NABE Weekly eNews
Feb. 13, 2014

43rd Annual NABE Conference
Sailing into the 21st Century: Multiple Languages. Multiple Paths. Lifelong Advantages.

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The importance of guided practice in the classroom
By Erick Herrmann
From our life experiences, we all know the importance of practice in order to get better at something. Consider something you do well: a sport, an activity, a skill. How did you learn to do it? How did you get better at it, or master it? There is an old saying we are all familiar with: Practice makes perfect. In the classroom, students must practice the skills we are teaching for it to become internalized. It is important for us as educators, then, to not only provide opportunities for students to practice, but to practice correctly.More

Supporting academic discussions for ELLs in Common Core classrooms
Education Week
A second wave of free, online courses is coming down the pike this spring for teachers looking for strategies and resources to support English language learners with the rigor and more sophisticated language demands of the Common Core State Standards. With a focus on how educators can foster student-to-student academic discussions, a team of language experts from the Understanding Language initiative will teach the massive online open courses, or MOOCs. The free series — called Constructive Classroom Conversations — was first offered last fall, with more than 2,000 teachers participating.More

Biliterate pride
Language Magazine
The California State Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by the state superintendent of public instruction in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in English and one or more other languages by high school graduation. On 8 October 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed AB 815 (Brownley) creating the California State Seal of Biliteracy, making California the first state in the nation to honor high school seniors who demonstrate proficiency in multiple languages by affixing a Seal of Biliteracy onto their diplomas or transcripts.More

How schools cope with teaching children who speak 14 different languages
The Telegraph
At Maidenhall Primary School in Luton, children speak no fewer than 14 different languages, and their families come from all over the world. Among the babel of voices which greet teachers in reception classes are Pahari, Urdu, Bengali, Punjabi, Somali, Polish, Hindi, Gujarati, Tamil, Portuguese, Arabic, Spanish and Pashto. Of the 580 children aged between five and 11 who attend the school, 98.9 percent of them do not speak English as their first tongue. The school's diversity presents a significant challenge to the school's new management, who arrived in April after an Ofsted inspection found that the school requires improvement.More

Adjusting to US culture, social norms a struggle for some Ohio State international students
The Lantern
Lin Lu has a great sense of humor, but she might not get the punch line of your joke. Abdulrahman Alsuhaibani is outgoing, but he rarely used to talk to strangers. For some international students at Ohio State, language barriers block more social opportunities than academic ones. Alsuhaibani, a third-year in chemical engineering from Saudi Arabia, said his English instruction began at age 12 with lessons from his father. Before coming to the U.S. in 2011, his family paid for him to take extra English classes at the English Language Institute, Alsuhaibani said.More

Ahead of the curve: English language learner program thrives
Vineyard Gazette
The small hand of fourth grader Victoria DeMatos shot into the air. "I have a question," she said, commanding the attention of the teacher, Shannon Carbon. "Shuns, is it, t-i-o-n-s?" Answering in the affirmative, Carbon began to read aloud the story, The Nights of the Pufflings, which describes the efforts of Icelandic Islanders to care for the puffin chicks that get lost in their village. Words were discussed; hand gestures illustrated their meanings: burrows, speckled, surf, cliff. "When I was learning about mythology, Hera threw her son off a cliff," Emanuelly Nascimento informed her peers in clear English.More

America's school funding problems, state by state
The Washington Post
A new report on school funding reveals how uneven and unfair public school funding is in states across the country. The report, titled "Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card," looks at funding data from 2007 through 2011, analyzing the condition of state school finance systems with a focus on the fair distribution of resources to the neediest students. It covers the period before the big 2008 recession and through the start of the recovery.More

Re-gifted reading
Language Magazine
There is overwhelming evidence that those who live in poverty have little access to books at home, in schools, and in public and school libraries, and that the lack of access to books impacts literacy development and also results in less knowledge of the world. Research, in fact, strongly suggests that lack of access to books is the major reason for the literacy "achievement gap," the difference in reading ability between children coming from higher- and lower-income families. Someday, e-books might be available at a reasonable cost for everybody.More

10 social media tips for reaching world language learners
Feeling outdated, not connected, or even totally lost in the digital age? Well, let me assure you, droning on and on about grammatical structures is a surefire way to quickly lose student interest in the world language classroom. Instead, embrace something which truly interests the millennial student: social media. Utilizing it in the classroom will give your students practical, engaging ways to communicate in the language you teach.More

Biliterate pride
Language Magazine
The California State Seal of Biliteracy is an award given by the state superintendent of public instruction in recognition of students who have studied and attained proficiency in English and one or more other languages by high school graduation. More

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. More

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.More

Reprising the home language survey: Summary of a national working session on policies, practices and tools for identifying potential English learners
This document is the first in a series of working papers that elaborate on a framework of four key stages in moving toward a common definition of English learner, as described in the CCSSO publication, Toward a "Common Definition of English Learner:" A Brief Defining Policy and Technical Issues and Opportunities for State Assessment Consortia, (Linquanti & Cook, 2013).More

High cost of Common Core has states rethinking the national education standards
Fox News
States are learning the cost of Common Core is uncommonly high. The federally-backed standards initiative, first proposed by the nation's governors and an educators' association, seeks to impose a national standard for achievement among K-12 students. So far, 45 states plus the District of Columbia have signed on, with some implementing curriculum designed for the Common Core Standards Initiative during the current school year and the rest set to take part in the next school year. But several states are reconsidering their participation, and one big reason is the cost.More