NABE Weekly eNews
Jul. 31, 2014

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For schools with child immigrants, what resources are available?
Education Week
While the Obama administration takes action to stem the flow of unaccompanied minors across the Southwest border and contain the mounting political blowback, many of these children have already turned up in public schools and will continue to do so in the months ahead. Under federal law, they are entitled to a free public education regardless of their immigration status. Just two months ago, the U.S. Department of Education reminded school districts of their legal obligations when it comes to undocumented students.More

Tips for focusing ELL student presentations
By: Eva Sullivan
Fear of public speaking is one of the most common phobias in the United States. Imagine how much more difficult it is when English is not your first language. Besides breathing exercises, the best tip for overcoming stage fright is to focus on the material being presented and the purpose of the presentation. For English language learners, it is also helpful to focus on the oral language that will be used during the presentation. This guide should help your students avoid some of the most obvious pitfalls when making presentations to the class.More

Cutting to the Common Core: The positive side of the digital divide
Language Magazine
Why use digital text? Imagine this challenge: Mr. Reed's class of 30 students includes a mix of learners with diverse abilities and needs. Some students are reading at grade level, those reading above grade level want to be challenged, the struggling readers need help with vocabulary and comprehension, and the English language learners have trouble connecting their first language and knowledge to the new concepts presented in the class. In addition, four students have identified learning disabilities. How can one dedicated teacher differentiate and personalize instruction in ways that help every student to succeed?More

Language delay likely due more to nature than nurture
Medical News Today
A study of 473 sets of twins followed since birth found that compared to single-born children, 47 percent of 24-month-old identical twins had language delay compared to 31 percent of non-identical twins. Overall, twins had twice the rate of late language emergence of single-born children. None of the children had disabilities affecting language acquisition. The results of the study were published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research.More

Breaking language and digital barriers in bilingual education
eSchool News
Taking a foreign language class can help when ordering a French crepe or finding the nearest bathroom, but it can only get a student so far in a globalized world. As the internet connects people across the world and as the United States continues to diversify, it is becoming more necessary to know multiple languages well. To do this, many are not only turning to foreign language classes, but they also are finding opportunities for immersion. Perhaps this is why there are more than 6 million bilingual learners now in public schools.More

For schools with child immigrants, what resources are available?
Education Week
While the Obama administration takes action to stem the flow of unaccompanied minors across the Southwest border and contain the mounting political blowback, many of these children have already turned up in public schools and will continue to do so in the months ahead. More

Camp helps Arkansas students practice bilingual skills
Northwest Arkansas Times
Thirty-two students in the Springdale School District of Arkansas are attending the Sin Limites camp at J.O. Kelly Middle School, said Cassandra Satterfield, a camp volunteer.More

Retirees help international students with English
The Associated Press via Zanesville Times Recorder
International students at a southwest Ohio college are getting help with conversational English from retirees. A Wright State University initiative called Conversation Partners matches retired faculty, staff and spouses with students seeking extra practice to improve their English.More

Bilingual education could make a comeback
EdSource Today
After nearly two decades, bilingual education in California could stage a resurgence if the state Senate approves a bill in August that would put the issue on the ballot in November 2016. Since the passage of Proposition 227 in 1998, schools have been banned from offering classes taught in a language other than English without express permission from parents, among other requirements. The initiative, which passed with 61 percent of the vote, overhauled a system where the default assignment for English learners was a class taught in their native language.More

How my students learned English by making movie shorts
Lourdes Lopez had a conversation with her mother that she had never had before. The focus of that conversation was not the young woman's immigration struggles or even her undocumented status. The conversation was about her mother's opinion of Lourdes' level of English. The sixteen-year old Honduran was surprised when her mother said that she thought that now, after six years in the United States, Lourdes' English should be better. The comment surprised and insulted the rambunctious but thoughtful teen. She was a good student but lacked the confidence to speak her mind outside of the EL classroom.More

Some states without NCLB waivers say they dodged a bullet
Education Week
When President Barack Obama first offered states flexibility from mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act back in 2011, nearly every state jumped at the opportunity. (Forty-two states and the District of Columbia now have waivers. Washington state lost its flexibility earlier this year. That leaves seven waiverless states total.) But almost three years later, at least one state, Utah, is thinking of voluntarily ditching its waiver. And officials in at least three other waiverless states say they don't feel they're missing out on much, even though they're stuck operating under the much-maligned, outdated NCLB law.More

English language learners in Vermont schools
Vermont Public Radio
If you had to take a standardized test right now, how do you think you would score? Now imagine that test is in a language you can barely read. Since the English language dominates our educational system, a gap in English language ability is often equated with a gap in intelligence. We talk to Shawna Shapiro, assistant Professor of Writing & Linguistics at Middlebury College, and Susan Blethen, an ELL teacher at Burlington High School, about the challenges facing English language learners and what some educators are doing to bridge the gap.More

The ABCs of English learning students
Voice of San Diego
Parents at Hoover High in California don't care why the only teacher at the school assigned specifically to help English learners is going away next year. They care about the impact: They don't want their kids to be mediocre. Hoover's new principal, Joe Austin, had only been on the job a couple of months when he learned about the district's plan to save money. Instead of hiring new teachers to replace those who left or retired, superintendent Cindy Marten made a last-minute call to move support teachers out of supplementary positions, and make lead classroom teachers out of them.More

Feds back English learner lawsuit against state
The Hechinger Report
The American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California has found an ally in the U.S. Department of Justice for its lawsuit charging that the state abdicated its obligation to ensure all students classified as English learners get extra instructional services to become fluent in English. The lawsuit, filed in April 2013, is set for a one-day trial in Los Angeles County Superior Court.More