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| EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S COLUMN|
National Educational Leadership Forum
Sailing into the 21st Century:
Multiple Languages, Multiple Paths,
The Future of Educating
Dual Language Learners:
Transitioning to Effective
Friday, Feb. 14
1:40 – 4:50 p.m.
Bilingual education overhaul under way
New Haven Independent
The principal sent the alert: Ms. Lopez's baby was on the way. Amid a shortage of bilingual teachers, Rocio Ramos scrambled to cover a class — and keep the momentum going of a new effort to revamp the New Haven, Conn.'s, largest bilingual education program. That scene unfolded the other day at Fair Haven School, where Maggie Stevens-Lopez and other teachers have been leading an effort to overhaul bilingual education. The school, seated in the heart of the city's Latino community, offers bilingual classes for kids in grades K to 8 — the largest program of its kind in the city.
Dr. Margarita Calderon’s RIGOR combines language-leveled informational texts with comprehensive literacy instruction to support language development for older newcomers and ELs reading at primary levels. K-8 Comprehension Skill Bags include nonfiction books and instructional resources needed to teach targeted skills. Both series are available in English or Spanish. FREE sampler.
ELL reading development: Modified guided reading, interventions, support
By Beth Crumpler
Guided reading is an instructional method that allows students to learn how to read and comprehend text. As students progress in their reading abilities and understanding, the difficulty of the text is increased. English language learners often struggle with reading. They struggle with decoding the text, pronouncing the words, fluency and understanding the content. For these reasons, ELLs usually have difficulty following along and being actively engaged during the learning process in standard guided reading groups.
Dual-language programs give us reason to learn
The Bellingham Herald
When someone learns to speak another language, they are learning more than how to conjugate verbs. Speaking a foreign tongue usually includes learning about another people's customs and culture. It goes a long way toward understanding each other — well beyond what you can get from popular online translators like Google translate or BabelFish. And it's not especially expensive. The dual-language programs offered through the Pasco and Kennewick school districts are good examples of totally emersing kids in the language — and culture — of their peers.
Race to Top States still have lots of money to spend
With states well into their final year of Race to the Top implementation, the 12 winners still have a lot of money to spend, according to the latest financial reports by the U.S. Department of Education. The state with the largest share of its award left? New York, with 59 percent of its $700 million still sitting in the bank as of Nov. 30, according to the latest federal spending report. Meanwhile, Delaware has just 31 percent left. Combined, the 12 Race to the Top states have $1.8 billion of their $4 billion in winnings left, or about 46 percent. The Obama administration's signature education-improvement effort was designed — for the most part — to be a four-year program. Awards were made in 2010.
Researchers show power of mirror neuron system in learning, language understanding
Anyone who has tried to learn a second language knows how difficult it is to absorb new words and use them to accurately express ideas in a completely new cultural format. Now, research into some of the fundamental ways the brain accepts information and tags it could lead to new, more effective ways for people to learn a second language.
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The Common Core is tough on kids who are still learning English
Remarkable things are happening at Laurel Street Elementary School in Los Angeles. Ninety percent of its 580 students are eligible for free or reduced lunch. More than 60 percent of its students are classified as English learners. And yet the school has established a stellar record of success: a national Title I Distinguished School Award in 2012 in recognition of its high academic achievement, a Golden Bell Award for its innovative writing program, and a Dispelling the Myth award from the nonprofit Education Trust.
States push to improve access, quality in dual-enrollment programs
A new database shows that 47 states and the District of Columbia now have state laws that allow dual-enrollment programs, with an increasing push for stronger requirements to ensure wide access and better quality. The Education Commission of the States this week unveiled the database, which explains how each state regulates dual-enrollment programs, which enable students to take college courses and earn credit while they are still in high school.
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Teaching in tongues: The bilingual pre-school tapping new potential
The children in this nursery in the leafy London suburb of Richmond are busy acting out a story about a bear in a forest. Stage directions, however, are being given to them by their teacher in Russian. This daycare center for under-fives is unique in the U.K., being the first Russian-speaking bilingual nursery in the country to be officially registered by education standards watchdog Ofsted. The center, run by the Azbuka Foundation, attracts parents from miles away as a result of the dearth of alternatives — there is a two-year waiting list to register a child.
Your baby — A tiny linguist
The New Zealand Herald
Babies as young as 12 months can detect different languages, a new study at the University of Auckland has found. Jessica Scott and Dr Annette Henderson conducted the study on babies in 2011 at the university's Early Learning Lab and published last month in the journal Developmental Psychology. Dr Henderson, a senior psychology lecturer, said the study was the first evidence that infants noticed when speakers did not use the same language.
Schools language immersion programs score high
The Fayetteville Observer
Chanelle Musser scrolled through the Spanish text on her iPad as she read about the structure of social classes in ancient Egypt. Iveliss Cordero, a Spanish immersion teacher at Anne Chesnutt Middle School, asked Chanelle a series of questions in Spanish to see if the sixth-grader comprehended her reading assignment. Chanelle, 12, told her teachers about slaves and pharaohs — in fluent Spanish. "I can understand more Spanish than I can English," said Chanelle, who has been enrolled in the dual language immersion program since kindergarten.
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