“I was only able to attend one day of MATSOL this year - the other days sold out quite quickly (so that would be one thing I'd like to see from MATSOL in the future, a larger venue!).
From my day at MATSOL there was a palpable sense of energy and possibility around the new LOOK Act and proposed State Seal of Biliteracy. There were multiple sessions dedicated to explaining these policy changes and their possibilities for the future. The general ethos was one of celebrating the passage of these bills - with everyone receiving pins about the Biliteracy Seal, etc. But while these are big policy wins for bilingual education in Massachusetts, I hope we don't rest on our laurels. There are still a lot of equity issues to address in terms of who will have access to the expanded possibilities for bilingual education and who will continue to be denied these opportunities. As a profession, we'll have to stay constantly vigilant that these programs don't disproportionately benefit white, middle-class English speakers while continuing to sideline the rich bilingualism of multilingual students of color.
That being said, there were some rich sessions on advocacy for students and families. Like it or not, the field of ESL butts up against a range of policy issues, so we have to have a robust vocabulary around intersections of language, race, and citizenship status. There are a growing number of conversations around these issues at MATSOL and I hope to see more.”
An incredibly insightful response, Mr. Bacon introduces TWIN-CS to the ongoing discussion of multilingual education here in Massachusetts. MATSOL’s core values of professionalism, educational quality, multilingualism and multiculturalism, collaboration, and diversity closely reflect our values within TWIN-CS.
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-Melissa Hoppie, Graduate Student Researcher