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NPS Celebrates Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month

NPS Celebrates Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month
NPS Communications

To celebrate the rich linguistic diversity that bilingual and multilingual individuals bring to our schools and our community, the Norwalk Board of Education is proud to recognize April as National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month.

Norwalk Public Schools welcomed over 300 new multilingual learner students this year, a trend that’s not surprising given MLL students are the fastest growing population in public schools across the country. This growth is often fueled by global events resulting in a student population for us that continues to grow more diverse and culturally rich.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark Supreme Court decision, Lau v. Nichols, which affirmed the rights of English Learners to receive an equal education. As a result of this decision, policies and programs emerged to address the language needs of students across the nation.

Our district has taken a proactive approach to accommodate the increase in multilingual learners in our community. One of our key strategies is providing administrators and teachers with quality teaching practices and professional learning opportunities. These sessions are designed to enhance our educators skills and knowledge in teaching multilingual learners. 

In addition, we have created an environment for MLL scholars to be integrated into all classrooms. ESL teachers team-teach in English/Language Arts classes. This approach ensures that MLLs and all students receive the necessary support and attention they need to succeed.

Norwalk Public Schools is also proud to have increased our Dual Language program offerings to four elementary schools and one middle school. These programs are available to English Learners and our Native English-speaking students. These programs facilitate biliteracy in English and Spanish, build strong social connections, and cultural awareness.

All our students represent the future of Norwalk, and we are responsible for providing the support necessary to ensure each student is prepared for future success after graduation. Knowing multiple languages allows students to build diversity, engage with new cultures, and communicate with a wider community. Being bilingual can build a person’s self-esteem, to feel comfortable communicating with various people, and can be advantageous when they move into the workforce.

By declaring April as Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month, the Board of Education remains committed to the mission to graduate students who will become productive citizens of a global society, and multilingualism is one great skill to ensure that success.