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Melody and Maximo Perez, engaging in reading as a way of practicing their early biliteracy skills.

Marysol Perez's picture

April has been a busy month with much to celebrate. One of those celebrations that I take pride in is that April is National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month! While we have started a new month, it’s never too late to celebrate.

As the daughter of Mexican immigrants who grew up in a bilingual household, I was a dual language learner. This unique experience of navigating a predominantly English dominant society, allowed me to embrace my translanguaging and bilingual abilities. Being a dual language learner was never a deficit in my world. On the contrary, it allowed me to navigate both my professional and personal world by strengthening family connections with my grandparents, allowed me to see the world through a different lens, and opened up various opportunities in my academic and career endeavors. 

Studies show that bilingual and multilingual learners are one of the fastest-growing student groups amongst schools in the United States. Dual language learners prove to be an asset to the learning community and increase the diversity of our school system. In the past few years, the emphasis on dual language and multilingual learning has increased in several states. One example of that is in my own home state of California. Acknowledging that an estimated 60% of California’s children between birth - eight years are speaking more than one language at home and at school [1], allowing for the passage of Proposition 58. This proposition was a victory for California because it reversed the English-only education mandate in California schools, allowing for more inclusive bilingual education programs while encouraging students to acquire English language proficiency along with strengthening their native home language.

That is why we at MomsRising are excited to share our updated bilingual resources for all of our members to benefit from. In the upcoming weeks, we will be sharing our website that will have useful articles, webpages, and links to great videos and book recommendations that can be used at home and share with your network. Our goal at MomsRising is to uplift families and communities of dual language learners and celebrate our diversity across the nation.

[1] Dual Language Learners: A Demographic and Policy Profile for California, Migration Policy Institute, 2017

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