Improving the World Language program
4 years ago the LLCG (Lawrence Latino Cultural Group) initiated a plan to improve differentiation in the World Language Program. After many meetings with teachers, parents, and administration our efforts finally led the way to improving the World Language program for all students.
Tanya Alvarado (World Language Coordinator) and Nadine Ekstrom (Director of Teaching and Learning) have been especially supportive and have worked diligently to make pedagogical changes at all Brookline Schools.
With their support, the district leaders were made aware that many students are not having their needs met in the World Language Program. In our last meeting we met with Deputy Superintendent Nicole Gittens, who expressed her commitment to support improvements in the program, starting with:
- Ongoing professional development for teachers in support of differentiation in World Language classes
- Teachers will identify students who have advanced learning experiences with the target language at the beginning of each school year in order to determine appropriate teaching strategies.
- Welcoming collaboration with all stakeholders to create a central resource library of books, videos, games, etc. accessible to parents, teachers and students
- Encouraging parents to include WL teachers in parent/teacher conferences
The Public Schools of Brookline’s mission includes meeting the needs of all learners, which includes accelerated learners in World Language classes. Already, the ACTFL (American Council for Teaching Foreign Language) has met for professional development support to improve differentiated practices for World language teachers. Current teachers who are already successful at differentiating in the classroom will be called upon to share their ideas as well.
Tanya Alvarado has completely restructured the k-5 and 6-8 curricula to move away from learning a list of vocabulary to building more on objectives to advance proficiency and less on standard word usage. See it here https://www.brookline.k12.ma.us/Page/2267 (look at March 2018).
In addition, The Heritage and Native Speakers Team, led by Tanya Alvarado, will be continuing their work to create resources for teachers to tap into as needed.