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 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


A recipe for ELL student success
Language Magazine
As schools face the reality of the Common Core State Standards, assumptions about the effect they will have on struggling students is a prominent part of the conversation. The standards are meant to be achievement benchmarks that raise the bar for all students and provide guidance through the grade levels for the development of key learning goals.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  kinderKALENDARS®: Playful, elegant, educational, relevant

One-of-a-kind bilingual calendars for children that teach animals, colors, numbers, and basic phrases every day. Calendars feature innovative packaging, vocabulary ‘recap’ pages, and pronunciation guides. Perfect for classrooms, administrative offices, and home use. Chinese, French, Italian, Korean, and Spanish editions (all with English). kinderKALENDARS®: products for bilingual kids that speak to everyone.
 


Career dual-language educator named head of Federal ELL office
Education Week
A veteran bilingual and dual-language educator and former district superintendent has been tapped by the U.S. Department of Education to head up its Office of English Language Acquisition. Libia Gil, who currently serves as a vice president for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, or CASEL, in Chicago, has been named as an assistant deputy secretary and director of OELA. The OELA job has been filled on an interim basis for nearly a year since Rosalinda Barrera resigned last October.
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Bilingual speakers develop mental flexibility
PsychCentral
Researchers are learning that the benefits of being bilingual extend well beyond enhanced communication capabilities. Penn State researchers discovered that as bilingual speakers learn to switch languages seamlessly, they develop a higher level of mental flexibility. "In the past, bilinguals were looked down upon," said Judith F. Kroll, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics and Women's Studies.
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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.
 


Science, brains and learning languages
Getting Smart
We've known for several decades that there is a critical period for learning language: children are more likely to reach native (or native-like) fluency in language(s) that they learn before age 5. (The exact age and importance of this window is not written in stone.) The good news is that the benefits of learning a language do not disappear after age 5. A recent deluge of studies point to interesting and encouraging links between learning languages and the brain.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
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Think twice, speak once: Bilinguals process both languages
Penn State via Science Daily
Bilingual speakers can switch languages seamlessly, likely developing a higher level of mental flexibility than monolinguals, according to Penn State linguistic researchers. "In the past, bilinguals were looked down upon," said Judith F. Kroll, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics and Women's Studies.

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Review: For young ELLs, learning in 2 languages best
Education Week
Instruction in English and in a child's home language in the preschool and early elementary years leads to the best outcomes for the youngest dual-language learners, both in terms of academic-content achievement and as English-language proficiency, a new research review and policy brief concludes.

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Learning a new language alters brain development
McGill University via Science Daily
The age at which children learn a second language can have a significant bearing on the structure of their adult brain, according to a new joint study by the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — The Neuro at McGill University and Oxford University.

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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNER.


Ideas for implementing literacy Common Core in the non-ELA classroom
Edutopia
For those of us who work in states where the Common Core is already being implemented, we all must address the Common Core Standards, even if we are not English language arts or math teachers. However, this provides a great opportunity to support the literacy work already occurring in the ELA classroom. The Common Core Standards for Literacy in the History/Social Sciences, Science and Technical Subjects are all standards that non-ELA teachers, from art to science, can target.
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Smarter Balanced approves testing supports for English learners
Education Week
The Smarter Balanced states that are designing Common Core assessments have agreed to a series of testing supports for students that include native language translations of test directions and test items in mathematics for students who are not yet proficient in English. But not every English learner in the 25 states that make up the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will have access to the range of available language supports. Member states with laws and regulations that restrict or prohibit the use of languages other than English to teach or assess ELLs do not have to offer such translation options for test takers.
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Think twice, speak once: Bilinguals process both languages simultaneously
Penn State via Science Daily
Bilingual speakers can switch languages seamlessly, likely developing a higher level of mental flexibility than monolinguals, according to Penn State linguistic researchers. "In the past, bilinguals were looked down upon," said Judith F. Kroll, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics and Women's Studies. "Not only is bilingualism not bad for you, it may be really good. When you're switching languages all the time it strengthens your mental muscle and your executive function becomes enhanced."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Learning a new language alters brain development (McGill University via Science Daily)
The power of the bilingual brain (TIME)
Apps for English language learning: Speech-to-text for writing development (By Beth Crumpler)
Help or hindrance? Use of native language in the English classroom (By Erick Herrmann)

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


'Race to the Top' for education a flop, report finds
Politico
The Obama administration's signature $4 billion Race to the Top initiative, designed to spur far-reaching education reforms across the country and raise student achievement, is largely a failure, an analysis concludes. Most winning states made what the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education labeled "unrealistic and impossible" promises to boost student achievement in exchange for prizes that were ultimately paltry in comparison with their pledges.
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Governor checks in on English language learners
Las Vegas Review-Journal
A small group of Hispanic kindergartners huddle around their teacher as she demonstrates how to cut on the dotted line. Entranced, they "Aww" when Kathleen Quigley makes a perfect cut, but they keep glancing at the stranger behind them. At the back of the room stands Gov. Brian Sandoval. He's largely the reason that Quigley won't be teaching more than 21 students this year or next. Before that, kindergartners had long been split into groups of more than 30 students at Cortez Elementary School.
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