We know that two languages are better than one for children’s cognitive development, so how can we capitalize on the strengths of English language learners while also promoting their ongoing language and literacy development?

The Opportunity of Bilingualism is a new online professional development program for teachers, early childhood educators, literacy coaches, parents, and community-based professionals. Based on the research of HGSE Professor Nonie Lesaux, the workshop provides strategies for promoting language and literacy development in linguistically diverse settings and explores implications for policy creation to support this important work.


By completing this program, you will be able to:

  • Explore language and literacy development among language learners, with a focus on how early development is connected to later outcomes
  • Discover how age-old instructional strategies and universal screening practices can be leveraged to promote 21st century learning among language learners
  • Identify effective ways to partner with families to support children’s learning
  • Explore policies that create optimal learning opportunities for language learners


The online workshop will require a total of 5-7 hours of work. Participants who complete all individual assessments and contribute to group discussions will receive a certificate indicating completion of five clock hours of instruction.

Meet The Faculty

Nonie Lesaux

Nonie Lesaux

Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society

Nonie K. Lesaux is Academic Dean and the Juliana W. and William Foss Thompson Professor of Education and Society. Her research focuses on promoting the language and literacy skills of today's children from diverse linguistic, cultural and economic backgrounds, and is conducted largely in urban and semi-urban cities and school districts. Lesaux's work has earned her the William T. Grant Scholars Award, and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor given by the United States government to young professionals beginning their independent research careers. She has served on the U.S. Department of Education's Reading First Advisory Committee, and the Institute of Medicine and National Research Council's Committee on the Science of Children Birth to Age 8. In addition to her faculty appointment at HGSE, Lesaux currently serves as the chair of the Massachusetts' Board of Early Education and Care. Lesaux's developmental and experimental research on school-age children and youth investigates language, reading, and social-emotional development; classroom quality and academic growth; and strategies for accelerating language and reading comprehension. Her research on our youngest children, with colleague Stephanie Jones, focuses on the challenge of simultaneously expanding and improving the quality of early childhood education, at scale (The Leading Edge of Early Childhood Education, Harvard Education Press, 2016).

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