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Home Editor's Pick Center for Equity + Social Justice Celebrates National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month

Center for Equity + Social Justice Celebrates National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month


Guest Blog By: Kyle Bolt, Coordinator, Multicultural Stakeholder Supports

Hello (English)

Hola (Spanish


你好 [Nǐ hǎo] (Chinese

Привет [Privet] (Russian

مرحبًا [Mrhban] (Arabic) 

Olá!  (Portuguese

안녕하세요  (Annyeonghaseyo] (Korean

Salaam Aleekum! (Wolof

ሀሎ [halo] (Amharic

These are greetings in APS’s top 10 languages! April is National Bilingual/Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month, a month in which we celebrate and acknowledge our students’ abilities to speak and learn in different languages.  Being a multilingual or bilingual person is an asset in our ever changing global society.

On April 19, in celebration of the monthlong observance, the Center for Equity + Social Justice will host a special multicultural panel discussion at 12 p.m. on Workplace Live. During the session, APS staff will learn how their colleagues leverage their multilingualism in the workplace. The event will be in English, but all languages are welcome.

Featured panelists include:

  • Erica Pereira-Williams, APS Spanish Teacher, BEST Academy: Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Nataly Morales Villa, APS Bilingual Community Specialist, Multilingual Programs + Services: Spanish , Portuguese
  • Michele Sanchez, Financial Analyst, APS Federal Programs: Spanish
  • Tara Bellevue, Vice President, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access Strategy | National Academy Foundation (NAF)

According to the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) at the U.S. Department of Education, knowing more than one language, whether acquired at birth or learned in school or later in life has its advantages, including delaying the signs of aging, and increased job opportunities. The benefits are not only for English learners, but also for native English speakers learning a new language as well. 

In the U.S. the top 10 languages other than English spoken by multilingual learners are: 

  1. Spanish
  2. Arabic 
  3. Chinese
  4. Vietnamese
  5. Portuguese
  6. Haitian Creole 
  7. Hmong
  8. Cushitic (Other)
  9. Tagalog 
  10. Russian 

Although Spanish is the top language of multilingual learners (76% of all multilingual learners in the U.S. speak Spanish), there are five states where Spanish is not the most commonly spoken language of MLLs. They are: 

  1. Alaska – 17% speak Yupik languages 
  2. Minnesota – 12 % speak Somali
  3. Vermont – 11% speak Nepali
  4. Hawaii – 9% speak Iloko
  5. Montana – 6% speak German

In Georgia, 79% of our English Learners speak one of the top 5 languages. 

The Center for Equity + Social Justice is committed to celebrating and uplifting the assets of our Multilingual Community. In addition, we are ramping up to launch the district’s inaugural Multilingual Stakeholder Advisory Council. The council will include various stakeholders from the community, including students, families and staff. The council will work to address the needs of our multilingual and immigrant communities, as well as provide recommendations to the district on how to provide culturally and linguistically responsive support to diverse communities. 

APS and the Center for Equity + Social Justice is proud to celebrate and uplift our bilingual and multilingual communities! 


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