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This research and policy brief uplifts findings from a 2020 survey of 223 California school district leaders. Findings regarding the preparation of beginning bilingual/dual language educators indicate that leaders rated teachers’ linguistic competencies in two languages as the most important ability, followed by teachers’ understanding of bilingualism and biliteracy development and linguistic pedagogical knowledge. Respondents rated beginning bilingual teachers’ preparation to meet the needs of their districts/schools as “moderately well” (M=3.1 out of 5). The brief concludes by identifying policy recommendations for state and local levels as well as for institutions of higher education policies and practice in this statewide “new ecology of biliteracy”: (1) data collection and reporting on bilingual teacher demographics and authorization; (2) increased quality of fieldwork and clinical experiences for future bilingual teachers; (3) increased funding for bilingual teacher preparation programs to diversity pipelines into bilingual education preparation programs, recruitment, support, and program completion; and (4) differentiated professional development experiences for beginning bilingual teachers including mentoring, learning communities, and cross-departmental teams.
Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Leadership | Teacher Education and Professional Development