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Home   Research   Advocacy   Publications   Conference   Press Room   About Us   Join   NABE Store Jan. 23, 2014

 




 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S COLUMN

43rd Annual NABE Conference — Feb. 12-15
NABE
Sailing into the 21st Century: Multiple Languages. Multiple Paths. Lifelong Advantages.

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 INDUSTRY NEWS


State, local officials square off on who calls shots on K-12
Education Week
Clashes between state governments and Washington over education policy fit a well-worn political narrative: far-away bureaucrats meddling in day-to-day operations — and imposing costly mandates without the funding to pay for them. But that same tension is often evident in the complex and interdependent relationship between those at the state and local levels. From school accountability to control over charters, some local K-12 leaders say state officials who complain about the White House or Congress have been just as guilty of imposing requirements on schools, in conjunction with outside advocacy groups but without proper debate or sober consideration.
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Grouping students: Heterogeneous, homogeneous and random structures
By Erick Herrmann
What is the typical classroom seating arrangement? Are students seated in neat rows, in a U shape, in small groups of 4 or 5, at tables or at desks? Teachers have long recognized the power of grouping students together for a variety of reasons: to collaborate with each other on a project, for cooperative learning opportunities, to work with a small group of students on a particular skill and more. But how do teachers decide how to group students together, and when is a particular grouping structure best given the learning or task at hand?

Survey: Which student grouping method do you prefer?

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Improve Progress with Family Involvement Kits

Build a strong school-home connection and a solid literacy foundation for PreK-Grade 2 students. Three types of Family Involvement Kits allow you to select engaging informational texts, classic trade books, reading response journals, and parent guides, in backpacks or attractive carrying cases. Available in Spanish or English. FREE sampler.
 


Students earn multilingual distinction
The Modesto Bee
Seventy-three high school students from throughout Merced County, Calif., have some extra bragging rights. These students are fluent in English and another language; they have earned a Seal of Multilingual Proficiency, which requires top performances on six tests. The Seal of Multilingual Proficiency is proof students can use to better market themselves for career choices after high school, according to Francisco Romo, English-learner coordinator with the Merced County Office of Education.
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Overcoming school diversity disparity in Oregon
Statesman Journal
Salem, Ore., teacher Margarita Herrera experienced firsthand the challenges bilingual students face in the classroom. When Herrera was a teen her family packed their bags and moved from New Mexico to Roseburg. She entered a new high school in 2001 not knowing any English, and while some teachers embraced her cultural background, others were noticeably frustrated by it. After volunteering in classrooms during college, Herrera realized she could make a difference through teaching. There was something pleasant about seeing children walk into the classroom with smiles on their faces, eager to learn something new. She was able to draw from her personal experiences as a student, knowing the teaching style she would emulate and what to avoid.
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Baby talk study: One-on-one builds language skills quickly
The Christian Science Monitor
A new study that will be published in the next issue of "Developmental Science" reports that parents who engage in one-on-one conversations with their children, and emphasize vowels and different sounds within words, are much more likely to help their children's language development now and in the future.

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From second language learning to bilingualism in schools
Psychology Today
We are many who feel that education should help children and adolescents acquire a second or third language while retaining their first language. Education should also encourage the active use of those languages, if at all possible.

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Dual-language learning for all students is visionary
The Voice of Tucson
Being visionary didn't work for Arizona. Being reactionary was a bust, too. It's time to apply some hard-nosed realism to the fact that our schools are not serving a population of kids who are fast becoming the majority of K-12 students.

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English-language acquisition gets boost in federal spending bill
Education Week
The $1.1 trillion federal spending bill released by Congressional leaders includes a modest increase in funding for states and local districts to support instruction for English language learners. You can catch up on all the education details by reading Alyson Klein's breakdown at Politics K-12. The measure calls for $723.4 million in spending for Title III — the provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that sets aside money for English language acquisition — an increase of more than 4 percent over fiscal 2013, but one that still falls short of returning federal spending on ELLs to pre-sequestration levels.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Soy bilingüe. Soy listo. Estoy listo.

