Multilingual Spaces for Multilingual Students

This month’s post has been written by Dr. Chris Leider. Chris Leider is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Language Education and Program Director of Bilingual Education and TESOL-Licensure in the Wheelock College of Education and Human Development at Boston University; she is a former ESL Teacher and earned her PhD in Curriculum and Instruction from Boston College. Her research examines bilingual language and literacy practices and re-conceptualizing the field’s understanding of how we assess measure, and understand bilingualism & biliteracy.

Multilingual Spaces for Multilingual Students

Jordan is in fifth grade. Jordan’s family migrated to the US from El Salvador when he was in second grade. After intake testing and an interview, Jay was classified as an English Learner and also recommend for a Students with Limited or Interrupted Education (SLIFE) program. Jordan is still a classified English Learner.

Cristian is a senior in high school. He migrated to the US from Brazil when he was in ninth grade. Upon intake testing, he was enrolled into a Newcomer program and classified as an English Learner when he initially arrived to the States. He was re-classified at the end of his junior year.

Carina is a second grader. Carina was born in the US and her family speaks Tagalog and English at home, although when Carina’s older brother started to go to school her family switched to using English more predominantly. Carina has never been classified as an English Learner.

Our schools are multilingual spaces. Even in an English-dominant society and under English-Only education policy, our schools are multilingual spaces. Continue reading