Connecticut can have dual language programs — if it has the political will

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Kudos to the Connecticut Mirror 3-part series on dual language and bilingual education in Connecticut. The series showed us also models of exemplary dual language programs across the nation that work such as in Utah and Oregon.

The series points out that research confirms that good dual language programs are effective in closing the achievement gap and promote brain development for all students. It also points out that both majority and minority children benefit from dual language programs by preserving their culture and opening new possibilities in a global world.

On the other hand, parents are hungry for good dual language programs and schools. I believe that a statewide grassroots initiative to promote dual language and bilingual education is needed. Let us demand that our governor, legislators, school boards, mayors, and congressional representatives, all support and promote dual language and bilingual education.

Exemplary programs in Utah and elsewhere, as the CT mirror series describes, show us that everything is possible. As a teacher educator at Central Connecticut State University, I would be more than willing to participate in planning new and well thought-out dual language and bilingual teacher education programs by tapping into the existing human capital we have right here in Connecticut.

There are many parents, paraprofessionals, and other adults who are fluent in two languages or more in our state. If we all work together and with leadership at the state level we can make it happen. Where there is a will, there is a way.

Aram Ayalon is a Professor of Secondary Education at Central Connecticut State University.

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