Magaly Lavadenz, professor and director of the LMU Center for Equity for English Learners, was interviewed for a KPCC special report on bilingual learning. Lavadenz, who teaches and conducts research on English Learners and Dual Language Learners, is quoted on a child’s brain development, “The brain is like a muscle. Like any muscle, the more you use your muscle, the stronger it is.”
In response to KPCC’s special report, Olga Moraga, clinical assistant professor and director of bilingual education programs, participated in a Facebook chat hosted by KPCC’s Take Two radio program to answer questions and provide insight into bilingual learning and the school options available in Los Angeles.
Bilingual education is a critical issue in Los Angeles because of the region’s demographics. From the KPCC report, “Los Angeles County leads the state in the number of schools that offer bilingual education starting in kindergarten—in part, advocates and others said, because of its multicultural population.”
Yet in the last decade, the achievement gap between California’s large population of English Learners – one-fourth of the state’s public-school students – and their native English-speaking peers has widened. The LMU Center for Equity for English Learners works to change that through collaboration with school districts and educational organizations across the state and nationally on research and professional development that highlights the needs of ELs and brings the most effective leadership and teaching practices to these students.