The Bilingual Teacher Student Association (BTSA) at UCI will hold its first meeting on Thursday, October 29 at 6:30 pm in the School of Education Building, #2001. This club is open to any bilingual undergraduate interested in becoming a bilingual teacher.
UCI’s School of Education has a strong hiring rate for its bilingual graduates enrolled in their teacher education programs. All bilingual multiple subject credential graduates were hired in 2014 and 2015; most were hired at dual language immersion schools. The tremendous growth in dual language immersion programs has created many job opportunities for bilingual teachers and the trend is strongly predicted to continue with new dual language immersion programs opening every year. The nation is experiencing a severe bilingual teacher shortage.
There are over 25 dual language immersion programs within 20 minutes of UCI. This past fall, Newport Mesa Unified, Orange Unified and Westminster School Districts launched new dual language immersion programs in languages such as Spanish and Vietnamese. Placentia-Yorba Linda and Tustin Unified School Districts are slated to begin new dual language immersion programs in Spanish in the fall of 2016-17. Most dual language immersion programs in Orange County offer Spanish or Mandarin, but there now is a Vietnamese dual language program in Westminster and a Korean dual language program in Lake Forest. These programs are multiplying at rapid speed in Orange County.
The Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) has created a video to promote multilingualism and firmly establish a pathway to the Seal of Biliteracy in their schools. They have also created a dual language network to support and provide resources to existing and newly formed dual language programs in the county. Their next meeting is on December 9 from 8:30am-11:00am at the the OCDE in room D1009. They also have network meetings for supporting 21st century skills in the secondary world language classroom. Their next meeting will be held on November 12 at 3:30pm-5:00pm at the Santa Ana Unified School District.
This is a wonderful time to become a bilingual teacher. The growing number of English language learners in our schools, tidal wave of dual language programs across the nation, and Obama’s recent 1 Million Strong Initiative, greatly increasing the learning of Mandarin by 2020, will definitely create an even stronger demand for bilingual teachers. Parents are also becoming more aware of the importance of being bilingual and are lining up to register their children in dual language programs. Just recently, Patricia Gándara discussed how bilinguals did indeed have an advantage in the labor market in her new book, The Bilingual Advantage: Language, Literacy and the U.S. Labor Market. If you are bilingual and are interested in teaching, know that you are the next generation teacher.