Essential Practice #4: Asset-Based Approach
Essential Practice #4: Asset-Based Approach
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Feburary 3, 2020
Greetings educators and friends!

In this newsletter, we will dig into the 4th of the Essential Practices for ELL Achievement: taking an asset-based approach.  
While we recognize that our ELLs face the daunting task of learning grade-level content while still acquiring English, we also know they are not blank slates and their home language is not a liability. On the contrary, the language, culture, diverse perspectives and experiences our language learners bring to the classroom are tremendous giftsIt is our job as educators to recognize these assets and leverage them to support their learning and that of the community. 
One of the most powerful ways we can do this is through multilingual instruction and programming. Below you will see how OUSD is building quality multilingual programs, meet one of our amazing trilingual students, and access strategies to implement in your classroom. Also, don't miss the Family Corner where we share important parent-friendly materials on public charge. And as always, ELL Ambassadors can find some important information as well.  

Multilingual Oakland! 

Check out the recently revised Multilingual Oakland Infographic that tells a visual story of how our schools are working to provide multiple entry points towards multilingualism.  Some fun facts you will find: 
  • Close to 3,000 students are currently enrolled in Dual Language programs across 8 schools. That's almost 10% of our enrollment! 
  • 134 graduating seniors earned the Seal of Biliteracy in May 2019, an increase of 50% over the previous year!
  • We hope to double that number over the next couple of years and we're well on our way. Already 135 elementary and middle school students in our Dual Language schools have met the World Language criteria to earn the Seal of Biliteracy upon graduation, including 74 from MLA, 21 from Esperanza, and 19 from Seed! 

In this month's ELLMA Spotlight, we hear from Juri on speaking Arabic, English, Spanish, and a little bit of Chinese!

Emergent Trilinguals!

The goal of OUSD Dual Language programs is proficiency in two languages by the end of 5th grade.  While 69% of students in Dual Language programs are Spanish-speaking ELLs, 10% are students who do not speak English or Spanish at home.  These emergent trilinguals represent more than 8 different languages including Mam, Arabic, Vietnamese, Cantoese, Mien, Mandarin and Khmer.  Our Emergent Trilinguals show us the potential of Dual Language programming to create learning spaces where cultural and linguistic diversity is valued and normalized and where achievement at high levels is possible.  Juri, a first grade student from Greenleaf Elementary finished Kinder already meeting both benchmarks for Spanish reading and English language proficiency, putting her squarely on the path to biliteracy. Listen to Juri share her thoughts on her multilingual journey!  

Leveraging Home Language in ALL Classrooms

Should English Language Learner students use their home language in the classroom?  Should I be maintaining the strict use of English in my ELD class? Can I help students if I don’t speak their home language?  
This video highlights one New York teacher’s perspective on when using home language is appropriate within the context of learning English.  Take note of how she makes that decision and when she prioritizes English.  Her reflections show us that with intentionality and clear purpose, a student can be allowed to make meaning and expressing initial ideas in their home language, while continuing to expand their knowledge and production of English.  
For more videos like this one, showcasing teachers in action, click here.  
For more information on Translanguaging click here.

Frick/SOL Designing One School for Multiple Linguistic Profiles


A hallmark of asset-based practice is the understanding that students come to schools with rich linguistic, cultural and diverse learning experiences.

As the Frick/SOL teams come together to design one school, ELLMA is engaging them in a process to learn more about their students’ linguistic and educational profiles.  Some students have been on a Spanish-English Dual Language pathway since Kindergarten and others are Heritage speakers of Spanish who have experienced schooling exclusively in English. The school also serves Newcomer students who speak various languages, including indigenous languages of Central America. Finally, a portion of the student body speaks only English. Using the table below the team thought critically about the percentages of their students in each typology and reflected on how to meet the needs of this linguistically diverse student body.  ELLMA is excited to partner with the design team to create rich, language opportunities for all students! 
DL students are students who have been continuously enrolled in Dual Language programs since Kindergarten.  They can be from any linguistic, cultural or racial background.
Newcomer students who are recently arrived to the United States, include both students who are proficient in Spanish (NHL) and those who either do not yet know or speak limited Spanish (NNHL), for example Arabic or Mam speakers. 
There several types of HL students, including those who 1) are bilingual, 2) may have had some Spanish instruction in primary grades, 3) may speak Spanish at home, 4) have a heritage connection with Spanish
Students who have never had any formal instruction in Spanish and do not speak Spanish at home.
We are thrilled  to partner with the following schools this year in the CSC model: Esperanza, ICS, Greenleaf, SEED, Bridges, and Global Family. 

