S5-E2: Biliteracy and assessment with Dr. Lillian Durán
Play • 32 min

Susan Lambert joins biliteracy expert and professor Dr. Lillian Durán, who holds a doctorate in educational psychology from the University of Minnesota and researches the improvement of instructional and assessment practices with preschool-aged dual language learners (DLLs).

Durán begins by pointing out the difference between being bilingual and biliterate, then describes the key advantages of being bilingual and the unique skills students who speak multiple languages bring to school. She then discusses how the Simple View of Reading connects to Spanish, the double standard often occurring when bilingual students are celebrated vs. when they are not, and the process of screening and assessment for multilingual students. Lastly, Dr. Durán compels educators to avoid viewing biliteracy and dual language support as a sub-population of their classroom and instead prioritize the development of students’ home languages, whatever they may be, alongside English instruction.


“Language is inextricably linked to culture. We want to make sure these families and children feel valued and honored within our schools.” —Dr. Lillian Durán

“No matter what language you start to learn some of those skills in, there's a transfer and understanding of how to listen to sounds and how to put sounds together.” —Dr. Lillian Durán 

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