No! Many, if not most, of the educators supporting bilingualism are not fluent in other languages. By encouraging students to retain their home language, recognizing it as a benefit and a skill, you are building a stronger connection to them. You may also be helping to reinforce the parental relationship and family culture, which can pay dividends in the classroom.

Extensive research is showing us that fluency in another language does not negatively affect classroom learning or hamper English learning. In fact, bilingual students may have a better attention span for classroom activities!

Finally, participating in the SPEAK campaign is a career builder for you as an educator: today’s market demands educators who can navigate and succeed in diverse classrooms. Your ability to oversee the progress and success of multilingual students will build your authority, not diminish it.