NABE Weekly eNews
Jul. 11, 2013

Reports: ELLs need more attention in common assessment groups
Education Week
The two groups of states working to design new common assessments need to devote more time and attention to English language learners and students with disabilities, conclude new reviews from the U.S. Department of Education. In its first-ever technical reviews of the test-development efforts underway by two state consortia — the Partnership for the Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC, and Smarter Balanced — the federal education department is calling for both groups to focus more sharply on developing test items that all students, including those who are still learning English, can fully access regardless of their level of language proficiency.More

Improving ELL struggles — verbal acquisition of the past tense -ed following diphthongs in verbs: Part II
By Beth Crumpler
We are continuing the discussion from the article published two weeks ago, “Struggling with the past tense: Verbal acquisition of -ed forms of verbs.” In this second part of the three-part series, we are addressing verbal fluency of past tense –ed following the combined vowel sounds of diphthongs. Use of –ed after vowels requires a separate more lengthy discussion because there are many vowel sounds in the English Language. The important thing to teach students to remember is that diphthongs are vowel sounds in one syllable. If students can remember that diphthongs at the end of verbs are vowel sounds, then they can easily remember to add the –ed. More

Spanish and English: 1 preschool succeeds in 2 languages
Twin Cities Daily Planet
As more and more evidence piles up about the importance of kids getting a head start to their education before kindergarten, the spotlight is on what preschool programs can offer students. Joyce Dual Immersion Preschool in Minneapolis offers not only the basics kids need to enter kindergarten, but an added focus on language, with a program aimed at supporting both Spanish-speaking and English-speaking children. Joyce has national certification and a four-star rating from Parent Aware. More

New California school funding formula gives more money to help low-income, ESL students
The Huffington Post
After several decades without any major changes, the way California funds its schools is being completely revamped. Gov. Jerry Brown signed several new bills into law that will allocate more money to help disadvantaged students and give districts more control over how their money is distributed, according to the Associated Press. The bills replace California's previous school-funding system, which California Newswire describes as "overly complex, inefficient and inequitable."More

Biliteracy would get federal boost in proposed legislation
Education Week
States seeking to grant special recognition to their multilingual high school graduates would get a big boost from the federal government under new legislation introduced by a California congresswoman. U.S. Rep. Julia Brownley, a Democrat, introduced the Biliteracy Education Seal and Teaching Act late last month, a measure that would create grants in the U.S. Department of Education to help states that want to establish "seal of biliteracy" programs that support and recognize students who demonstrate proficiency in English and at least one other language.More

Biliteracy would get federal boost in proposed legislation
Education Week
States seeking to grant special recognition to their multilingual high school graduates would get a big boost from the federal government under new legislation introduced by a California congresswoman. More

English language learners: Public school's forgotten kids
Take Part
High school graduation rates across the country are at a 40-year high, with 75 percent of students making it to the finish line. Between 2000 and 2010, 46 states saw substantial gains.More

How bilinguals switch between languages
Science Daily
Individuals who learn two languages at an early age seem to switch back and forth between separate "sound systems" for each language, according to new research conducted at the University of Arizona. More

Your primary school language reveals if you move away or stay behind
University of Copenhagen via Science Daily
The way you speak in primary school reveals if you will stay behind in your native part of the country or head for the big city to get an education. This is one of the conclusions in University of Copenhagen linguist Malene Monka's new PhD thesis. "My research shows that young people, who end up moving away from their native area to seek an education and career elsewhere, change the way they speak already in their early youth. They speak less dialect than comparable peers at the same age," Malene Monka from LANCHART at University of Copenhagen explains.More

Teaching to the letter of the law
Language Magazine
Ms. Johnson, a well-regarded and experienced fifth-grade teacher at Central Elementary School, has two new students with very limited English language skills. Despite Johnson's experience teaching children with various abilities, this is her first year teaching Spanish children. The school does not have a permanent English as a second language teacher, so Johnson decides to consult with her colleague. "I really want to help these children and they seem so eager to learn, but they don't speak enough English to participate in the class activities."More

Education reform movement learns lesson from old standards
Common Core — the new set of national education standards in math and English language arts — will take effect in most states next year. This move toward a single set of standards has been embraced by a bipartisan crowd of politicians and educators largely because of what the Common Core standards are replacing: a mess. In years past, the education landscape was a discord of state standards. A fourth grader in Arkansas could have appeared proficient in reading by his state's standards — but, by the standards of another state, say Massachusetts, not even close.More

School touts progress among English language learners
Daily Herald
Illinois' Palatine Township Elementary District 15 officials have reason to believe their approach to English language learners is working. A recent report shows more students are eligible to "exit" their second-language program in 2013 compared to the previous two years. The exit criteria is set by the Illinois State Board of Education, which requires certain composite and literacy scores on the ACCESS test, which measures English language proficiency.More

Study: Kids learn vocabulary from parents' actions, not words
Psychology Today
How do you make sure your child learns the vocabulary that's such an astoundingly good predictor of later success? As a parent, you talk to you child, right? A study from the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Chicago published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that it's quality and not quantity of speech that counts. If your speech matches your actions and the surrounding context, kids learn your words — if not, it's just talk. And this study shows that empty talk is cheap.More

New English Language Learning money, not much change
Las Vegas Review-Journal
English language learning, long the heaviest anchor on achievement and graduation rates in Nevada's public schools, has a higher political profile and higher funding levels than ever before. But will more attention and more money make a difference if schools don't change the way they teach kids who speak another language at home?More