|NABE Weekly eNews|
|Jul. 18, 2013|
Dear NABE members:
The new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act will be voted on this week in the House of Representatives. Take action to preserve language education in our K-12 schools. The new version eliminates FLAP.
The Foreign Language Assistance Program, reauthorized under the Foreign Language Assistance Act of 2001 (P. L. 107-110, title V, 501), has provided Local Education Agencies — and State Education Agencies, competitive funding for more than 20 years, allowing districts and states to improve their foreign language curricula and expand foreign language offerings to our students.
Write to your representative to urge that FLAP be preserved.
Click here to see sample letter.
The NABE Executive BoardMore
ELL pre-service teacher training: MA/TESL and SOE partnership
By Mary Martha Savage
The growing numbers of ELLs in schools today is paramount to schools of education as they face the challenge of training future teachers. In already-packed programs, the task of incorporating state and federal requirements of cultural competency coursework is daunting. SOEs are charged to respond with authentic and responsive ELL instruction while at the same time maintaining timely graduation rates. Embedded in this challenge is the need for ELL expertise and culturally appropriate resources to provide authentic field experiences and placements.More
Is a Title I funding-formula fight on the horizon?
If a rewrite of the No Child Left Behind Act goes to the floor of the House, look for a hot policy debate over ... funding formulas. Advocates for rural schools, including the American Association of School Administrators and the Rural School and Community Trust, have long bemoaned the Title I funding formula, which they say shortchanges rural areas because it takes into account a district's population, and not just concentrations of poverty.More
Supporting English learners in the primary classroom
2013 Teaching Channel
Common Core Standards ask students to construct viable arguments and critique the reasoning of others in math; ask and answer questions about key details in a text; and participate in collaborative conversations about topics and texts. Students are expected to explain their thinking and build on others' talk in conversation. But what if your students don't speak English?More
Language program is a blooming success
In preparation for a visit to the Frelinghuysen Arboretum, the students in New Jersey's Westfield Public School's English language learners summer program learned the parts of a plant and the many different plant sizes, colors and textures. The in-class lesson concluded with a fun art project in which the students created paper flowers and sang a song about nature. The 10 participants in the federally funded three week summer program are entering first, second and third grade in Westfield in the fall and are from six different countries: Germany, Albania, Ukraine, China, Japan and Mexico.More
Set the bar high for English language learners
South Coast Today
English language learners present the New Bedford Public Schools District in Massachusetts with one of its biggest challenges. Some students enter the system in kindergarten, some in high school and plenty in between, and they all have a different skill level, advantage, challenge or circumstance.More
Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism
Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.More
Closing the vocabulary gap
One promise of public education is to level the playing field across the socioeconomic and ethnic spectrum. Unfortunately, the system is not fulfilling that promise. The achievement gap has been an issue for decades, and it's getting worse. More
Bilingual children have a 2-tracked mind
Ithaca College via Science Daily
Adults learning a foreign language often need flash cards, tapes, and practice, practice, practice. Children, on the other hand, seem to pick up their native language out of thin air. The learning process is even more remarkable when two languages are involved. In a study examining how bilingual children learn the two different sound systems of languages they are acquiring simultaneously, Ithaca College faculty member Skott Freedman has discovered insights that indicate children can learn two native languages as easily as they can learn one.More
Cutting to the Common Core: Decoding complex text
The adoption of the Common Core Standards by many states has brought the issue of complex texts to the forefront. The questions for teachers, administrators and teacher educators have become "How does one revise the curriculum so that complex texts are included as a part of everyday school life?" and "How does one teach students to interact with complex texts, particularly those who are struggling readers?" These questions are intensified for English learners, who now make up 21 percent or more of the public school population, depending on the region or school district.More
Can new panel help save English language learner program?
Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada needs another education panel about as much as it needs another wildfire. The state's flow chart of school commissions and councils, and how they interact with one another, looks like something out of a Sunday "Dilbert" comic strip. Obviously, this bureaucratic maze hasn't served Nevada students especially well. Yet some advocates of school reform are betting that a new board can help turn around Nevada's dismal K-12 English language learner achievement.More
Set the bar high for English language learners
South Coast Today
English language learners present the New Bedford Public Schools District in Massachusetts with one of its biggest challenges. Some students enter the system in kindergarten, some in high school and plenty in between, and they all have a different skill level, advantage, challenge or circumstance. Superintendent Pia Durkin notes that the Attleboro system she just left for New Bedford had more languages to deal with, but New Bedford's size assures that the level of complexity in helping ELL students succeed is comparable.More
Department of Education panel says test consortia need sharper focus on accessibility
A technical review panel set up by the U.S. Department of Education is urging both Common Core assessment consortia to pay better attention to ensuring that their tests are accessible to students with disabilities and those whose native language is not English. That is one of the more stern outcomes of the panel's first appraisal of the work so far of PARCC and Smarter Balanced. The review panel, created in March, issued its reports on July 3. You can read them on a special page of the department's website.More