California is the most linguistically diverse state in our country. Over 220 languages are spoken here and nearly half of all residents report speaking their native tongue plus English at home.
The Golden State’s mosaic of cultures is best reflected in its education system, where English learners (ELs) comprise nearly 19 percent of students enrolled in California public schools. Hundreds of these schools offer dual-language immersion programs (DLI), which teach children both in English and another language, such as Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, or Vietnamese.
DLI programs help fluent English speakers learn another language while assisting EL students with retaining their native language and culture. DLI programs are evaluated and accredited by institutions like the California Association of Bilingual Education (CABE). Their criteria for evaluation is quite rigorous, and only a small number of schools meet their excellence standards each year.
We at MIND Research Institute were thrilled to hear that three schools using our ST Math program – which takes a visual, language-neutral approach to math instruction – were awarded CABE's 2020 Seal of Excellence.
CABE is a non-profit organization incorporated in 1976 to promote bilingual education and quality educational experiences for all California students.
The Seal of Excellence Award began in 1996 to honor exemplary bilingual education programs throughout California. To receive the CABE 2020 Seal of Excellence Award, each school had to submit substantial evidence of their student’s dual language proficiency, English and target language, and academic achievement for dual language and English learners in their biliteracy programs, including mathematics.
ST Math and Bilingual Education
The ST Math program is a highly effective tool schools can incorporate into any dual-language immersion program. Our approach starts by teaching the foundational concepts visually, then connects the ideas to the symbols and then language. With a strong emphasis on visual learning, students are better equipped to tackle unfamiliar math problems, recognize patterns, and build conceptual understanding. Without language barriers, the problem is accessible to all students, regardless of skill level or language background.
ST Math removes the language barrier and provides access to standards-aligned content. The program replaces intimidating word problems with visual word problems that cover the same standards and students are more inclined to persevere, building their stamina in problem solving.
Dr. Kalim Rayburn, Principal + Bilingual Educator Newport Mesa Unified School District
ST Math includes more than 35,000 puzzles with interactive representations of math topics that align to all state standards, with learning objectives that target key grade-level concepts and skills.
ST Math is a flexible instructional tool that can fit easily into many different curriculum implementations. In a computer lab, during designated classroom time, station-rotation, or at home - as long as students are using ST Math for 60-90 minutes per week, you will see gains in their math achievement.
If you're attending CABE's Virtual Conference this week, make sure to stop by our virtual booth to meet with one of our experts to learn more about ST Math.
Parker Erickson was MIND’s Content and Community Specialist. As a digital storyteller, Parker is passionate about building strong communities through technology and social media. Off the clock, you can find him buried in the latest issue of The New Yorker or experiencing different cultures through food.