NABE Weekly eNews
Mar. 20, 2014

Study: Bilingual kids more comfortable with native accent
The Malay Mail Online
A small new study shows bilingual children prefer people who speak with a native accent, much like monolingual children. Announced from Concordia University, the study was published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology and builds on previous research that had similar findings. The study was conducted by psychology professors Krista Byers-Heinlein and Diane Poulin-Dubois, who analyzed 44 Montreal-area children between the ages of 5 and 6.More

A need for funding for English language programs in Buffalo, NY, schools
If the State Legislature approves the Assembly's budget increase for education aid, it could mean more funding for Buffalo Public Schools. Assemblyman Sean Ryan of Buffalo urges lawmakers to approve the increase to help schools that have a high population of non-English-speaking students — like Lafayette High School.More

Learned helplessness in the classroom
By: Erick Herrmann
In an educational setting, students may feel that any effort is fruitless, as they do not understand the content, and so refuse to make any effort whatsoever. Learned helplessness may also result from low expectations of students, and students not being held accountable in the classroom to engage in academic tasks or activities. When considering how to avoid or help students overcome learned helplessness, it is important to remember that success builds success and failure builds failure. The more students have already failed, the more successes they will need to have to overcome the failures.More

Are bilingual kids more accepting of others?
Obviously, raising a bilingual child has several advantages. But does learning a second language help a child be more open-minded? New research from Concordia University shows that, like monolingual children, bilingual children prefer to interact with those who speak their mother tongue with a native accent rather than with peers with a foreign accent.More

New Auburn, Wis., student breaking down language barriers
The Chippewa Herald
When Yao Ping Wang took the ACT exam this past year, he came in at the average score for Wisconsin's college-ready students. Quite an accomplishment, considering he was only fluent in one language, Mandarin Chinese, when he came to this country as a 16-year-old less than two years ago. China-born and shy by nature, Yao (pronounced Yo) Ping — a senior at New Auburn High School — wants to go to college, and he knew that one of his many hurdles would be passing the ACT. After all, he hasn't had time to learn how to fully form sentences in English. So to help him prepare, math teacher Samantha Falkner taught him to look for key words that would help him understand the questions.More

International students boost US enrollment
District Administration Magazine
Districts hurting financially are recruiting tuition-paying foreign students to increase enrollment and diversity. The number of international high school students coming to the United States with an F-1 education visa increased to nearly 65,500 in 2012, up from 6,500 in 2007, according to federal data. Of those, only 2,788 attended public schools, while the rest went to private institutions. More and more international students are coming to U.S. public schools to master their English skills and increase their chances of admission to an American university, says Chris Page, executive director of the Council on Standards for International Education Travel, a nonprofit that offers leadership and support for schools participating in international exchange.More

Bill Gates comes to the defense of the Common Core
The Huffington Post
Bill Gates is rallying teachers to support an embattled cause, the Common Core State Standards. At a speech in Washington, D.C., the Microsoft co-founder is lending his voice to save the standards. According to prepared remarks provided to The Huffington Post, Gates told educators at the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards' Teaching and Learning Conference that the Common Core is the key to creativity for teachers. He also charged that the controversy around the Core "comes from people who want to stop the standards, which would send us back to what we had before."More

Sound trumps meaning in first language learning
Linguistic Society of America via Science Daily
A new study reveals that 4- to 7-year-old children rely on the sounds of new nouns more than on their meaning when assigning them to noun classes, even though the meaning is more predictive of noun class in the adult language. This finding reveals that children's sensitivity to their linguistic environment does not line up with objective measures of informativity, highlighting the active role that children play in selecting the data from which they learn language.More

A need for funding for English language programs in Buffalo, NY, schools
If the State Legislature approves the Assembly's budget increase for education aid, it could mean more funding for Buffalo Public Schools. 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

Study: San Francisco's bilingual programs as effective as English only
Education Week
By the time they reach fifth grade, English language learners in San Francisco's public schools were equally proficient in English regardless of whether they had been in a bilingual program or had received all their instruction in English, a recent study from Stanford University researchers has found. Though ELLs who were in bilingual education programs in San Francisco lagged in the earlier grades, they also scored similarly on the state's academic tests and had virtually the same rates of reclassification to English-fluent status by 5th grade as their ELL peers who were in the district's English-immersion program.More

Will classroom technology help English language learners?
Thanks to the adoption of Common Core, the push for more tech-centered classrooms is now getting a boost. Many states are already using Common Core curriculum. Now many districts are preparing to begin the related computer-based assessments — and for that they are buying new devices and increasing their online connectivity. Pilar Carmina Gonzalez is a researcher for the Education Development Center. A leading expert on children and technology and a former ESL teacher, she says technology will open new avenues of learning for English language learners.More

The language of science
Ag Weekly
A new teacher can begin his or her career with seemingly boundless enthusiasm and drive. But this teacher then faces the realities of managing a classroom and dealing with the high stakes of testing. Now imagine teaching science to students whose first language is not English. For many teachers, this experience is increasingly the norm. Nearly 10 percent of all K-12 students spoke a first language other than English, according to the 2012-2013 Oregon Statewide Report Card. This statistic is similar nationwide. Although Oregon has made some progress in hiring and retaining more racially and ethnically diverse teachers, this has not matched the pace of the growing diversity of Oregon's students, the same report card shows.More