The article, namely researcher-based in focus, discusses the establishment of the Oregon Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Collaborative as a cooperative effort between Portland Public Schools (PPS) Portland State University (PSU) to “recruit, develop, and retain bilingual teachers, with an emphasis on biliterate and bicultural teachers, thus establishing a fully articulated system for the recruitment, training, retention, and continued support of bilingual teacher candidates.” A more recent publication has been released from the practitioner perspective of this ongoing collaboration.
The newest article, written by Portland Dual Language Teacher Fellows Coordinator Alma Morales Galicia, reflects on the “critical role dual-language teachers play in increasing equity and opportunities for historically underserved students.” Ms. Galicia writes that, given the difficulty in finding bilingual educators for PPS’s 2015-2016 academic year, the district focused on “alternative licensure as a strategy to place more bilingual teachers in our classrooms—which led to the formation of the Portland Dual Language Teacher Fellows Program in 2016.”
The Portland Dual Language Teacher Fellows Program allows “dual language teacher fellows to pursue their degree and licensure while already working as classroom teachers,” which, in turn, builds the foundation for a “solid bilingual teacher pipeline.” Moreover, “all program participants are bilingual college graduates from the local community, and many already work in the district as educational assistants,” and they receive additional support from the district as they make their way through the program.
Ms. Galicia discusses how REL Northwest helped guide the district through their goal-based timelines and how their data collection allowed the district to better retain their bilingual teachers. In addition, Ms. Galicia delves into the detailed use of the research in practice; that is, PPS demonstrates the manner in which they utilized the data collected by REL Northwest to better the bilingual educator’s experience.
Complementing the work of Portland Public Schools, the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) supplies a detailed resource page for those bilingual educators seeking to promote “grade-level academic achievement and cross-cultural competence in all students.” With access to these resources, bilingual educators may find the information they need to better assist their classrooms, their lesson plans, and their own experience as bilingual educators. Additionally, CAL’s ongoing research for this “area of impact” (i.e. bilingual education) may supply the necessary tools needed for communities looking to better their bilingual education programs. Projects such as their Two-Way Immersion Outreach and Information Dissemination, K-12 Biliteracy Pathways, and Features of Dual Language Immersion in High-Achieving Programs are indispensable resources to bilingual communities.
TWIN-CS community members may find that thearticle discusses the growing importance of a support system for new bilingual educators, especially when the ongoing trend of “mismatching” seems to rear its head. While this article considers the public-school perspective, many of the challenges may resonate with bilingual educators in TWIN-CS, especially the challenge of finding colleagues in bilingual education. The CAL resources may be helping in addressing the mismatch and supporting school efforts to hire great teachers.
Continue to follow the blog for more ongoing critical discussions and helpful resources!
-Melissa Hoppie, Graduate Student Researcher