides compelling evidence that can be used to debunk prevalent misconceptions about young DLLs, but also offers recommendations that hold implication for standards, professional development, instructional strategies, and family engagement efforts at local, state, and federal levels.

The report can be found here:

Seal of Biliteracy Updates

Question:I am emailing you in hopes of finding more information about a biliteracy seal that we can give our biliterate students upon reaching their goals in two languages. I teach in a bilingual Spanish/English immersion school in Vancovuer, Washington. We are recently overhauling our program, and would like to include a seal of biliteracy for our 5th graders who achieve this goal upon promotion. Is it true that Washington State has adopted a seal for our seniors? Do you have any suggestions as to where I might look for more information on this? Where might I look to find the already approved seal?

Answer: At OSPI we are working on the State Seal of Biliteracy for the high school diploma. See:
California’s Seal of Biliteracy did include provisions for districts to offer some type of recognition for students at a younger level. See: They talk about Pathways Awards:
“Pathway awards are most powerful when bestowed at crucial points along the schooling journey where student attitudes about bilingualism may be changing or where students may be facing choices about enrolling in programs and courses that can lead to biliteracy. These points include, for example:

  • As students leave preschool and enter kindergarten (this is the point at which parents make decisions about the elementary school programs for their children)
  • At 3rd grade (this is often when English Learners exit bilingual programs and is a point at which Dual Language Program student enrollment often falls off)
  • Redesignation
  • End of Middle School

Pathway awards may be given in recognition of attainment of an age-appropriate level of skill in mastering two or more languages or in recognition of participation in activities involving bilingualism.” Step 2 (retrieved 8/7/2014)

Michele Anciaux Aoki, Ph.D., P.M.P.
World Languages and International Education Program Supervisor
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction

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