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 EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S COLUMN

Seal of Biliteracy Guidelines released
NABE
The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the National Association of Bilingual Education, the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages, and TESOL International Association, have officially drafted recommendations for the implementation of the Seal of Biliteracy. The Seal of Biliteracy is an award made by a state department of education or local district to recognize a student who has attained proficiency in English and one or more other world languages by high school graduation. The recognition of attaining biliteracy becomes part of the high school transcript and diploma for these students.
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AFT, NABE, TESOL on Senate Bipartisan ESEA Bill
NABE
Leaders of three organizations representing the majority of educators who teach English language learners said Monday they are encouraged by the Senate bipartisan Elementary and Secondary Education Act reauthorization proposal. "The proposed bill represents a significant step forward to support the academic and language needs of ELLs, to adequately prepare teachers to work with ELLs, and to promote equity," said leaders of the American Federation of Teachers, the National Association for Bilingual Education and TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) International Association, in a statement to their members.
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Title III English Leaners FY16 Final
NABE
As the Subcommittee considers the Fiscal Year 2016 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies appropriations bill, we respectfully urge you to provide the President's Budget request of $773.4 million for Title III Language Acquisition Grant, consistent with the considerable growth of English learners being served in our nation's public schools.
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Alexander, Murray announce bipartisan agreement on fixing No Child Left Behind
Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions
Senate education committee Chairman Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Ranking Member Patty Murray, D-Wash., announced a bipartisan agreement on fixing No Child Left Behind.
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Selected recommendations on ESEA reauthorization regarding English language working group on ELL Policy
ELL Policy
English language learners comprise almost 10 percent of the U.S. student population at any given time. Many more students have been ELLs at some point in their schooling. In four states (Texas, New Mexico, Nevada and California) the percentages are significantly higher, ranging from 15 to 24 percent of the state's students. Moreover, many states in the Southeast and Midwest have experienced explosive ELL growth. Since the last re-­authorization of ESEA, the numbers of ELLs have increased substantially, and growth is more broadly distributed across the nation.
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 INDUSTRY NEWS


Interview: Improving training for teachers of dual language learners
EdCentral
Marie Bouteillon has seen the education of dual language learners from a variety of different perspectives. She calls herself "a product of dual language": her family immigrated to the United States when Marie was seven. She attended American schools for four years while her mother homeschooled her in French every day. When her family moved back to France, Marie attended a dual language school for middle and high school. After graduating from McGill University, she taught English in Shanghai for a couple of years before returning to the United States to complete her Master's in Bilingual Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. Upon graduation, Marie founded New York City Public Schools' first French dual-immersion program at Brooklyn's P.S. 58.
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English-Only PhDs
Vitae
What does it mean to be a doctor of philosophy in the sciences? What skills do we expect PhDs to possess? One thing you have to leave off that list: the ability to read or communicate in a language other than English. Nearly all U.S. doctoral programs in the sciences have dropped their foreign-language requirement.
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Is America nearing the end of the No Child Left Behind era?
The Atlantic
While the so-called "Every Student Achieves" bipartisan bill still has significant hurdles to clear before passage, it's certainly the closest Congress has come in nearly a decade to an agreement on the controversial education law it seeks to revise. The Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the 50-year-old federal mechanism for funding the nation's public schools, was due for reauthorization more than eight years ago. No Child Left Behind is the current iteration of that law.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    3 tools to support ELL students (MiddleWeb)
One person: One language and bilingual children (Psychology Today)
The 'two-sizes-fits-all' approach to bilingual education doesn't work (Truth-Out)
Study: Latino children's language skills are lagging by age 2 (The Washington Post)

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



Teaching language and cross-cultural communication with avatars and robots
Phys.org
Communication skills are critical in a global economy. Since communication often occurs across cultures, people must know more than just the vocabulary and grammar of a foreign language. They must also have cultural awareness — a recognition of the "dos and don'ts" that each culture maintains — to communicate smoothly, effortlessly and with confidence. Virtual role-play — where learners engage in simulated encounters with artificially intelligent agents that behave and respond in a culturally accurate manner — has been shown to be effective at teaching cross-cultural communication.
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The rapid rise of human language
MIT via Science Daily
Human language likely developed quite rapidly into a sophisticated system, a linguist contends. Instead of mumbles and grunts, people deployed syntax and structures resembling the ones we use today, this expert suggests.
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Valuing languages
The Huffington Post
Language diversity brings many benefits: each tongue contains a wealth of knowledge, often reflecting rich spiritual and cultural traditions, critical medicinal and agricultural practices and unique understandings, all providing a lens into how different groups of people view the world. Language is intrinsic to a people's identity, so to lose a language may mean to lose a people.
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Louisville, Ky., district seeks state waiver for English learner accountability
Education Week
The Jefferson County school system in Louisville, Kentucky, is seeking flexibility in how it assesses its English-language learners, the Louisville Courier-Journal reports. Language learners in Kentucky are currently granted one year of English language instruction before their scores start counting toward schools' and districts' accountability scores. Under the waiver, those students would take the tests but their scores would not count toward their school's overall performance until the students were proficient in English. Research indicates that it takes five years or more for students with no English language skills to gain fluency.
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Program helps non-native English students succeed
North Platte Telegraph
Learning is a tough exercise, as any student can attest to. Try memorizing mathematical formulas or science concepts in a completely different language while immersed in a new culture. These are some of the issues non-native English students face when they attend classes. They come from different parts of the world — Latin American and Asian countries — and their parents decided to settle in the Midwest.
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For students with limited English, glaring gaps in achievement and state remedies
The Connecticut News Project
Connecticut is desperately trying to find more teachers who can teach students who speak and understand limited English. So a story told at a recent Education Committee hearing was particularly troubling. A teacher who had taught in Puerto Rico for 20 years said he couldn't teach bilingual education in Connecticut because of the state's stricter certification requirements. "This is really not the sort of story we want to hear," said Rep. Andy Fleischmann, House chairman of the Education Committee, and one of the top state legislators seeking to overhaul education for English learners.
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NABE Weekly eNews
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