Frequently Asked Questions about TWI
What are the duties of a TWI coordinator?
The following are some duties that may be taken on by the TWI/dual language coordinator at the school or district level. In some cases, more than one individual will be needed to attend to all of these responsibilities.
- Coordinate recruitment of new students and conduct informational sessions at the school and in the community for prospective families.
- Ensure that student intake procedures provide sufficient information to inform placement and that staff responsible for intake and placement are knowledgeable about the TWI program.
- Coordinate efforts to standardize policies and procedures across the program (such as scope-and-sequence for the partner language, policies regarding referrals and retention for language learners, student recruitment and lottery procedures) and monitor their implementation.
- Write (or participate in writing) grant applications for additional funding for materials, teacher professional development, evaluation, assessment, and so forth.
- Ensure that school-wide facilities (library, computer lab) have adequate, up-to-date materials in the partner language.
- Coordinate with feeder elementary/middle and continuation middle/high school administrators to ensure articulation of program design and curriculum across K-12 TWI programs, or to communicate the needs of TWI students to secondary-school administrators when no continuation program is available.
- Represent the TWI program in school and district decision-making.
Staff and Professional Development
- Organize ongoing professional development activities, coach program teachers, and mentor new staff.
- Work with school and district administrators to create criteria for teacher recruitment and hiring, and serve on interview committees (where appropriate).
- Create a comprehensive professional development plan that aligns competencies necessary for TWI staff with school and district priorities.
- Develop and implement a training program for all new staff on the school’s model and approach, and on the fundamentals of TWI for staff who are also new to TWI/dual language.
- Work with instructional coaches and other leaders (as appropriate) to observe and coach teachers in specific areas relevant to their individual professional development plans and to school-wide professional development initiatives.
- Train and mentor new leaders for the program.
- Maintain a TWI reference library for staff to borrow relevant publications.
Families and Community
- Work with the parent/family liaison (where applicable) to develop parental understanding of and support for the programs’ goals.
- Communicate frequently with parents to update them on TWI program happenings, to identify community resources, and to help families support their students’ academic growth (e.g., facilitating cross-linguistic homework-help networks and sending educational materials such as books and dictionaries home with students).
- Organize activities to bring families together to reinforce the cross-cultural goals of the program.
- Ensure that all communication with parents and families is in both program languages and that meetings and events are conducted in both languages (by purchasing translation equipment, hiring translators, training staff in simultaneous translation, etc.).
- Develop a list of community language resources (e.g., available speakers, venues for field trips) that can facilitate authentic use of the partner language.
Curriculum and Instruction
- Work with teachers to monitor new curriculum mandates and changing student needs, and to adapt new curriculum and materials, ensuring they are articulated within and across grade levels.
- Participate in curriculum review and materials adoption committees in the school and district.
- Create and monitor procedures for TWI teachers to collaborate and articulate instruction with support service staff.
- Stay current on research and best practices related to the education of language learners.
- Convene regular TWI staff meetings to discuss new research, study student work, articulate the curriculum across grade levels, and plan evaluation or professional development activities.
Assessment and Evaluation
- Coordinate the selection (and administration, where appropriate) of assessments in the partner language and manage the analysis and dissemination of findings.
- Ensure that teachers understand how to interpret and use data from partner-language assessments for instructional and program planning.
- Ensure that background data on students and families (ethnicity, home language, time in the U.S., etc.) are collected and available for use in data analysis.
- Engage professional evaluators from the district or outside agencies to evaluate the effectiveness of the TWI model and instruction.
Communication and Networking
- Engage in networking with staff from other district and regional TWI schools.
- Ensure that program communications are up-to-date (website, video, brochure).
- Attend regional or national conferences on TWI and the education of language learners (both English learners and learners of the partner language).
- Communicate with school, district, and state administrators to advocate for the needs of the TWI program and linguistically and culturally diverse students.
- Advocate for enriched language education at the local, state, and/or federal level.
- Invite local media to report on program successes.