Beyond BICS and CALP: Preparing Our Schools for Bilingual Learners

This session is from the NASP 2022 Annual Convention

  • PMD: 3,8
  • Skill Level: Intermediate

Learner Objectives

This session will help participants…

  1. articulate the limitations of BICS and CALP as a way of understanding language proficiency
  2. identify changes in academic screening and data based decision making that inform intervention selection to address bilingual students’ needs
  3. identify local school resources that can be leveraged to move toward an assets-focused approach of supporting bilingual learners entering kindergarten and equip educators to meet learners’ unique needs


How do we leverage multitiered systems of support to support our bilingual learners at kindergarten entry? BICS and CALP are a good starting point to understand bilingual learners’ academic needs, but they aren’t enough. This presentation will provide an assets-focused way of preparing schools to meet incoming bilingual kindergartners’ needs. Participants will understand the limitations of BICS and CALP and identify how to effectively support bilingual kindergartners and promote academic success.



Kirsten W. Newell, Texas A&M University
Elyse M. Farnsworth, University of Minnesota


Letter to Supervisor

Looking for a concise way to pitch the convention to your employer? This letter and the corresponding talking points are here to help!