Over 75% of our teachers hold BCLAD teaching credentials. This indicates that they have been specially trained in how students learn language and how to teach students in their second language. BCLAD teachers are masters of differentiation—they know how to engage students who are working at varied academic and linguistic levels. Our teachers work in pairs. In grades K-2, there are two classes at each grade level. Teachers are with their homeroom class for ninety percent of the day. For 10 percent of the day, teachers trade classes where they become English teacher to their partner teacher’s homeroom class. Students never hear English from their Spanish teacher or Spanish from their English teacher. This may seem like a minor detail, but the clear distinction in language usage has proven to be beneficial to our students’ language proficiency.
We also ensure second language acquisition by using as many modalities of instruction as possible. Teachers are guided by the principle that each student has a unique way of obtaining information. Therefore, they teach language through traditional means, such as reading and writing, but they also incorporate art, drama, music, dance, science experiments, and field trips into their second language instruction.
Our credentialed bilingual art and music instructor visits each class twice weekly to enhance class content with projects in fine arts. And our rigorous physical education program provides cognitive benefits.
Mallory Goodman holds a master’s in educational leadership and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish as well as a multi-subject BCLAD teaching credential, an administrative services credential, and single subject credentials in both English and physical education. With a career emphasis in English language development and general second language acquisition, Goodman has been teaching at the elementary, middle, and high school levels since 1997.