As the number of children who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse increases, and the benefit of bilingual instruction becomes more evident, the need for more bilingual teachers will grow as well. However, the need is outpacing the number of teachers with such qualifications and the competition for hiring bilingual teachers is fierce for TWIN-CS programs and other similar schools. So what can be done? Here are three approaches:
New America, a non-partisan think tank, has invested time and research into this topic through its suggestion for programs to “Grow Your Own” bilingual teachers. Their executive summary on this suggestion, and related reports, provide concrete steps for those schools and systems considering this option.
The California Department of Education is investing $625,000 through June 2020 to programs that train bilingual educators. The Bilingual Teacher Professional Development Program is now active in several California districts.
The Regional Education Lab-Northwest has developed a bilingual education collaborative network in Oregon to address the need for more educators with this training. The Oregon Bilingual Teacher Pipeline Collaborative is designed to address the need for such teachers across the state by bringing together educators and university programs to plan, research, and create policy.