How will I share the AAPPL results with parents?

By Francesco L. Fratto, Director of World Languages, Language Immersion, & English as a New Language, LTI AAPPL Educator Panel

Francesco L Fratto

The Herricks Public Schools (NY) believes that monolingualism can be cured! Our small yet powerful district offers Chinese, French, Italian, and Spanish; in addition, we have a K-12 Spanish immersion program. The questions that parents often asked were how well can they speak Spanish and are they making progress? Academically our students do very well based on national, state, and local assessments; as educators we also knew that they were making progress with the Spanish language, but we needed more! AAPPL assisted us in answering the questions parents had! We tested all language immersion students grades three and above with the AAPPL Interpersonal Listening and Speaking. With very little to no preparation, our students responded appropriately to the online questions; the adults were more anxious than students! The friendly student format helped ease tensions. The results came in online and then I asked myself how will I share the results with parents?! Gregg Roberts, the architect of Utah’s Dual Language Immersion Model, shared what Kerrie Neu, Dual Language Specialist for the Granite School District (Utah), does in her district by offering parents a meeting to discuss proficiency and language acquisition. Out of her great idea, I scheduled our first Parent Proficiency Night; I too shared the process of learning a language, but I went above and beyond by including the data from the Interpersonal Listening and Speaking. We used Utah’s benchmarks to assist us in measuring our students’ growth. The AAPPL data was powerful! Parents were able to better understand the AAPPL measures of proficiency reports and left knowing what their children were able to do with the language. We can now speak with confidence about a student’s progress and the levels of proficiency we expect our students to reach at each grade level.

Overall the data has confirmed what we are doing right, but it has also challenged us to do things differently to strengthen the overall program. We are proud of our teachers, students, and parents who ask the right questions. We welcome the updated version of the AAPPL to help us dig deeper with respect to data.

Mi casa es su casa

stock-photo-hispanic-couple-outside-home-with-sold-sign

The American Dream, a key piece of which is home ownership, is flourishing in Latinx communities all across the nation. By every economic measure, the buying power of Spanish-speaking Americans is skyrocketing to the tune of over $2 trillion. That buying power is most especially manifesting itself in home ownership, evidenced by the statistic that over 6 million new homes will be purchased by Latinx consumers within the next few years. As a prominent executive with the National Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) remarked, “With a growing Hispanic population and the highest rate of workforce participation, Hispanics are expected to drive growth in the housing market for decades”. While this is certainly good news for the real estate business, it also presents a series of unique challenges that will need to be met as this industry adapts to a Spanish-speaking customer base.

NAHREP recommends that the first step would be “to address the incredible shortage of Spanish-language speaking, culturally competent real estate agents (7%) and mortgage professionals (4%)”. The lack of bilingual professionals in this key area is a drag on the market. Many Latinx homebuyers express a preference for agents who can explain complicated transactions in a readily understandable format. Cultural sensitivity is also important, introducing upwardly mobile people into neighborhoods that might not reflect their ethnic identities and helping people select areas where they feel at home. As one homebuyer commented, “The (Spanish-speaking) agent was able to tell us if we would feel comfortable around the neighborhood.”

Given the economic projections for the future, improved language skills and cultural sensibilities will play important roles in the world of real estate for some time to come. There will be an increased need for multilingual professionals in both real estate and financial services, and these will surely create ripple effects in the banking and insurance sectors as well. Local government officials and educators will need to respond as demographic shifts alter the social landscape of communities. The need for certified, proficient Spanish speakers has never been greater and will only continue to grow as America becomes more diverse and prosperous.

——————————————————————————————————————————
Since 1992, Language Testing International (LTI) a Samsung Company, and the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), have been offering valid and reliable reading, writing, speaking, and listening tests in more than 120 languages, in more than 60 countries.

LTI administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.

Contact us today to get started!

You May Have to Remain Silent, If You Don’t Understand the Language of Your Arrest

police-officer-talking-to-a-student

Interactions between police and citizens can either be friendly, community building events, or frightening, emotion-laden, traumatic crises fraught with peril and fear. In either case, communication and process are facilitated when both sides speak the same language. However, given the growing multilingual makeup of U.S. society, there are often differences of language between the police and those they are sworn to protect and serve.

These differences can create environments of distrust, misunderstanding and xenophobia. Value systems, cultural identities and socio-economic class disparities create barriers to communication, respect and confidence towards police in non-English speaking communities. The nuances of behavior, reliable chains of evidence, and comprehension of the law depend on the abilities of officers and citizens to comprehend situations as they occur. Commonality of language can diminish distrust of police, reduce unnecessary arrests and lawsuits, and enhance community policing efforts.

To this end, police departments all over the country are encouraging their members to learn one or more languages to better serve their communities. Monetary and promotion incentives are being offered to support these efforts (Foreign Language Incentive Pay). The importance of translators fluent in the many languages spoken in large cities, as well as the presence of a “beat cop” who can speak the neighborhood language are increasingly necessary if 21st century policing is to reflect the remarkably diverse melting pot that is our ever-changing society.

With over 25 years of experience providing language assessments to the academic, government and corporate sectors, Language Testing International (LTI) has tested candidates in over 60 countries and in over 120 languages. In partnership with the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), we proudly offer our clients valid and reliable reading, writing, speaking, and listening tests.

LTI works closely hiring managers  to identify the appropriate level of language proficiency required for the position you are looking to fill. Once your needs have been identified, we help you qualify the right candidates with the language skills needed to be successful.

Assess with Confidence

LTI administers language assessments to hundreds of thousands of candidates every year and is one of the largest and most respected foreign language proficiency test providers in the world. We offer the highest level of client service as well as convenient online test scheduling and reporting over secure client networks.

Contact us today to learn more

Plan Now for AAPPL

group-of-diverse-high-school-students-studying-in-class-with-female-teacher

The beginning of the school year provides teachers and students alike, a fresh perspective and endless possibilities for changing the way things “have been done.” The AAPPL offers teachers an external measurement as their student move towards proficiency, which can be used for a multitude of different reasons.

Continue reading