BlogBeat

In Tulsa, Latino Baby Boom Spurs Dual-Language Preschool

In Tulsa, Latino Baby Boom Spurs Dual-Language Preschool

By Maureen Kelleher Figueroa
Latino Ed Beat

I’ve seen a number of stories about changing demographics and the rising numbers of Latino babies in locales all over the United States. Often they are contrasted with declining birth rates for non-Hispanics. But a recent story in the Tulsa World went a constructive step further to show how the demographic change is affecting policy and practice among the city’s Head Start programs.

 The story tells you that a nonprofit called Community Action Project, or CAP, runs Tulsa County’s Head Start program. What it doesn’t tell you–perhaps because Tulsans know it already–is that CAP is a national leader in early education. That status adds weight to their recent decision, noted in the story, to use dual-language English-Spanish instruction in all Tulsa County Head Start programs starting next fall. Over the past five years, Hispanic enrollment in the programs has risen from 30 to 40 percent of all students. Three years ago, CAP began issuing its Head Start materials in Spanish as well as English.

Though clearly the reporter’s goal in this story was to write about the changing demographics in Tulsa and across Oklahoma, I think it would have benefitted readers to have a little more explanation of what dual-language instruction will mean in Tulsa’s Head Start programs. Will there be designated times when children and teachers speak Spanish, then English? Will one teacher speak English and another–or an assistant?–speak Spanish with children? Methodology matters in making dual-language instruction successful. Being a geek for this sort of thing, I’d also really like to know how they are training teachers to do it and whether they’ve had trouble recruiting enough Spanish-speaking teachers.

In any event. there’s room for a follow-up story next fall when the teachers start using both languages regularly with the students. Hope the editors remember!

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

BlogBeat

More in BlogBeat

climate_headlines

How to tell if the article about climate you are reading is B.S., in four easy steps

Latina ListaApril 21, 2015
Print

Putting ‘weird’ grammar on the map

Latina ListaApril 20, 2015
Race_FINAL_shea_walsh_web

Discussing Race Helps Black, Latino Boys, Study Says

Latina ListaApril 16, 2015
vds2013_0233__mg_7135

Report: Access to Health Care is Improving for Hispanics, but More Work Remains

Latina ListaApril 13, 2015
juvenile_detention_JW035_jpg_800x1000_q100

New report finds child incarceration of non-violent offenses still widespread

Latina ListaApril 10, 2015
mylingo-800x500_c

Watch movies in your language with myLINGO

Latina ListaApril 8, 2015
shampoo2_1170-copy-770x460

Even ‘green’ products may pollute indoor air

Latina ListaApril 6, 2015
71895_10150280100440246_294979630245_15331381_3068936_n

Anglo bilingual rapper unites his passions for music and bilingualism in Bilingual Nation U.S.A.

Latina ListaMarch 24, 2015
10982437_1595823167316405_8133744735406516917_n

Georgetown Considers Opening New ‘Casa Latina’

Latina ListaMarch 23, 2015