The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

The official Student News Site of Dublin High School.

The Dublin Shield

Dublin Unified Hosts Resource Event to Empower Multicultural Individuals

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Prianka Vakil
Board members KC Nissen and Shobha Tejwani explain how emerging bilingual students can receive home support at the Multilingual Parent Night on Thursday evening. (Photo by Prianka Vakil)

On November 2, 2023, Dublin Unified School District hosted a Multilingual Parent Night followed by a resource fair at the York Alternative Learning Center to empower multilingual students with the tools they need to succeed as English learners. 

 

As a notably large school, Dublin High has a culturally diverse student body –English is not everyone’s first language. Given that all classes on campus are taught in English with the exception of foreign language courses, proficiency is vital. In order to classify language learners based on their fluency in English, the ELPAC, or English Proficiency Assessment of California, is administered in both initial and summative formats. Within the first 30 days of enrolling in school, a student takes the initial ELPAC to determine whether they identify as English learners or fluent speakers. If the results are indicative of the former, students have the opportunity to take the summative ELPAC every spring to become reclassified as fluent. This assessment is designed to aid students in their language goals, regardless of any differences in their learning styles. For learners with disabilities, visual, auditory, and physical resources are provided as needed. The district’s goal is to help individuals reach this milestone and recognize that biliteracy is something to be proud of. “We like to call our students emerging bilinguals because it really is truly an asset for students to learn more than one language[…]speaking your primary language–it’s really important to keep that and keep learning English,” ELA coordinator KC Nissen passionately explained during her informational presentation on Thursday evening.

 

In order to become proficient in English, a variety of resources are provided to students, especially those in high school. For example, Dublin High offers English Language Development (ELD) classes and follows an integrated and designated ELD structure, providing access to academic content instruction and prioritizing English proficiency. Learning platforms such as Hampton-Brown Edge and Lexia are also implemented in classroom settings to aid students on their journeys. As for support at home, students are advised to utilize the countless apps and free services provided by schools via platforms like Clever.

 

Throughout a student’s journey to becoming literate in English, many educators emphasize the  value of skill in another language. Across several schools in the district, heritage classes are offered in Spanish and Mandarin in addition to standard language courses. Starting in elementary school, students who have demonstrated progress in becoming fluent in more than one language can earn the Pathway to Biliteracy certificate, where once classified as multilingual, they can go on to earn the Seal of Biliteracy. “We always want to make sure that they’re doing well beyond their 4 years [of high school],” ELD specialist Shobha Tejwani concluded in her emphasis of biliteracy as a life skill.

About the Contributor
Prianka Vakil, Staff Writer
Prianka is a current sophomore at Dublin High School. For as long as she can remember, she has been spinning novels in old notebooks and looking for a new good read. By joining the Dublin Shield, Prianka hopes to act as a voice for Dublin High students and shed light upon current events in the community. In her free time, she can be found watching a good horror movie or listening to old-timey music.