Identify Stakeholders (District Level)
The first step for implementation of the MA State SoBL Awards and/or the LOC Biliteracy Pathway Awards is to reach out, involve, and collaborate with all language programs in the school district at levels PK-12. :
- World Language
- English Language Education
- Dual Language Education
- Language Immersion
- Transitional Bilingual Education
The process of creating a district policy and getting the award programs approved should begin with assembling a Working Group or Task Force of district staff, teachers of English Learners, and Dual Language Education and World Language teachers of all schools in the district that will be involved in implementation. It is useful and beneficial to include other stakeholders in this group such as administrators, parents, students, computer lab coordinators, guidance counselors, school committee members, and interested community members. The district leaders could request that the school committee approve a policy, which should clarify the district’s purpose in giving the awards as well as begin the process of advocating for biliteracy. The district-wide Working Group or Task Force is charged with thinking-through how the award will work in their community, taking account of the mix of schools, and variety of programs. The Working Group or Task Force strengthens the collaboration between programs, and the celebration of biliteracy is thereby expanded in the district. The LOC Biliteracy Pathway Awards are not intended to be restricted to any one program, but rather to unify the goals and practices of all the various language learning programs in the district.
Identify Stakeholders (School Level)
A school-level Working Group is recommended to manage the details of implementation. It is useful and beneficial to include other stakeholders in the school-level group such as administrators, parents, students, computer lab coordinators, guidance counselors, and interested community members. Schools need to think-through how the award will work in their school and varied programs. This Working Group will need to reach out to and coordinate with the Working Groups in other schools in the district. The Working Group strengthens the collaboration between programs, and the celebration of biliteracy is expanded in the school.
Identify Language Learning Philosophy and Review Program Goals (District Level)
Before deciding how to confer theLOC Biliteracy Awards on students, coordinate how the various language learning programs document, plan, and instruct for language proficiency development— be it through English Language Benchmarks, world language programmatic proficiency targets, and/or dual language program proficiency norms. Decide which awards to make, for which grades, and when in the school year to award them. Next, determine how the language learning programs celebrate their students’ success and determine how the LOC Biliteracy Awards will be included.
Identify Assessment and Data Collection Practices to Determine if Programs are Meeting Goals (District level)
School districts offering the LOC Biliteracy Pathway Awards should encourage as many qualified students as possible to pursue the opportunity to earn an award. The district should consider which student groups to target as potential applicants for the LOC Biliteracy Pathway Awards, and how the application process will take place. For example, the district can decide that all students in certain classes (e.g., all students in a world language class) will participate in the LOC Biliteracy Pathway Awards or that individual students must complete a form indicating the intent to participate. Districts may also consider additional criteria for participation.
Table 4: Sample Optional Portfolio Elements Identified in the Pilot.
To assess proficiency in the partner language at the high school level, districts need to decide among the approved test options: STAMP, AAPPL, ALIRA for Latin, Advanced Placement tests, and SLPI for ASL. Most districts that participated in the pilot from 2015 to 2018 selected either the STAMP test or the AAPPL test. Factors to consider include which partner language(s) must be tested and the choice between testing language domains (STAMP) and testing language modes (AAPPL). (See this overview of the two tests.) Also keep in mind that remaining with a particular test over time will facilitate data comparison from one year to the next.
If the district is choosing to implement the LOC Biliteracy Awards Awards at the elementary and/or middle school level, districts may elect to use a standardized assessment appropriate for the students’ age level, such as SOLOM or APRENDA, to demonstrate proficiency in the partner language. Since fewer tests are available for the elementary level, schools may decide to rely on the assessment of portfolios. Many programs in the SoBL Pilot decided to use the AAPPL and STAMP in middle school to determine WL proficiency for the awards and to assess programmatic progress toward the high school goals.
Identify the Accolades System in Place
In addition to awarding the MA State Seal of Biliteracy to students upon high school graduation, determine how else all the various language learning programs across all schools celebrate their students’ success, and how the LOC Biliteracy Pathway Awards can complement this process.
- Timeline and Guiding Questions for the LOC Biliteracy Awards
- Action Plan Template