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Increasing Student Resources for Language Development

Denver Public School(DPS)families speak more than 200 languages but DPS classes are primarily taught in English. The effects are:

  • Educational inhibition if the student is not English-fluent or
  • Cultural /psychological toll if the student loses their primary language because of the English dominancy.

Also, DPS only teaches 7 other languages, giving students opportunities to:

  • Communicate with more diverse people,
  • Learn another culture, and
  • Access occupational options.

In 2018 DPS student survey responses showed that students believe there should be more language development resources(i.e., for English fluency, to learn a new language).

I researched the following ideas with the Seal of Biliteracy to address the issues above:

  1. Incentivizing employers to compensate Seal of Biliteracy recipients.
    • The Home Depot managers shared what their motivations would be to adopt a compensation program. I researched these motivations, involving a lawyer to interpret the Colorado state Biliteracy Stipend. More research is required at this point. The project is on hold to develop the Alumni Network.
  2. Organizing theSeal of Biliteracy Alumni Network to support studentlanguage development endeavors.
    • This process involved: tabling advertisement-of-alumni-network at annual ceremonial events and hosting community brainstorming events to engage alumni-network interest.
  3. Working with colleges to grant college credit for the Seal of Biliteracy.

Overall, students are interested in these ideas, want language diversity alive, want to mentor students, and want leadership positions. With the student interest, we will have more students in the development, outreach, and strong network working on the ideas above.