NABE Weekly eNews
Aug. 29, 2013

Help or hindrance? Use of native language in the English classroom
By Erick Herrmann
The population of English learners is the U.S. has grown significantly over the past two decades, increasing by approximately 81 percent since 1990. This represents 25.3 million individuals, born abroad and in the United States, who are still developing English proficiency. In U.S. schools, teachers are faced with the challenge of teaching students both academic content and English at a variety of English proficiency levels, from beginners to fluent English speakers. The practice of allowing students to speak other languages in U.S. classrooms for or during instruction has been a controversial subject.More

Cutting to the Common Core: Making vocabulary No. 1
Language Magazine
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) call upon students to tackle increasingly complex informational and narrative texts and articulate their comprehension using academic register. Beyond the primary grades, developing readers must digest detailed concept- and data-driven passages and extract essential content in order to respond to text-dependent questions. Whether countering an argument during a formal class debate or crafting an evidence-based constructed written response, students must adeptly draw from sources using advanced syntax, precise vocabulary, and accurate grammar.More

Win a trip to Hawaii for two!
We are excited to announce the new ratings and reviews feature on the Bilingual Education Marketplace. Now you have the opportunity to share your experiences with a company's products or services with your peers in the industry. Please visit the Bilingual Education Marketplace, search by company name and write a review to be entered for a chance to win airfare and seven nights at a luxury resort in Hawaii!More

ESL teachers and Common Core: What's their role?
Education Week
In most discussions about English language learners and the common core, you will hear or read some version of this statement: Teaching literacy and supporting English-language acquisition will no longer be the sole province of English as a second language teachers. But what about the flip side of that statement? What new and changing roles must ESL teachers embrace in the common core era? There are nearly 50,000 ESL teachers working in the nation's public schools, and they are on the front lines of ensuring that English learners, who are the fastest growing student subgroup, learn the language.More

America's kids need a better education law Blog
The Secretary of Education Arne Duncan writes: "The nation's most sweeping education law — the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, better known as No Child Left Behind — is outmoded and broken. Congress has gone home for its summer recess without passing a responsible replacement. That's too bad. America deserves a better law. At the heart of No Child Left Behind is a promise: to set a high bar for all students and to protect the most vulnerable. Success in that effort will be measured in the opportunities for our nation's children, in a time when a solid education is the surest path to a middle-class life. Tight global economic competition means that jobs will go where the skills are. Raising student performance could not be more urgent."More

ESL teachers and Common Core: What's their role?
Education Week
In most discussions about English language learners and the common core, you will hear or read some version of this statement: Teaching literacy and supporting English-language acquisition will no longer be the sole province of English as a second language teachers. But what about the flip side of that statement?More

Languages other than English used in more U.S. homes, data show
Los Angeles Times
In California and across the country, more people are speaking Spanish, Korean or a slew of other languages besides English at home — a phenomenon that has historically set off heated debate about how immigrants will assimilate into American life.More

Closing the vocabulary gap
Language Magazine
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

More teachers need training for English language learners
The Sun Chronicle
When school resumes for thousands of public school students next week, children won't be the only ones reporting to class. Almost 100 Attleboro and North Attleboro teachers, and dozens more in other districts, will be going to school in their spare time to earn a special credential in teaching non-English-speaking students. Core teachers in elementary and secondary schools are required to obtain the training as part of the state's RETELL initiative (for Rethinking Equity and Teaching for English Language Learners). Classes will be held outside of normal school hours and will be paid for by the state.More

Easing young students into English
Reading Eagle Press
Paula Florez entered Reading's 13th & Union Elementary School to start her first day of first grade. Sarah Steiner, an English language learner resource teacher for the school, greeted the 6-year-old girl in the office with wide eyes and a bright smile. "Come on, girlfriend," Steiner said as she led Paula by the hand to her second-floor classroom. "Let's go." Earlier that morning, Paula had visited the Reading Opportunity Center for Children to test her English skills. She is one of 180 ELL students in the school.More

Immersed in language and culture
The Herald Bulletin
Even when you have a good foundation for a foreign language, you're going to be a bit lost when you first visit the country. The natives speak faster and "you're just unprepared for that when you get there," Pendleton Heights High School senior Beau McGinnis said. But a few days into their June trip to Germany, McGinnis, fellow senior Ryan Reske and sophomores Jacqueline Horine and Sara Spurgeon could understand and communicate with their host families.More

Report: Gaps between Rhode Island's Latino and white students' achievement are among worst in nation
Providence Journal
Rhode Island's English language learners are facing a crisis. They have some of the lowest scores in the country, and they face some of the nation's largest achievement gaps, according to a study by the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. "We're not a special population anymore," said Latino Policy Institute director Anna Cano Morales. In Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls, "we are the population." Latinos are the fastest-growing demographic group in Rhode Island, and they are responsible for all of the state's population growth between 2000 and 2010. The state proportionally has the 13th-largest Latino population in the nation.More

New Zoom Schools target English language learners
More than 300,000 students will head back to the classroom in Clark County, Nev., and thousands of them don't speak English. Some teachers say that's preventing them from succeeding. School district leaders hope to reach these children through a new initiative called "Zoom Schools," putting extra funding where kids are struggling the most. New CCSD Superintendent Pat Skorkowsky gathered hundreds of teachers from the newly designated schools Friday morning.More

Study: Language can reveal the invisible
University of Wisconsin-Madison via Science Daily
It is natural to imagine that the sense of sight takes in the world as it is — simply passing on what the eyes collect from light reflected by the objects around us. But the eyes do not work alone. What we see is a function not only of incoming visual information, but also how that information is interpreted in light of other visual experiences, and may even be influenced by language.More

Report: Public fuzzy on Common Core State Standards
eSchool News
At a time when most U.S. public schools are implementing the Common Core State Standards, a new report finds that Americans don't know what the Common Core State Standards are, and that they say more testing is not going to help students. These are just some of the findings of the 45th annual PDK/Gallup Poll on the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools — the longest-running survey of American attitudes toward education, providing an extensive repository of data.More

Sequestration nation: Back to school with budget cuts
As children begin to head back to school for the 2013-2014 school year, many could find larger class sizes, less staff, and fewer upgrades to things like computers or textbooks when they arrive. That's because the coming school year will be the first in which sequestration will make itself felt in all of the public school districts across the country. The first schools to feel the impact were those on or near military bases and Native American reservations who receive Impact Aid to make up for lower tax revenues. Head Start programs also had to start reducing the number of slots available to low-income preschoolers. But now cuts to all federal funding for education, including money that goes to special education, programs for English language learners, low-income students, teachers' professional development and many others will start to hit.More

Bilingual education: What does it mean for Austin, Texas' Spanish speakers?
KUT News
Nearly a third of all AISD students — about 25,000 — are so-called English learning students, a 35 percent increase over the last five years. Despite programs aimed at encouraging high English proficiency, the district still finds low academic performance among Hispanic students. But with the need for qualified bilingual workers and a Hispanic population that is on track to become the majority in Texas by 2040, some wonder what the future of bilingual education means for students in Austin.More