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| EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR'S COLUMN|
AFT, NABE, TESOL on Senate Bipartisan ESEA Bill
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.
Every Child Achieves
The Coalition for Teaching Quality — comprised of more than 100 civil rights, disability, rural, youth, parent, community, educator and principal organizations — thanks you for your leadership in developing bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, the Every Child Achieves Act. We write today to specifically comment on the teacher and principal quality provisions in the bill.
Opposition to Inclusion of S. 1052 (GREAT) Act in ESEA
As 91 organizations concerned with promoting educational quality and equity, particularly for students who have traditionally been least well-served by our education system, we are deeply committed to the development of well-prepared, experienced, and effective teachers for all communities, and to ensuring that every student has a fully prepared and effective teacher. We write to you with significant concerns about S.1052, the "Growing Education Achievement Training Academies for Teachers and Principals (GREAT) Act." We strongly oppose its enactment or inclusion in ESEA reauthorization.
Selected recommendations on ESEA reauthorization regarding English language working group on 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.
Title III English Leaners FY16 Final
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.
Gwinnett County Public Schools, located in metro Atlanta, is the largest
school system in Georgia with 173,000 students and growing. GCPS is a
school system of choice for people moving to the Atlanta area and a
two-time winner of the Broad Prize of Urban Education (2010 & 2014).
Seal of Biliteracy Guidelines released
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.
NCLR applauds bipartisan effort on education bill; remains concerned about accountability
he Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee voted unanimously to send the "Every Child Achieves Act" to the Senate floor. NCLR (National Council of La Raza) applauds the leadership of Chairman Lamar Alexander, R–Tenn., and Ranking Member Patty Murray, D–Wash., on their bipartisan work in moving the bill this far. "We are grateful for the efforts of members of Congress who have put the future of our nation's children at the forefront of the discussion and joined together in this bipartisan effort," said Delia Pompa, Senior Vice President of Programs, NCLR.
NABE 2016 Chicago Conference
Please prepare for the NABE 2016 45th Annual International Bilingual Education Conference at the Chicago Hilton on March 3-5 with Pre-Conference on Wednesday, March 2, 2016.
Scheduled for Hilton Anatole, Dallas on Feb. 23-25 with Pre-Conference on Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017.
On the high school diploma: A 'bilingual' stamp of approval?
In the 1920s, Aurora Orozco crossed over from Mexico to Texas — a child of African descent who spoke not a word of English. She was an uneasy transplant. Many years later, in an essay published in 1999, she recalled attitudes towards students who were caught speaking Spanish in school: "My teacher, Mrs. White, would make me stay after class. With a red rubber band, she would hit my poor hands until they nearly bled." Today's students don't have it so bad. Texas recently started offering a "State Seal of Biliteracy." It recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English.
Learning the language: Hour-long class helps young Latinos become fully bilingual
The Times News
In a classroom inside Blessed Sacrament School in North Carolina, a handful of middle school students takes turns reading a story aloud in Spanish as their teacher, Suyapa Mejía, stops every so often to discuss words that are unfamiliar. Down the hallway, several elementary-aged children complete a similar activity, and around the corner, their mothers sit in small chairs in a classroom of their own, studying English sentence structure and learning new adjectives.
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3 things international students should know about the IELTS exam
U.S. News & World Report
The International English Language Testing System, or IELTS, is one of the most widely used English language tests in the world. It comprises reading, writing, listening and speaking subtests and is designed for people who want to study or work in an English-speaking environment. Prospective undergraduate or graduate students who are applying to universities in English-speaking countries, or to programs where English is the language of instruction, will likely be asked to take the IELTS Academic test or the TOEFL, the Test of English as a Foreign Language. If you need an IELTS score, here are three things to know before taking the exam.
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Indiana kids learning English are getting less funding, more testing
Seventh grade at Indianapolis' Northwest High School was going to be a big adjustment for Jel Lu Too: He was a newly arrived Burmese war refugee straight from a camp in Thailand who spoke no English and had never attended a formal school. Now, he had to take Indiana's state test during his first week in class. School officials said state and federal mandates left them no choice about whether to administer the exam. So the 15-year-old sat for the test even though he can't read, write or speak in English.
Can foreign language immersion be taught effectively online?
Learning to speak a second language often starts with memorizing words and phrases like colors, numbers and salutations. Soon teachers introduce present-tense verbs and students work to build simple sentences like, "I go to the store." In the classroom, students practice dialogue with one another and the teacher, hoping that by slowly adding conjugations and more vocabulary, they'll be able to apply the language in real life.
Ways to teach Common Core math to ELLs
Education Week (commentary)
Larry Ferlazzo, a contributor for Education Week, writes: "What are the best strategies for teaching Common Core math to English language learners? I can speak from experience in saying that Common Core has not made it any easier to teach English Language Learners in English classes, but that's only part of it — Math teachers have to apply the Common Core math standards to ELLs in their classes, too."
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More time spent in high-quality early childhood programs is especially beneficial for DLLs
Amaya Garcia, a policy analyst in the education policy program at New America, writes: "About 6 months after immigrating to the U.S., my parents enrolled me in Head Start. I was 3-years-old and stayed in the program until I enrolled in kindergarten. I have a handful of memories of my time in Head Start: I really liked the oatmeal they served us at breakfast and there was one teacher who was particularly mean. As a young dual language learner, Head Start likely provided me with a boost in my vocabulary development and early numeracy."
Breaking the language barrier
The state of Nebraska's Hispanic population is exploding, with experts predicting the number of Latinos to more than triple by the year 2050. But in parts of Nebraska, floods of immigrants are already reshaping the culture. And if the population is growing even more, what does that mean for school systems that are also dealing with a surge of students crossing the United States-Mexico border? Alisa Grim has been teaching English to new students in Grand Island for nine years, where the student body is over one half minority kids mostly from Central America.
Seattle schools to expand English language services after critical review
The Seattle Times
Seattle Public Schools will make big changes in how it serves students whose first language is not English after a critical review from the state Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. The school district, already in hot water over its special education services, is also falling short in how it serves students whose first language is not English, state officials say. According to district officials, the state superintendent's office found that over the past two years, the district has failed to give a required English placement test to roughly 1,200 students who reported speaking a language other than English at home.
Think your world view is fixed? Learn another language and you'll think differently
Bilinguals get all the perks. Better job prospects, a cognitive boost, and even protection against dementia. Now new research shows that they can also view the world in different ways depending on the language they are operating in. In the past 15 years there has been an overwhelming amount of research on the bilingual mind, with the majority of the evidence pointing to the tangible advantages of using more than one language. Going back and forth between languages appears to be a kind of brain training, pushing your brain to be flexible.
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