Bilingualism is an idea whose time has come in the United States. We have finally caught up with the rest of the world! This book illuminates a powerful idea, with strong theoretical and research underpinnings, as presented by experienced school leaders who are working in the real world of U.S. schools. This book is what you need to be an effective education leader. If you are interested in experiencing the benefits of dual language schooling for your community, you need to read this book and learn what these accomplished dual language administrators have to say.
Our first two books in this series were focused on presenting the theoretical foundations and research support for dual language education. This book is very different because it includes the voices of experience working to make all of this happen. These voices are grounded in reality, so keep on reading and don’t put the book down—you will find wisdom and clever ideas and realworld solutions, as well as entertainment!
Audiences for this book include principals, school board members, policy makers, central office administrators, parents, community members, teachers, school staff, and anyone interested in the implementation of dual language education. This book answers the questions of why we should provide this type of education for all students, what its potential impact on all groups will be, and what the nitty-gritty of administrators’ decision making in dual language programs and schools is actually like.
As the Thomas and Collier analyses have over the past 30 years continued to build enormous research support for the astoundingly positive impact that dual language education is having on students’ lives in school, educators have asked the question, “How does this truly work?” What can we do to make sure that our dual language program is as successful as the ones that Thomas and Collier have analyzed? Maybe our school district is different. Do we have the resources and the staff to pull this off? Do we have community input and support? What do we need to think about as we plan and improve our dual language program? How have other dual language educators handled the inevitable stumbling blocks along the way? Can we create a consistently successful, empowering, sustainable dual language program?
To address these sincere questions, we asked a number of highly experienced school and district administrators to write about their successes and challenges as they have implemented dual language education. The voices in this book include principals, central office administrators, dual language coordinators, dual language staff development specialists, state policy makers, dual language high school graduates, dual language researchers, and university professors specializing in dual language administration. The dual language programs described in this book include rural agricultural contexts as well as small and large city school districts in the states of California, the District of Columbia, Illinois, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon,
Texas, and Virginia.
We narrators of this story, Virginia Collier and Wayne Thomas, have worked with many of these authors in their school districts. They have used our theoretical foundations and research findings to help them convince policy makers and fellow administrators to develop and sustain dual language schooling. These collaborative authors have been pioneering implementers of dual language programs, and they have lots to say to you fellow educators. They have addressed many questions in this book, including the following:
- What do you recommend to other dual language administrators?
- What are key issues to consider in the planning stages?
- How does the program progress in the first several years, and what is considered successful implementation?
- After the program has matured, what pitfalls and triumphs may continue
- What is your vision for the future of dual language education?
In the next section, our overview of the book provides the details of each
We, the 26 collaborating authors of this book, hope you will truly enjoy the reading! We have poured our hearts into these messages. We all care about our students, and we want the very best for the families of the communities we serve. We hope that this book will be read thoughtfully and that the messages of hope and collaboration on these pages will resonate with you school leaders of the 21st century, for this is the time to envision new ways of schooling our students. Our time has come!
Ginger and Wayne