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 Local Educators Honored for Biliteracy Leadership

​​The San Diego County Office of Education recently honored school district leaders for their work in biliteracy.

More than 370 parents, teachers, administrators, and school board members were in attendance for the 16th Annual Biliteracy Symposium May 8 at the San Diego Marriott, La Jolla.

A special “Bea Gonzales Leadership in Biliteracy” award was presented to Dr. Cristina Alfaro, chair of the Dual Language and English Learner Department and director of Project CORE at San Diego State University. The award was in recognition of her relentless commitment to teacher-education programs that empower future educators to advocate for English learners and implement high-quality dual-language programs. 

Awards were also presented to 35 biliteracy leaders in 18 school districts for their commitment to promote high levels of biliteracy.

“Biliteracy means a student has access to a rigorous curriculum that results in proficiency in two languages,” said Mónica Nava, senior director at the San Diego County Office of Education. “The Biliteracy Symposium awards program promotes biliteracy as an educational asset and celebrates our achievements.”

San Diego County, which opened its first dual-language program in the 1970s, has been at the forefront of the dual-language movement. Currently there are about 80 dual-language programs in the county, up from 30 programs in 2008.

Research shows that students who know more than one language are better prepared for the global community and the job market. Dual-immersion students perform as well as or better than non-immersion students on standardized tests in English, and immersion students typically develop greater cognitive flexibility, demonstrating increased attention control, better memory, and superior problem‐solving skills as well as an enhanced understanding of their primary language.

Corporate sponsors of the event included Benchmark Education, Curriculum Associates, HMH School Publishers, Imagine Learning, Mission Federal Credit Union, Renaissance Learning, and Pearson.