Bilingual Student Teachers at CABE 2014

Our bilingual (Spanish) multiple subject candidates were able to volunteer and attend the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) Conference this year in Anaheim. They attended workshops, visited the many vendors, and talked to the various school district representatives about possible employment.  They also networked with other UCI bilingual alumni attending the conference.

Two of our bilingual candidates also had the honor of attending the awards luncheon this year.  CABE awards teacherships yearly to support students pursuing a bilingual teaching credential.  Only four teacherships were presented at this year’s awards luncheon. Marco Castillo received the Charles (Chuck) Acosta Teachership Award (see p. 178) and Megan Gibbs received the Alma Flor Ada Teachership Award (see p. 180).  In addition to the $2,000 scholarship, Miss Gibbs and Mr. Castillo were able to attend the 4-day conference free of charge as honored guests.

Unbeknownst to him or his home school district, Mr. Castillo also had the distinguished honor of having his own elementary school from Palmdale attend the awards luncheon.   The superintendant, principal and some of his own childhood bilingual elementary school teachers from the district were present to congratulate him after he received his award. As a child, he attended the Palmdale School District’s designated bilingual school.  Some of the bilingual Palmdale teachers in attendance were busily texting back to their school letting them know that one of their own students was receiving an award.  That bilingual student from Palmdale will soon be a bilingual teacher like one of them.

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New Bilingual Cohort

Master Teachers, Alumni and Bilingual StudentsUCI’s Multiple Subject Teacher Credential Program has a larger group of bilingual students this year.  Various languages were represented at the annual orientation meeting before the start of fall quarter.  The majority of our bilingual candidates are Spanish speakers, but other bilingual candidates spoke Korean, Mandarin or Vietnamese.  All of the students in attendance were interested in pursuing their Bilingual Authorization.

Eight bilingual (Spanish) candidates have been placed at Viejo Elementary School in Mission Viejo.  Viejo Elementary has four UCI bilingual alumni working in their two-way language immersion (Spanish) program.  One of our UCI bilingual alumni is now a UCI master teacher this year.  In addition, one bilingual (Mandarin) candidate has been placed at Bergeson Elementary School’s Mandarin immersion program in Laguna Niguel.  This will be the second bilingual candidate placed at Bergeson Elementary.  The school’s first bilingual (Mandarin) candidate graduated last year and is working as a bilingual teacher at College Park Elementary School’s Mandarin Immersion Talent and Gifted Program.  Both schools, Viejo and Bergeson, will have bilingual teacher positions available next year.

Bilingual candidates were able to meet their master teachers and other bilingual alumni at the orientation meeting.  Bilingual alumni shared many of their personal experiences interviewing for a teaching position, teaching in a dual immersion school and secrets of how to secure a position after graduation.  Master teachers had the opportunity to meet their new student teachers and discuss their expectations and grade level routines in their classroom before the start of their new school year.

It will be a great year for this new bilingual cohort.  They are now members of a very strong bilingual community which includes experienced bilingual master teachers and mentors, bilingual leaders, and a fast growing group of bilingual alumni working at various dual immersion schools in the local area.

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Information Session this Week at UCI

Are you a bilingual (Spanish) undergraduate at UCI and would like to know more about how you can practice your Spanish with students attending a dual immersion program near campus?  Are you interested in becoming a bilingual teacher?  Please come to this information session this Thursday, 3/14/13, at noon, to learn more about dual immersion programs and how you can become a bilingual teacher.

RSVP by 5 pm on Tuesday, 3/12/13.

See flyer for more information:  Become a Bilingual Tutor or Teacher


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Become a Bilingual Teacher at UCI

If you are fluent in Spanish, Mandarin or French and are graduating this year with your bachelor’s degree, consider a career in teaching.  There are many bilingual teaching positions available;  dual-language immersion programs at the elementary and secondary level are growing in California and other states (see recent Bilingual Teacher Facebook posts).

The School of Education at the University of California, Irvine is offering a $1,500 incentive to all applicants interested in receiving a teacher credential in one of their programs.  Eligibility requirements and specific information regarding this incentive is as follows:

Applicants who complete their file by March 4, 2013, if admitted and matriculated in fall 2013, will receive a Startup Cost Incentive of $1,500 USD after the third week of fall quarter enrollment.

A complete file includes:  application, statement of purpose, official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended, letters of recommendation, Certificate of Clearance, TB Test, verification of CBEST & CSET passage or evidence of registration, and GRE scores or verification of registration for test date if an MAT application.

If you are interested in teaching at a dual-immersion school or a world language at the secondary level, you are also eligible for a TEACH Grant that is worth approximately $4,000.

It’s a good time to become a bilingual teacher!

