Advocacy & Policy

MATSOL's mission is to promote excellence and equity in the education of English language learners of all ages, and in all program models. MATSOL works in coalition with other local and national groups to achieve these goals.

 

Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project

Schools and school districts around Massachusetts are participating in a project to pilot the Seal of Biliteracy on the local level. Our hope is that local adoption will provide evidence for legislators that a state Seal of Biliteracy should be established in Massachusetts. This project grew out of the collaborative work between MATSOL, MABE, and MaFLA in the Language Opportunity Coalition. Please visit the Language Opportunity Coalition website to find out more:

Download the Seal of Biliteracy Toolkit
This toolkit provides guidelines for local implementation of the Seal of Bilieteracy. Developed by the Seal of Biliteracy working group, a group of Massachusetts educators from one-way immersion, two-way immersion, bilingual, English language development, and world language programs, it is intended to support District/School Leaders responsible for implementing Seal of Biliteracy pilot programs.

Join the Seal of Biliteracy MA Google Group
Connect with other educators involved in piloting the Seal in Massachusetts

 

Advocacy Resources

MATSOL position statements and related research on ELL education locally and nationally.

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Language Opportunity Coalition

The Language Opportunity Coalition was founded in the summer of 2014 with the goal to increase language learning opportunities for learning English, developing native/heritage language, or learning foreign language, and to ensure that all learners have equal access to a high quality education and professional opportunities. 

The Coalition's current initiatives include:

  • Bringing together ESL, bilingual, dual language, and world language educators to implement the Massachusetts Seal of Biliteracy Pilot Project.
  • Advocating for establishment of a state Seal of Biliteracy, reforms to the English Learner education policy, and increased support for bilingual, dual language and world language programs that promote bilingualism and biliteracy.

Coalition members include MATSOL, Massachusetts Association for Bilingual Education (MABE), Massachusetts Foreign Language Association (MaFLA), MIRA Coalition, and others.

Language Opportunity website
 

LOOK Bill Summary

“An Act relative to Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK)” (HD2211/SD743), filed by Senator Sal DiDomenico and Representative Jeff Sanchez.

The LOOK bill updates MGL Ch 71A English Language Education in Public Schools to encompass the latest in academic research and best practices in public schools serving English language learners, allowing all districts to choose high quality alternate language acquisition programs based on the educational and linguistic needs of students, in addition to Sheltered English Immersion.

The bill also:

  • Encourages parent involvement by establishing parent advisory councils and providing a mechanism for parents to advocate as a group for a district to adopt a specific language acquisition program (including dual-language programs).
  • Directs districts to monitor FLEP and former FLEP students who have exited language acquisition programs.
  • Recognizes experienced educators in Language Acquisition Programs by requiring instruction by licensed ESL teachers, as well as directing DESE to establish an educator endorsement for teachers in dual-language programs, and an administrator pathway for directors of Language Acquisition Programs.
  • Removes provisions that discourages alternative language acquisition programs, including time limits, the restrictive waiver process, and liability for educators and districts.
  • Recognizes the value of bilingualism and biliteracy skills by establishing a state Seal of Biliteracy that districts can award to high school graduates who demonstrate proficiency in two or more languages.
  • Requires no major changes to existing programs or initiatives such as RETELL currently underway through the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
 

TESOL Advocacy

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MATSOL works with TESOL International Association to support national advocacy initiatives on the federal level. We encourage MATSOL members to become members of TESOL in order to support this important work.

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