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Global Education

Dual Language and Global Education at Elon Elementary Leads to Student Success

For the past two years, the Alamance-Burlington School System (ABSS) has worked with Participate Learning and the state of North Carolina to help improve inequity challenges often posed in schools with dual language offerings.

Schools operating dual language programs often suffer from a ‘school within a school’ culture, as the intensive program is usually only offered in a few classes, leaving other classrooms without this language or cultural lens.

“We had great programs, great teaching and learning taking place, but we kind of felt like something was missing,” Principal Jack Davern said. “So we started exploring and expanding, and we found our approach to putting a global lens on our standards, enriching our environment and what was happening in the classroom.”

Starting with Davern and Elon Elementary, ABSS Superintendent Bill Harrison began integrating global themes, training, and classroom lessons throughout the school, ensuring all students and teachers receive a meaningful global experience, no matter if they are part of the dual language classrooms.

“As we got more into it, we realized that the [global components] were a vehicle for teaching the standards and for really engaging students in the curriculum,” said Sue Cauley, academic coach at Elon Elementary.

Because the global education addition so unified Elon’s students, teachers, and parents, ABSS expanded the model to its other five dual language sites in the district and has experienced similar results.

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