For more information and updates about the incentive, please see:  UCI School of Education Startup Cost Incentive

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Mandarin Immersion Program off to a Great Start

The Mandarin immersion program at Bergeson Elementary School, in Laguna Niguel, is off to a great start.  During a recent visit, I was greeted by youngsters that were not only happy to be in a classroom, but eager to learn in a language that is not heard in their homes. They were actively engaged in the lessons that were presented in Mandarin and could complete the multiple, often cognitively demanding tasks that were given to them.

Currently, the program includes one pre-kindergarten, two kindergarten and one first grade class.  All of the bilingual teachers are certified in Mandarin and have other special talents too.  One of the kindergarten teachers majored in music.  Her paraprofessional also studied music.  Singing songs accompanied by the piano are  heard on a daily basis in her room (see video insert: Bilingual Kindergarten Classroom).  There are also paraprofessionals in the other classrooms.  This was made possible by the non-profit parent organization, Friends of MIP (Mandarin Immersion Program), created to support the program.  They have raised $95,000 this year and are on pace to raise another $55,000, to bring the total up to $150,000.

The school will be hiring next year and they have already started the recruitment process. For employment opportunities, please see:  Edjoin post

For more information about enrolling your child at this school, please see:

The program shows great promise and will definitely grow in popularity as each year passes.  There was a long waitlist before the program opened, and I am sure this magnet school will continue to attract strong bilingual teachers in the years to come.


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New Mandarin Dual Language Immersion Program in Orange County

Orange Unified School District recently announced that they will be opening a Mandarin dual language immersion program at Fletcher Elementary School for the new 2012-13 academic year.  This will be the second public Mandarin dual language immersion program in Orange County, California.  The district plans on opening their program with one kindergarten and one first grade class.  The program will be based on Utah’s successful dual language immersion instructional model.  The district is currently accepting new students for their program.

The first public Mandarin dual language immersion program in Orange County will also open this fall in Laguna Niguel at Bergeson Elementary School.  Bergeson’s program will open with two kindergarten classes and one first grade class.  Frequently asked questions regarding the program at Bergeson Elementary can be found on their Friends of MIP (Mandarin Immersion Program) website.  They began recruiting students in November of 2011 and have a long wait list.

Orange Unified School District News Release

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California State Seal of Biliteracy Update

More than 10,000 graduating high school seniors earned the new State Seal of Biliteracy on their diplomas this past June.  This is the first time that the state has given out this award.  In the past, school districts awarded their own Seal of Biliteracy Awards to students based on their own set of criteria.  In order to qualify for the new State Seal of Biliteracy, all students in California will need to meet a uniform set of criteria which includes strong proficiency in both the English-language arts and a world language.

Good to know that our students in our dual language programs will be preparing for this high school seal when they enter kindergarten.  I am sure the number of students receiving the State Seal of Biliteracy will continue to increase as the number of dual language immersion programs grow throughout our state and nation.

California Department of Education News Release

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Can a First Language be Totally Forgotten?

I was intrigued by this article since the subjects were adoptees of Korean descent raised in a French speaking home.  Although I am not an adoptee, I am half Korean and was raised in a predominately Spanish speaking home.  I grew up in a household where the Korean language was heard on a daily basis when my father spoke to relatives and when he watched his telivision shows in Korean.  At the behest of teachers, he spoke to his children only in English; one decision he regrets to this day.  Although I do not speak the language fluently, I still understand it at a very rudimentary phonetic level and can distinguish it from other Asian languages.  So, not totally forgotten…

Psychology Today, 7/11/12:  Can a Language be Totally Forgotten?

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Bilingual Teachers Needed in Long Beach, CA

Upon researching employment opportunities for various dual immersion teaching positions in the area, I came across the New City Public Schools in Long Beach, California.  They include three public charter schools located in relatively close proximity to one another near the downtown area of Long Beach.  In an era where class size is increasing for all grade levels, the New City Public Schools include a low class size of 20 students in all primary grade classrooms and have teaching assistants for grades K-3, according to their fact sheet.  This, as well as a strong community based approach, multi-age classrooms, and strong emphasis on bilingualism, make this group of charter schools extremely attractive for new teachers and parents with similar interests and goals.

All New City Public School children are expected to graduate with strong biliteracy skills in English and Spanish.  Their instruction in both languages begins in kindergarten and continues onto eighth grade where they employ a 50/50 model in language arts.  The first campus opened in August of 2000 and one of the larger campuses, New City School K-8, opened in 2007.

After reading their brochure, it is apparent that these schools offer a high quality program to their students.  In addition, they will be a source of future employment for bilingual teachers.  Unfortunately, the future of these schools is uncertain. They are experiencing some financial turmoil  and possible revocation of their charter; the final decision will be made by the Long Beach Unified School District next month.  For now, they are accepting student applications and have bilingual teacher positions available for the 2012-13 academic year.

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New Resource for Teachers

Stanford University has launched a new website, Understanding Language. The primary goal for this website is to improve academic outcomes for English Language Learners. Various resources such as language-rich teaching practices in various academic areas, related to the new Common Core State Standards, will be coming soon!

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