State Superintendent Wants $18.9 Million for Double Talk Training in Washington Schools | Washington

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(The Center Square) – Washington Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal has proposed that the Legislature spend $18.9 million in the next biennium to expand dual-language learning in public schools of Washington, which he sees as essential to enabling Washington students to compete in the global marketplace. .

“It asks our state legislature to think of Washington state not as a state in the Union but as its own entity in a global competition,” Reykdal said in a live announcement Tuesday, adding that Washington students deserve the opportunity to compete in a multilingual company. environment.

According to Reykdal, students in a dual-language learning program receive instruction partly in English and partly in another language, which has the dual benefit of improving both language acquisition and overall learning ability.

“We talk about cognitive flexibility when students are trained in early language programs, how their brain is mapped, their ability to make connections, master language, and then make connections to other subjects. “, Reykdal said Tuesday in a livestreamed announcement. “Everything is enhanced through the power of language.”

Currently, 35,000 students from 42 school districts and state and tribal education compact schools are participating in dual language learning. Spanish is offered in 102 programs across the state; 3 offer Chinese-Mandarin; 2 offer Vietnamese; and 5 feature one of the Kalispel Salish, Lushootseed, Makah, Quileute, and Quilshootseed tribal languages.

Reykdal plans to have bilingual programs operating in at least 85% of school districts by 2030 and in all districts by 2040. Participation in a bilingual program would be voluntary.

“What we’re seeing is that school districts that participate in the program typically identify one or two of their elementary schools as sort of a center of excellence,” Reykdal said, “and then families choose to choose it. TO DO.”

“The bilingual program has transformed my life in many ways,” said Highline High School student Sarai Urias, according to a statement from Reykdal. “Since I’ve been in the bilingual program, I’ve been able to communicate better with my classmates. Our school is so diverse and because of that there are a lot of children who don’t know the English language. Being able to speak, read and write in English and Spanish has definitely given me the chance to help people around me.

Additional spending would focus on capacity building through financial incentives for educators to become bilingual, residency programs, stipends for teachers who participate in the programs, and ongoing professional development.

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