Josie Cortez Josie Danini Supik, M.A.

Good Schools for Children Learning English – Podcast Episode 14 | Classnotes Podcast 14

Classnotes Podcast (June 20, 2007) Research shows that bilingual education, when well implemented, is the most effective way to teach English to speakers of other languages while also teaching core subjects like math, reading and social studies. Josie Danini Cortez, M.A., an IDRA senior education associate, outlines an IDRA study of 10 bilingual education programs across the country with high academic success of their students. Researching these programs, IDRA identified the common characteristics and criteria that are contributing to the success of students served by bilingual education programs. This research study, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, and the corresponding publication, Good Schools and Classrooms for Children Learning English, highlight some of the practices in schools that enable students to grow academically and socially in their native language as well as English. Josie is interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity.

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Show length: 26:07


“Successful Bilingual Education Programs”
by María “Cuca” Robledo Montecel, Ph.D., and Josie Danini Cortez, M.A., IDRA Newsletter

Good Schools and Classrooms for Children Learning English: A Guide
Designed for people in schools and communities to evaluate five dimensions that are necessary for success.

Research Study Results: Good Schools and Classrooms for Children Learning English
Research by IDRA identified the 25 common characteristics of successful schools that contribute to high academic performance of students learning English.

IDRA Early Childhood Classrooms of Excellence Model
Seamlessly-integrated instructional program that supports diverse young children’s pre-literacy development to be ready to read in kindergarten.

Success Using Bilingual Education! Training
Comprehensive, in-depth learning opportunities in the area of bilingual education for instructors that build upon the strengths and knowledge that teachers possess while developing new, scientifically-based research strategies for English language learner success.

Bilingual Education Resources
Compiled by Rethinking Schools Online

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Show Notes

  • 00:25 Host Bradley Scott, Ph.D., director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity opens the show and describes the mission of IDRA and the podcast. He introduces the show topic – “Good Schools for Children Learning English” and bilingual education – and we

  • 04:53 Josie provides background on IDRA’s Good Schools and Classrooms for Children Learning English study, which featured research on exemplary bilingual education programs across the United States.

  • 09:22 Josie says the goal of the study was not to prove that bilingual education works – “we know it works” – but to find out which models are working best for children in first- and second-language acquisition, based on student achievement, and to establish a set of clear guidelines for practitioners.

  • 10:40 Josie explains how IDRA’s research over 30 years continues to prove that bilingual education is the best vehicle to teach English to non-native-speaking children. She explains why children should “never have to reject themselves, or their language or their culture, or their beliefs, or their values in order to participate in our public education system.” Instead, Josie says that schools need to value and embrace a child’s first language and native culture.

  • 14:00 Josie explains that the study includes five dimensions for student success in bilingual education programs:
    • School indicators
    • Student outcomes
    • Leadership
    • Support
    • Programmatic and instructional practices

    She also outlines the five goals of educational equity [there are now six goals] embedded within each of the five dimensions:
    • Comparably high academic achievement and other student outcomes
    • Equitable access and inclusion
    • Equitable treatment
    • Equitable opportunity to learn
    • Equitable resources

  • 17:40 Josie mentions two successful models for bilingual education – the first at a reservation school in Utah, where a bilingual program sparked a renewed interest in the Navaho language and culture; the second at a school in Utah, where local businesses accommodated the schedules of employees who were parents and grandparents, to ensure they could regularly attend school meetings.

  • 19:45 Josie notes that the successful bilingual programs were those that allowed teachers to feel “safe” to try new things, to innovate, to create and to speak their minds. A sense of structure and accountability was also important.

  • 23:37 Josie encourages listeners to review IDRA’s rubric, Good Schools and Classrooms for Children Learning English: A Guide, and research and notes that IDRA is always ready and willing to work with schools and students to achieve high levels of academic success.