Dual Language Cross Site Collaborative: Learning and Getting Better Together

This PD model is designed to bring Dual Language sites with similar populations and programmatic designs together for a shared cycle of adult learning. It was first piloted in the 2018/19 school year with much success and grew to include a total of six DL schools this year.

Each cycle begins with a needs assessment in the form of an ELL Review conducted at both sites. This is followed by a collaborative planning between the principals, instructional leaders and an ELLMA specialist to craft the scope and sequence of the PD.  The shared PD cycles typically last from 4 to 6 weeks and conclude with an end of cycle ELL Review in order to capture growth in the focus area for shared learning.  
The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. One participating teacher shared,  “It has been a great space for me to keep challenging myself to focus on language development and using the opportunities before, during and after reading to make language accessible to my students.”

Building towards Biliteracy in the Secondary Context 


Are you a middle or high school teacher or leader interested in increasing the number of students who advance toward the California Seal of Biliteracy?  Be sure to review OUSD’s Spanish English Biliteracy Pathways Guidance document to consider ways your current World Languages program can support more students from different backgrounds to begin or continue their bilingual journey.  This collaboration between World Languages teachers and our central multilingual team offers a suggested course sequence, entry criteria and end of the year benchmarks using the Avant Stamp assessment.    

ELL Ambassador Corner

 
ELPAC Begins on Monday, 2/3/20!
Your best source for ELPAC administration information is the team at testing@ousd.org. Remember that your most up-to-date list of students who need to be tested with the ELPAC is the ELPAC Testing Roster. To download your site’s testing list, see instructions here
Extended Midyear RI window for ELLs 2nd - 12th grade:
Congratulations to the sites who tested all their eligible ELLs during the midyear window that ended on 1/31/20. ELLs can now retest every 30 days from their last test up until 3/27/20 to meet the midyear cut points. After that, the spring RI window opens, and the cut point needed increases. The Google sheet telling which students have taken and passed the midyear RI will be updated on 2/10, 3/2, 3/9 and 3/23.

ELL and RFEP Snapshots  #3 in site Google Folders on 2/14/20
Your ELL and RFEP Snapshots will be available in your Snapshots Folder in the ELL Materials by School  at close of day on 2/14/20. Use them to create action plans for your ELL students.

ELL Ambassador meeting #3  on Tue. 2/18/19, 4:00 to 5:30, West Oakland Middle School Library
Looking forward to seeing ELL Ambassadors on 2/18! Among other things, we will help ELL Ambassadors become stronger advocates for ELLs and for our Sanctuary District policy.

THE FAMILY CORNER

With 'Public Charge' make sure our families know their rights and let them know:  You Are Not Alone!

As you may have learned, the Supreme Court has upheld a contested change to the “public charge” rule that attempts to penalize immigrants who use public benefits such as SNAP (food stamps) and section 8 housing. It is critical that we take time to ensure our families have access to accurate information and know their rights! Most important to us in OUSD is that parents understand that the public charge rule does NOT apply to children who are accessing public education or the free and reduced price lunches that schools provide. Families should keep their students enrolled and accessing their school meals. Please find here resources you can share with families: 
- Slide deck you can adapt to present to families.
- Family Friendly informational flyers available in multiple languages. 
- More information for families and allies on this excellent website:  https://protectingimmigrantfamilies.org/
We'd love to hear from you! Please contact Nicole with communications inquiries.
Meet the ELLMA Team!
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