CWMU Planning Day

Reflections from the Biliteracy Institute

Today's Agenda:




Ice Breaker


Literacy Squared

Developing Trajectories toward Biliteracy in Reading


Demonstrate Holistic Writing Assessment


Apply holistic writing assessment to children’s writing

11:30-12:30pm Lunch


Strategies Potpourri (Teachers who attended the conference)

  • Lotta Lara
  • The Dictado
  • Paired Literacy

Chapter Study

CWMU Next Steps
La Santa Cecilia - Ice El Hielo

What is Literacy Squared?

  • It is a holistic biliteracy framework that could be used to nurture and develop bilingualism and biliteracy.
  • It is comprised of four components: Instruction, Assessment, Professional Development, Research (pg.3)
  • It emphasizes building trajectories toward biliteracy, with sustained language and literacy development in both languages.
  • It focuses on the four elements of literacy- oracy, reading, writing, and metalanguage- and it emphasizes equal attention to all.
  • Cross-language connections are an instructional feature of Literacy Squared to ensure that teachers provide direct and explicit attention to developing children's metalinguistic awareness about how Spanish and English are similar and different.
  • The Literacy Squared framework emphasize the sociocultural nature of learning and language acquisition by encouraging grouping structures that include collaborative work and direct and explicit instruction.
  • It involves the reinterpretation of reading and writing assessments to better understand how the development of biliteracy is different than the development of either Spanish or English monoliteracy.

Simultaneous Bilingual Children (Table 1.2)

  • Exposed to two languages between ages 0-5
  • May not have a clearly dominant language (L1)
  • May know some concepts in one language and others in another language
  • Is often labeled as a child with "low" levels of language proficiency in two languages
  • Has language skills in two languages that can be used to develop biliteracy

Sequential Bilingual Children

  • Exposed to a second language after age 5
  • Has a clear L1
  • Clearly knows concepts only in L1
  • Is labeled as "Spanish Dominant"
  • Has language skills in one language that can be used to develop biliteracy

Literacy Squared Question for Reflection and Action:

What concepts from the theories underlying Literacy Squared could you bring to a Professional Learning Community (PLC) or professional learning network conversation regarding best practices for emerging bilinguals?

The Biliteracy Reading Tracjectory

  • is a holistic view of bilingualism to observe a student's language processing and learning in Spanish and English as a whole, rather than separate, parallel processes in two languages.
  • Represents one tool to help teachers better understand and use what children know about reading as they plan across languages.
  • Literacy Squared Study used EDL2 and DRA2 as their diagnostic measures for emerging bilinguals.
  • The implication of know what students can do in both Spanish and English reading is important for planning paired literacy instruction.
  • The premise is that if an emerging bilingual student has a higher score in Spanish reading than in English reading, the difficulty is not about "reading", but rather a language issue.
  • In a monolingual instructional contexts where monolingual frameworks are used, students are assigned a fixed benchmark score to indicate proficiency in each grade level. In Literacy Squared, we recognize that literacy acquisition in two languages may result in pacing that differs from expected pacing in monolingual settings.
  • The trajectory towards biliteracy, then, provides a foundation for changes in pedagogy, as well as a tool to guide teachers as they plan appropriate instruction with research-based and research-tested expectations for biliteracy development.
  • It is important to recognize that these ranges represent high expectations, and only through consistent and coherent paired literacy instruction can we expect such reading development for emerging bilingual students.
  • Table 6.3 shows the Biliterate Reading Zones

Bilingual Trajectory Questions for Reflection and Action

How might you use reading assessments in two languages as tools to look at the biliterate reading development of students at your school? What factors might you consider in choosing assessments?