(Washington, DC) – Today, with back-to-school season underway, the Bowser Administration is inviting all DC educators to attend the fourth annual Multilingual Learner Institute Conference on Thursday, August 17 at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University. Hosted by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE), this year’s event focuses on educators who serve multilingual learners in both dual language and English language development programs in District schools.
“We know the many benefits of a multilingual education and we are proud to have so many fantastic programs and dedicated educators in DC who are helping our students learn – across all eight wards and at every grade level,” said Mayor Bowser. “As our educators prepare for the start of a new school year, we encourage them to take advantage of this opportunity, especially our educators who serve multilingual learners.”
The institute aims to advance OSSE’s vision for success for English learners by highlighting the benefits and opportunities presented by dual language and English as a Second Language (ESL) educational programs. The institute will provide educators the opportunity to learn about and discuss best practices for helping students develop literacy skills and collaborate on ways to build a culture of excellence.
“Teachers play a crucial role in creating a supportive and inclusive learning environment,” said State Superintendent Dr. Christina Grant. “Delivering instruction and supporting students’ language development in dual languages helps ensure all District students can learn the skills needed to compete in a globalized economy, achieve their unique potential, and thrive within schools.”
The District of Columbia is known for vibrant cultural and linguistic diversity, with more than 117 languages spoken by District students, the top five of which are Spanish, Amharic, French, Chinese, and Arabic. Overall, there are 24 dual language/language immersion programs across DCPS and public charter schools. English learners are a vital and growing group of students in the District with unique assets and needs. The number of English learners has been growing every year, in every ward, and now comprises nearly 13 percent of all students in the District. Dual language programs in the District are offered in four languages: English-Spanish, English-French, English-Chinese, and English-Hebrew.
At the conference, keynote speaker Dr. Kathy Escamilla, an expert in the field of biliteracy and multilingual education, will deliver a keynote speech that will include insights into the latest research and trends in successful practices from culturally and linguistically diverse educational contexts.
Registration for the conference is now open. To register and learn more, visit osse.dc.gov.