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Breaking Down the Monolingual Wall

Breaking Down the Monolingual Wall
Essential Shifts for Multilingual Learners' Success

Foreword by Jan Gustafson Corea

September 2023 | 304 pages | Corwin

Your guide to culturally and linguistically sustaining practices in your dual language classroom and school.

It’s time to set the record straight: Multilingualism is a tremendous asset that must be nurtured and valued and the most effective pathway to multilingualism is dual language education. Despite significant evidence attesting to the cognitive, social/emotional, and economic benefits of multilingualism, the majority of our classrooms and schools are monolingual.

Encouragingly, recent shifts in state policies have increased the demand for dual language programming in our schools. This increased momentum brings new challenges, including the need for more bilingually authorized teachers, high-quality instructional resources, and accurate assessment and accountability in the target languages of instruction. With contributions from ten experts in multilingual education, Breaking Down the Monolingual Wall outlines the systemic and pedagogical approaches necessary for successful multilingual and dual language programs. The book supports educators to: 

  • Shift the paradigm from one that is subtractive and deficit-based to one that is additive and assets-based
  • Embed culturally and linguistically sustaining practices in their instruction
  • Understand how to promote multilingualism in the context of teaching academic content
  • Develop assessments as, for, and of learning in multiple languages.
  • Lead high-quality dual language schools and programs
  • Recruit and retain highly qualified bilingual educators

Offering a comprehensive overview of bilingual policies and historical context all educators should understand, Breaking Down the Monolingual Wall is an invaluable guide to creating dual language learning environments that build on the precious assets of our multilingual students and families.

Publisher's Acknowledgements
About the Authors
Foreword by Jan Gustafson-Corea
Chapter 1: From Subtractive Schooling Models to Dual Language Models that Lead to Linguistic and Cultural Equity
Chapter 2: From Culturally and Linguistically Subtractive to Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Pedagogy
Chapter 3: From One Language to Biliteracy and Content in Two Languages
Chapter 4: From Monolingual Assessment to Assessment in Multiple Languages
Chapter 5: From Educator Collaboration in a Monolingual Setting to Collaboration in a Dual Language Setting
Chapter 6: From Leading in a Monolingual Program to Leading in a Dual Language Program
Chapter 7: From "One Size Fits All" Workshops to Job-Embedded Professional Learning for Dual Language Teachers
Chapter 8: From Monolingual Policies to Dual Language Policies

"This book is a “one place stop” per se for implementing DLE effectively, whereby educators can set the conditions right for students to thrive academically, socially, and emotionally. The content within this book provides a DLE vision where thirvability is the outcome for every leader, educator, student, and community."

Analis Carattini-Ruiz
K-12 Administration, Alpine School District

"This book is a must-read for anyone who makes decisions that affect Dual Language programs including principals and assistant principals, program directors, curriculum directors, professional learning directors, assistant superintendents, superintendents and school board members."

Marion Friebus-Flaman
Director of Language Acquisition Services, Naperville Community Unit School District 20

"The authors of this book have collectively brought together an outstanding resource on the value of multilingualism and dual language programs.  This book delves into practical solutions to common concerns, helps both teachers and leaders engage the students and families they serve, and provides structural guidance as well as historical and current perspectives for us to consider.  Whether you already have a dual language program in your school(s) or are considering implementing a dual language program, this book will help you create positive change and engage your community and stakeholders more fully.  Most importantly, this book is likely to be a resource you will revisit multiple times for its innovative ideas and support of our multilingual students of all language backgrounds."

Elizabeth Scaduto
Director of ENL/ESL K-12, Riverhead Central School District

"Not only will this book be a necessary item for our leaders and educators’ libraries, but it will be an essential text for any educator or leader that works and supports multilingual leaners."

Christine Kennedy
District Program Facilitator, Multilingual Department, Minneapolis Public Schools

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ISBN: 9781071895535