Thomas & Collier Research

Research and Evaluation

in Dual Language Education

Reflections from the Field

Dr. Emily Bivins, Principal, Frank Porter Graham Bilingüe, Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, NC:

 

My life has been dramatically changed by the work of Dr. Thomas and Dr. Collier—as have the lives of students, families and teachers I lead. I have never met researchers so committed to the true work of equity, language, and culture. Their research has inspired pedagogical and cultural connections that have changed the face of education in our district. We now have the research to inform quality dual language program implementation and tough decisions about expansion, enrollment, and curriculum to support all groups of students, especially those least successful in traditional schools.

Elizet H. Rodrίguez, Dual Language Program Specialist, Texas Education Agency, Austin, TX:

 

Dual language matters! That’s what parents say when they realize the benefits of dual language education. As a previous school district administrator, I have relied on the research of Drs. Thomas and Collier to inform parents and board members regarding the outstanding effects of dual language education. Their new book, Why Dual Language Schooling, a succinct summary of 30 plus years of research, will support the work of any administrator advocating to provide students with the opportunity to compete in a global economy, while adding value to students’ cultures, heritages, and languages.

Chuck Ransom, Superintendent, Woodburn School District, Woodburn, OR:

 

As our K-12 Dual Language Program here in Woodburn, Oregon, nears its 20th year, we reflect on both the inspiration and resolve we have taken from the work of Dr. Thomas and Dr. Collier. Their initial and ongoing contributions have been essential to our journey. We look forward to our continued partnership with a shared commitment to make our public education system in Oregon and the nation one that supports our students to learn and lead in a global society.

James J. Lyons, Policy Attorney and Consultant, Arlington, VA:

 

Much of the research on the most effective methods for instructing children who speak a language other than English but who are limited in their English proficiency suffers from one of two limitations: limited empirical data or rudimentary theoretical conceptualization. The team of Collier and Thomas overcomes these common limitations. Dr. Wayne Thomas is a master of analyzing "big data" on the academic progress of hundreds of thousands of linguistically diverse children in different types of instructional programs across the US. Dr. Ginger Collier is a master of "big theories" about how and why the language of instruction affects the academic development of linguistically diverse students. Together, they both prove and explain why dual language should be the US. standard for all students living in a transformed world.

Cindy Sizemore, Ysleta Independent School District, El Paso, TX:

 

In 2005, we graduated our first class of dual language students -- eight young men crossed through the portal to receive their high school diploma embossed with a dual language honor seal. Since then, two have earned university diplomas, and one has begun a Masters program in international business. In 2006, 14 students followed their trail, broadening the path. And in 2009, 64 dual language students graduated from three Ysleta high schools! The path is indelibly laid, the portal is open, and there is no turning back. Our dual language graduates are now present in growing numbers in our universities, military, and workforce, forever changing their lives and ours as they continue to lead and serve. They are emboldened, empowered, and equipped by an educational experience characterized by high expectations for biliteracy, cultural competence, and service. Drs. Collier and Thomas write about the "Astounding Effectiveness of Dual Language Education for All," and what I have been privileged to witness is not merely an effective education for all students, but a truly transformational one. Dual language education, K-12, cultivates each individual's greatest human potential and guides him or her in molding it, adapting it, wielding it, and giving it voice to create a future that will astound us all.

Michele Anberg-Espinosa, Ed.D., Assistant Professor, Simpson University, Redding, CA, and Former World Language/Dual Language Program Administrator, San Francisco Unified School District, CA :

 

 ".. and justice for all" ... Something heard every day in the hallways of our schools across the country, yet still remaining to be seen. Equity-minded, visionary schools and districts dare to believe that justice for all can and should be their primary focus, and consequently adopt board policies that make equity and access a priority. Then they walk the talk, recognizing that their culturally and linguistically diverse populations create a golden opportunity to promote equity and equity-mindedness for all involved. They understand that gap closure is best accomplished through directly and unapologetically addressing the linguistic and cultural needs of their student populations. For more than 28 years, the equity-minded, visionary research of Wayne Thomas and Virginia Collier has confirmed that well-implemented two-way dual language programs are the optimal program to close the achievement gap for English learners, and this research has been the driving force for the adoption of two-way dual language programs around the country. Their research and undying commitment to sharing the message has indeed inspired schools and districts to dare to believe that we can, one classroom at a time, move closer to the goal of justice for all.

 

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