Recently the MA senate joined the House to pass legislation undoing 15 years of English-only mandate in this state. They still need to reconcile the differences between the House and Senate versions, but this is the closest we've come in this state to overturning what has amounted to a violation of bilingual students' linguistic rights and school districts' abilities to implelent language education policies that align with their specific needs. The law on the books now is from 2002 but draws a direct line with the kind of xenophonic and nationalistic rhetoric that defines our present day politics. It is a good thing that this might pass. It is a truly sad thing that this is not done yet (first house-senate reconciliation then Governor Baker muat sign). For more than an academic generation we have dealt with the painful implications of this law. Here's to its undoing.
As of June 2017, the Lynch School has provided 3 years of funding for us to develop the Teaching Dual Language Learners (TDLL) micro credential program. This short sequence of courses prepares elementary or reading specialist licensure candidates to teach in both monolingual and bilingual instructional settings. Click here to see current requirements for the TDLL. We have been funded to add two new courses: Foundations of Dual Language Education and Bilingual Literacy and Literature. These are being developed this summer, and are set to be brought to our Educational Policy Committee for approval in the Fall 2017. We expect to have a fully functional TDLL program, alongside a masters in multilingual education, in Fall 2018. This aligns with the (hopeful) and coming expansion of bilingual programming here in Massachusetts, per recent reporting by the Boston Globe. Stay tuned!