NABE Weekly eNews
Feb. 21, 2013

Is English still the dominant language of higher education?
The Guardian
Globally, English has been key to academic collaboration, through research activity, events and communications, both inside and between institutions themselves. But as Mary Jane Curry, co-author of "Academic writing in a global context," points out, the growing dominance of English in academia has put scholars from non-English speaking countries at a disadvantage in publishing and sharing research across borders.More

A great opportunity for the land of opportunity
The Huffington Post
President Barack Obama made the case in his State of the Union address last week for swift passage of comprehensive immigration reform. His powerful call for Congress to "get this done" brought members on both sides of the aisle to their feet and made it clear that, after decades of congressional inaction and presidential timidity, comprehensive immigration reform finally has a solid chance to pass.More

Bilingual babies know their grammar by 7 months
University of British Columbia via Science Daily
Babies as young as 7 months can distinguish between, and begin to learn, two languages with vastly different grammatical structures, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and Université Paris Descartes.More

Tucson, Ariz., school desegregation consent decree OK'd
The Associated Press via Education Week
A federal court has approved a consent decree to resolve a decades-long battle to end racial disparity in the Tucson Unified School District. The U.S. District Court in Tucson on Wednesday approved the decree filed by the U.S. Department of Justice, together with private plaintiffs and Pima County's largest school district. The desegregation case originally was filed in 1974 with federal authorities intervening two years later.More

Looking to share your expertise?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of NABE eNews, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of NABE, your knowledge lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics and payment.More

New report continues the dialogue on testing integrity Blog (commentary)
Academic assessment plays an important role in making decisions about the education of our children. We — parents, educators and administrators — all depend on valid and reliable data. Yet a series of high-profile cheating incidents over the last several years has raised concerns about the integrity of those testing data. And even though every state has made an effort to prevent cheating, states haven't always had access to a library of test security strategies that are most likely to work.More

Study: Interventions help Latino students beat 'stereotype threat'
Education Week
Latino middle-school students whose academic performance may have been undermined by "stereotype threat" — an anxiety that can stem from being a member of a racial, ethnic or gender group associated with negative stereotypes — earned higher grades after participating in classroom assignments meant to help them feel more confident about themselves, a new study has found. Researchers from Stanford University and the University of California, Santa Barbara had a group of students, both Latino and white, participate in "values-affirmation" classroom assignments throughout the school year.More

Study: NCLB waiver weaken grad rate accountability
The Associated Press via ABC News
Many states granted waivers from the No Child Left Behind law are relaxing or ignoring federal regulations designed to hold schools accountable for the number of students who graduate from high school on time, according to a new study. When No Child Left Behind was signed into law in 2002, states used so many different ways to calculate graduation rates it was almost impossible to know how many students in the U.S. finished high school with a regular diploma in four years.More

Surge in immersion programs spreads
Star Tribune
Across Minnesota, language immersion programs are growing — and growing up. Demand to prepare students for a global job market and competition to attract students have doubled the number of immersion programs since 2006. Once limited to elementary schools, they're reflecting a national trend and spreading to middle schools and a handful of high schools.More

12 ways to help ESL and ELL students
The number of immigrant children in American schools is quite literally growing by the day. It's estimated that children of immigrants represent 25 percent of the K-12 population in the United States and that number has jumped dramatically in recent years. Between 1970 and 2000, the number of K-12 children who speak Spanish at home doubled from 3.5 to 7 million, while the number of children speaking Asian languages tripled from 0.5 to 1.5 million. These students will, almost certainly, struggle in English speaking classrooms. ExpertClick editors look at some important steps to take with ELL or ESL students in your classroom.More

Bilingual babies know their grammar by 7 months
University of British Columbia via Science Daily
Babies as young as 7 months can distinguish between, and begin to learn, two languages with vastly different grammatical structures, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and Université Paris Descartes.More

Language teaching — Bilingual v immersion programs
When we think about learning a language, we generally think about language taught as an add-on — like an ESL class for non-native English speakers or a class that is separate from academic content instruction. You learn German, Spanish or French in your language class, and knowledge and skills are taught in the native language. For example, math and history are taught in English here in the U.S. or in the native language in other countries. But this approach, bilingual education, has been controversial since 1960s and is all about effective strategies for teaching and learning language.More

Speaking multiple languages can influence children's emotional development
Medical Xpress
On the classic TV show "I Love Lucy," Ricky Ricardo was known for switching into rapid-fire Spanish whenever he was upset, despite the fact Lucy had no idea what her Cuban husband was saying. These scenes were comedy gold, but they also provided a relatable portrayal of the linguistic phenomenon of code-switching.More

Minnesota wants to boost funding for English language learning
Minnesota Public Radio
VideoBrief In hopes of boosting student achievement, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton wants to boost funding for the state's English language learning programs by about $4.5 million a year, a 12 percent increase over current levels. The governor's proposal is aimed at helping the 65,000 students in Minnesota for whom English is not a first language.More

Why confusion can be a good thing
We all know that confusion doesn't feel good. Because it seems like an obstacle to learning, we try to arrange educational experiences and training sessions so that learners will encounter as little confusion as possible. But as is so often the case when it comes to learning, our intuitions here are exactly wrong. Scientists have been building a body of evidence over the past few years demonstrating that confusion can lead us to learn more efficiently, more deeply, more lastingly — as long as it's properly managed.More

Latino coalition pushing for education equality
San Antonio Express-News
Members of the newly-formed Latino Coalition for Educational Equality recently descended on the Texas' Capitol to push for education reforms, including funding for low-income districts and more involvement by Latino experts in the legislative process.More

Superintendent lauded for approach to English language learners
Sometimes a woman goes along quietly doing her thing over the course of years without it ever really coming to the attention of the hometown establishment that something remarkable has occurred. Minneapolis' St. Paul Public Schools Superintendent Valeria Silva recently got some pretty cool ink for her 15-year-old campaign to overhaul the district's approach to its English language learners, who make up 45 percent of its students.More

'Simplified' brain lets the iCub robot learn language
INSERM via Science Daily
The iCub humanoid robot on which the team directed by Peter Ford Dominey, CNRS Director of Research at Inserm Unit 846* has been working for many years will now be able to understand what is being said to it and even anticipate the end of a sentence. This technological prowess was made possible by the development of a "simplified artificial brain" that reproduces certain types of so-called "recurrent" connections observed in the human brain. The artificial brain system enables the robot to learn, and subsequently understand, new sentences containing a new grammatical structure.More

WJU videogame wins international competition
The Selene videogame created by the CyGaMEs project at the Center for Educational Technologies at Wheeling Jesuit University has earned top honors in the games and apps category of the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.More