The Colorado Association of Bilingual Education holds their annual conference this week, and several UCD faculty are board members, directors and presenters. At the conference this year, CABE is asking all its members to take a pledge to use additive language, such as Bilingual, Emerging Bilingual, Emergent Bilingual, or Dual Language Learners, and to avoid terms that are deficit based or based in English hegemony such as limited English proficient, or non English proficient, or English language learner or English learners or any of the corresponding acronyms (LEP, NEP, ELL, EL, and so forth), even if these unfortunate labels are in policy. Below is a copy of the pledge that will be shared at the conference. We hope that you will feel free to use this pledge in your SEHD classes as well.
We pledge to take a strength-based approach to our work. We believe that each and every individual, family and group comes to the table with strengths and assets. We believe that the most enduring success happens when strengths and assets serve as the foundation on which to base new learning and growth. Moreover, it is critical that our language also reflect this strength-based approach. Therefore, we pledge to only use asset based terms such as bilingual, emergent bilingual, emerging bilingual and dual language learner. We pledge not to use deficit based labels such as ELL, EL, NEP and LEP, that focus only on the English students are developing without acknowledging the abilities they have in another language. Please stand with us in our pledge to use and model language that reflects the deeply held respect and value that we share and promote for Multilingual Voices por un Mundo Mejor!