NABE Weekly eNews
May. 9, 2013

In loving memory: Norma Evelyn Hernandez-Delcid
NABE
Norma Evelyn Hernandez-DelcidOur dearest friend, Dr. Norma Hernandez del Cid, passed away on Monday, May 6, 2013 at the age of 66. Our deepest condolences go out to her husband Ulises del Cid, family, colleagues, and friends. Norma Evelyn Hernandez- Native of Caguas, Puerto Rico, and resident of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is survived by her husband of 5 years, Ulises C. Delcid; two daughters and sons-in-law, Michelle and David Reeb, and Nory and Dale Cain; two sisters, Mildred Girona and Nina Zambrana; one brother, Luis Hernandez; and 6 grandchildren, Selina and Tristen Cain, and Gabriella, Daniella, Alexandra, and Thomas Reeb. She is preceded in death by her parents Luis E. Hernandez Batista and Norma Hernandez Rojas.More

Report: English learners need more philanthrophic investment
Education Week
English learners are the fastest-growing subgroup of students in public schools and will likely be so for the next decade, but education philanthropy dollars targeted toward the unique needs of these students haven't kept pace, a new report says. The Portland, Ore.-based Grantmakers for Education, a membership organization for public and private education-related philanthropies, has just published an analysis of the current state of grantmaking meant to improve educational outcomes for English learners. The main finding: The level of investment in ELLs is "relatively small" and "small in comparison to the magnitude of this population and the depth of educational need."More

School tries more English earlier for bilingual students
Aurora Deacon News
Diane Argueta, East Aurora School District's director of bilingual services in Illinois, stood at the head of the Gates Elementary cafeteria pointing at a slide on a projector that outlined the objectives of the district's bilingual education program. About 50 Spanish-speaking parents, many of whom brought their young children, sat at cafeteria tables watching intently as Argueta reviewed the goals: teach children how to speak, read and write fluently in English and help them meet or exceed academic standards on state exams.More

3's a charm for teaching Chinese through blended learning
District Administration Magazine
At Dublin, Ohio, city schools, Chinese teacher Dun Zhang teaches class in three different high school buildings — at the same time. With a shrinking budget and a desire to keep the foreign language program, the district moved to a blended model this year, with a combination of in-person, online and video conference classes, to save money while reaching as many students as possible. Keeping the course without having to hire more teachers saved the district money, says Tracey Miller, director of secondary education at Dublin City Schools. Next year, Zhang will also teach blended Chinese II.More

Arizona school board to wade into English-immersion program fight
Tucson Sentinel
Vince Yanez understands what the Arizona Board of Education could be getting in to this year when it begins a "systematic review" of the state's English language learner program. "Since the models had been created, there have been very strong opinions on both sides," said Yanez, the board's executive director. "The models" he is referring to are Structured English Immersion, a state-mandated program that puts non-English-speaking students into English class for four hours a day.More

Hispanics now largest ethnic group in Texas' public schools
The Dallas Morning News
Hispanics have passed whites as the largest ethnic group in Texas schools, making up almost 51 percent of public school enrollment. More

Immersion schools get strategic about foreign language education
Fox News Latino
Language immersion schools in the U.S. have come a long way. They have grown in numbers and scope in a relatively short period of time. In 2007, there were a little more than 250 schools in the country. More

Defining an English language learner: Can states agree?
Education Week
Who is an English language learner? Across 50 states and tens of thousands of school districts, answers to that fundamental question can be quite different.More

A new role for avatars: Learning languages
MindShift
Most experts agree that the best way to learn a language is by immersing yourself in it. Now, with more sophisticated technology, another theory around language learning is being tested: the use of avatars to practice speaking. Alongside traditional methods, like listening, repeating and digital flashcards, created by companies like Rosetta Stone, Livemocha and AccelaStudy, a few tech companies have leveraged the idea that becoming someone else helps to learn a foreign language, especially when speaking it.More

English language learners, Common Core and literacy
Education Week
Two prominent language-acquisition scholars will be my guests in an edweek.org webinar that will focus on helping educators prepare for teaching the Common Core State Standards to English language learners. Kenji Hakuta, a Stanford University education professor, and George C. Bunch, an associate education professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, will present on how the new English/language arts and literacy standards can be fully accessed by all English learners, regardless of their proficiency levels.More

Ideas for English language learners — Celebrating the end of the school year
The New York Times
School calendars are different across the nation, so while classes may be in session for another two months where you teach, in another district, it's time for prom, awards season and commencement. Below are some ideas for reflecting on the school year that can be adapted to wherever you are in the semester, and for students of any age and with any level of English proficiency.More

Hispanics now largest ethnic group in Texas' public schools
The Dallas Morning News
Hispanics have passed whites as the largest ethnic group in Texas schools, making up almost 51 percent of public school enrollment. The influx of Hispanic students, many from poor families, has brought about many changes in classrooms, with more expected as that population continues to grow. Some schools already struggle with how to teach an increasing number of poor children who don't speak English. Others are preparing for a day when their enrollment primarily is made up of low-income students, most of them Hispanic.More

Foreign language graduation requirements lag in Colorado
EdNews Colorado
On a recent school day, the sixth-graders in Natalie Lin's intro to Mandarin class at the Denver Center for International Studies went into drill mode. The group of students who could most quickly — and accurately — write out Chinese characters on pint-sized white boards were rewarded with White Rabbits, chewy vanilla-flavored candies wrapped in edible rice paper. Among other things, the 17 students in this class — most of whom already speak English and Spanish — were learning how to remember what the characters look like. The character for "little brother," for instance, resembles two parents, a sidewalk and a little boy running around like crazy and falling down, student Andre Munoz said.More

Wausau, Wis., schools deal with minority achievement gap
Wausau Daily Herald
Minority students overall lag significantly behind their white peers in the Wausau School District in Wisconsin, reflecting the racial achievement gap that affects students across the state. But Wausau minority students in general outperform minority students from across the state, and in some isolated cases, outpace white counterparts, according to the results of the standardized tests given through the Wisconsin Student Assessment System. Those results were released by the state's Department of Public Instruction in late April.More