Changing the Narrative for Multilingual Learners

Jul 14, 2023
  • Description

In 2022, California funders focused on multilingual and early education gathered for a series of learning conversations about how narrative change could positively impact the movement for multilingual education. In the sessions, narrative practitioners, advocates, funders, and evaluators offered these key insights for understanding and supporting narrative change:

  • Narratives, which shape how people see the world and each other, are at the heart of movements for social change.
  • Narrative change is collective work that has more impact when many voices and partners organize themselves around the same narrative.
  • In developing narratives to support multilingual learners, it's essential to engage people with lived experience including students, educators, and families.
  • When partners embrace a unifying narrative, it can align and accelerate work across policy advocacy, organizing, communications, the arts, and other areas.
  • Narrative change is long-term work that requires persistence and multiple strategies to challenge and shift the deep-seated beliefs that uphold injustice.
  • Evaluators have many ways to measure the progress and impact of narrative strategies upon organizations, networks, and in the public dialogue.
  • Funding narrative change requires a different way of thinking than traditional grantmaking focused on discrete projects with short-term outcomes.