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 ​Celebrating Languages in San Diego County Schools

​​​​​​​High school graduate? Check.

Computer skills? Sure.

Meet the job requirements? Yes!

Biliterate? Um…

Nowadays being proficient in more than one language has become much more than a preference in the workforce.

Technology has made it easier than ever for businesses to grow internationally, and the number of non-English speakers continues to grow in our country, making the benefits of reading, writing, and speaking a second or third language invaluable to employers.

The San Diego County Office of Education is supporting and celebrating investments in dual language, biliteracy, and English learner students in area schools through two spring events.

Just last month, about 400 educators from across Southern California attended the County Office's Dual Language and English Learner Institute. There were more than 30 dynamic sessions on dual language and world language programs and English learner students presented by San Diego State University faculty and master's degree candidates, highly respected classroom teachers, and the County Office staff.

The one-day conference on March 29 also featured a keynote panel, which included researchers and authors Dr. Lily Wong Fillmore, of the University of California Berkeley, and from San Diego State University Drs. Cristina Alfaro, Li-Rong Lilly Cheng, and Karen Cadiero-Kaplan. This exceptional panel captured the audience's attention as they shared their expertise and perspective around the important topic of leveraging language for student success.

"[The institute was] an outstanding and inspiring event, anchoring our purpose and direction as educators in supporting our English learners, promoting bilingualism, and encouraging our students to retain their cultural identity," said a Sweetwater Union High School District resource teacher.

On May 12, the County Office is hosting the annual Leadership in Biliteracy Symposium​, an awards event that recognizes the critical work of dedicated educators, parents, and community members in promoting dual language programs for students.

The event, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the San Diego Marriott La Jolla, is open to counselors, parent leaders, teachers, teaching assistants, site and district administrators, school board members, and university professors.

As language learning in education is evolving, so is the annual Leadership in Biliteracy Symposium. This year's celebration will reflect the energy and passion of the people who champion the invaluable skill of proficiency in more than one language in our schools.

Learn more​ about the Leadership in Biliteracy Symposium, register to attend, and nominate a leader.