More and more kids are becoming fluent for life thanks to Imagine Learning Español, an educational software solution that helps pre-K and kindergarten students increase Spanish language and literacy proficiency. To get a better look at the program—and how it's helping young learners build a stronger foundation—click here.
 


Baby talk study: One-on-one builds language skills quickly
The Christian Science Monitor
A new study that will be published in the next issue of "Developmental Science" reports that parents who engage in one-on-one conversations with their children, and emphasize vowels and different sounds within words, are much more likely to help their children's language development now and in the future. This research differs from previous studies on the effects of talking to your baby in that it identifies the social context and type of speech patterns that also make an impact on your child's ability to learn language.
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Learning the language
Telluride Daily Planet
According to Superintendent Kyle Schumacher, about 17 percent of students who attend the Telluride R-1 School District in Colorado are English language learners. In an effort to help those kids, the school district is aiming a new program not at students, but at their parents. The school district recently took over the adult English education classes and some cultural liaison services previously run through One Telluride. Many parents of English language learners may not have much formal education themselves, Schumacher said.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Join Racine Unified School District

Racine Unified School District makes a real difference for our young people. Our educational team is caring, hard-working, experienced and professionally prepared. We are seeking bilingual educators who express a powerful sense of mission and commitment to the best practices in teaching and learning. Consider joining our team today, visit us at: http://www.racine.k12.wi.us/
 
Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword LANGUAGE.


Arne Duncan: School expectations are too low in the United States
U.S. News & World Report
Today's parent advocates do not limit themselves to coaching soccer teams and organizing bake sales as a way to get involved in their students' schools. But parents, educators and policymakers alike need to do more to "walk the walk" in working to close achievement gaps and improve education in the United States, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan told an audience of parent leaders Monday. While other countries have made strides in student performance on international tests in reading, math and science, American students have stagnated, and in some cases regressed, while achievement gaps in the country remain "staggeringly large," Duncan said at an education summit for parent leaders hosted by the National Assessment Governing Board.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    English language learners: A growing — yet underserved — student population (Education Commission of the States)
How language seems to shape one's view of the world (NPR)
Helping English language learners adapt under the Common Core (Education Week)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.



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Study: Engaging with ebooks can aid children's literacy
School Library Journal via The Digital Shift
As younger and younger children recognize and use electronic devices as sources of information and entertainment, what is the impact on their literacy skills? Largely a positive one, according to a study printed in the January 2014 edition of the peer-reviewed journal SAGE Open. The report examines how different digital tools — an iPad, an iPod and a tabletop touchscreen computer — capture and hold children's attention to print media delivered electronically.
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SFPS program offers students bilingual instruction
Santa Fe New Mexican
About 20 second-graders at Agua Fría Elementary School were counting play money during a recent math class when teacher Miguel Velasquez asked, in Spanish, for someone to come to the front of the class and show the combination of coins and bills he or she used to make $10.26. After one girl demonstrated her solution, some of her classmates raised their hands, saying in English, "I have it a different way." Velasquez responded in Spanish: "¿Tiene otro manera?" In English, that means "You have another way?"
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New app helps kids tell multilingual stories
Simon Fraser University
SFU education professors Kelleen Toohey and Diane Dagenais have created a website and a free iPad application that help kids create and publish online storybooks in any language. Called ScribJab, the application is the online world's first open-source environment where, with the supervision of teachers and/or parents, kids can type, illustrate and narrate stories in a variety of languages and share them globally. To date, kids have published 30 books of stories in Arabic, Punjabi, Japanese, Chinese, German, Korean and Vietnamese. Users must create their initial story in one of Canada's official languages, English or French, and are then encouraged to translate it into another language with the help of parents, teachers and myriad online resources.
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