Dr. Adela Solis

Reflections on Bilingual Education Today and Beyond – Podcast Episode 65 | Classnotes Podcast 65

Dr. Bradley ScottClassnotes Podcast (January 29, 2010) Many schools across the country are facing the task of educating English language learners for the first time. For others this is not a new task, but one that needs dramatic improvement given the significant gaps in achievement between ELLs and non-ELLs.

Decades of research and experience have demonstrated that the most effective way to teach English to children who speak another language is through an adequate bilingual program. Yet there is still confusion about what the term “bilingual education” means and what makes a program good. IDRA senior education associate, Adela Solís Ph.D., provides an overview of bilingual education and dual language programs and discusses what we need to be doing in the future to effectively serve English language learners. Adela is interviewed by Bradley Scott, Ph.D., director of the IDRA South Central Collaborative for Equity.

Show length: 20:09

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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.

Education of English Language Learners in U.S. and Texas Schools – Where We Are, What We Have Learned and Where We Need to Go from Here – A 2009 Update

IDRA Resources on English Language Learner Education Policy

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

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.

Engagement Based Sheltered Instruction
A rich model of student engagement that helps educators understand students’ language proficiency levels and the language demands of content areas, texts and tests; develop student academic language in content areas; and plan, teach and observe for maximum cognitive engagement.

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.

National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition & Language Instruction Educational Programs (NCELA)
Analyzes, synthesizes and disseminates information about language instruction educational programs for English language learners and related programs. NCELA is funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

Bilingual Education Resources
Compiled by Rethinking Schools Online

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Show Notes

  • Adela offers a definition of bilingual education.

  • Adela outlines the findings from recent research on what makes bilingual education programs successful.

  • Bradley and Adela discuss the differences between "dual language" and "bilingual education" programs, including the perceptions and misconceptions of each.

  • Adela talks about IDRA's publication, Good Schools and Classrooms for Children Learning English, which lays out the criteria for making good policy, curriculum, and assessment decisions around bilingual education.

  • Adela contends that the strong bilingual programs require deliberate, structured instruction in both languages.

  • Adela responds to Bradley's question about the need to improve schools for students whose first language is not English, and suggests revisiting leading models of bilingual education used in the late 1990s.

  • Adela explains why provision of resources remains the biggest unfulfilled promise in bilingual education.