Success Teaching Bilingual Learners

District Making Impressive Strides with Bilingual Learners
Posted on 07/10/2023
bps logoThe number of students at Bloomfield Public Schools who require special English-language services has been doubling every five years, since 2012. Of the approximate 2,100 students in the school district, over 100 have backgrounds in 14 different languages.

The district is making remarkable strides in preparing those students who are learning English as a second language – and also English speakers learning a second language. This year, 13 district students achieved the Connecticut Seal of Biliteracy, which recognizes high school students who have attained a high level of proficiency in another language. The students met rigorous testing requirements for listening, speaking, reading, and writing.

“Knowing more than one language will be a great advantage for the students,’’ said District English Language Learning Teacher Coordinator Suzanne Shippee. “In only 5 years, the demand for bilingual workers in the U.S. more than doubled. Since COVID, bilingual remote jobs have gone up 30% and nine out of 10 employers say they depend on workers who have language skills other than English. These students will now be better able to compete for the increasing number of jobs that require bilingual skills.’’

Shippee attributed this year’s success to increased collaboration and coordination in aligning instruction for bilingual learners. She commended a team consisting of BHS Spanish Teacher Evelyn Rodriguez, Teacher Amy Holt and district tutors Paula Sicord, Immacolata Dunia and Manjusha Vasanthapuram for their work. 

Superintendent of Schools Dr. James Thompson Jr. also applauded the team for its collaborative efforts. 

“One of the objectives of our recent Portrait of a Graduate initiative was to better prepare students for the rigors and challenges of a 21st century global economy,’’ Thompson said. “Having them become more proficient in a second language certainly speaks to that goal.”

Of the 13 district Seal of Biliteracy recipients, 8 are from Bloomfield High School, 5 from Global Experience Magnet School:
Yaviel Gonzalez
Jovaniel Morales
Lysa-Raye McCaw
Ravyn Spears
Josefina Lopes
Guillermo Guibas Mercado
Adreana Morales
Jarelyn Vargas
Valery Nunez Reyes
Daniela Gomez
Ariana Dextre
Natalee Placeres
Iyonna Santana

BHS BiLingual Students
Connecticut Seal of Biliteracy Students from BHS
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