NABE Weekly eNews
Sep. 12, 2013

Dear NABE members,
NABE
One of the premier benefits that NABE members receive is the highly prized PERSPECTIVES, The magazine of the National Association for Bilingual Education. The magazine is editor reviewed, and it includes articles especially designed for bilingual educators and provides cutting edge information on exemplary dual language, multicultural and biliteracy programs. It also deals with public policy issues, research developments, best instructional practices, and other valuable information affecting administrators and educators who work with English language learnersMore

43rd Annual NABE Conference — Feb. 12-15
NABE
Sailing into the 21st Century: Multiple Languages. Multiple Paths. Lifelong Advantages.

Click here to view the complete flyer. More

What the hell is water? The importance of context
By Andy Curtis
Author David Foster Wallace's story of fish not realizing they are in water illustrates so eloquently — in just 50 words or so — that when we're in something all the time, we don't notice what we're in. Or, if we did notice it at some point in the past, we stopped noticing it some time ago. Wallace went on to explain that "the immediate point of the fish story is that the most obvious, ubiquitous, important realities are often the ones that are the hardest to see and talk about." Why is that?More

Bilingual speakers develop mental flexibility
Psych Central
Researchers are learning that the benefits of being bilingual extend well beyond enhanced communication capabilities. Penn State researchers discovered that as bilingual speakers learn to switch languages seamlessly, they develop a higher level of mental flexibility. "In the past, bilinguals were looked down upon," said Judith F. Kroll, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics and Women's Studies.More

Learning new language has significant impact on brain structure
Science World Report
The age at which children learn a new language can have a significant impact on the adult brain structure, suggests a new finding. It has been suggested before by experts that a great way to make one's brain healthier is by learning a new language. Second language boosts brain power. A previous study conducted by researchers at Lund University showed that learning a new language actually makes parts of the brain grow. According to a new joint study, learning a new language alters brain development. More

English language learners in Hillsboro, Ore., perform below federal, state standards
The Oregonian
Each year, the federal government expects more and more English language learners in public schools to demonstrate proficiency in English. But the number of such students who met federal targets in Hillsboro, Ore., schools has fallen. Data released by the Oregon Department of Education Thursday morning shows that school districts across the state are not just struggling to meet federal English proficiency targets that get tougher every year; the percentage of students meeting the standards is actually decreasing. And Hillsboro's English language learners perform well under state averages.More

Hispanic, English language learners making gains
The Watch
Colorado test results revealed Hispanic students in Montrose and Olathe schools are narrowing the achievement gap with their white counterparts, and that proficiency ratings among English language learners and those on government lunch programs are on the rise. More

Learning a new language alters brain development
McGill University via Science Daily
The age at which children learn a second language can have a significant bearing on the structure of their adult brain, according to a new joint study by the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital — The Neuro at McGill University and Oxford University. More

Review: For young ELLs, learning in 2 languages best
Education Week
Instruction in English and in a child's home language in the preschool and early elementary years leads to the best outcomes for the youngest dual-language learners, both in terms of academic-content achievement and as English-language proficiency, a new research review and policy brief concludes.More

Education department seeks feedback on supporting English learners
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education is looking for guidance on how it can provide better technical support and services to local educators and state education officials responsible for English language learners. That request was published in the Federal Register. Respondents have until Sept. 25 to provide their feedback. The Education Department seems to want to improve its services to the ELL community on two fronts: Title III technical assistance to state and local education agencies and the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, or NCELA.More

National effort underway to streamline English language learning guidelines
The Gainesville Times
With identifying and classifying English language learners traditionally left up to states and individual school systems, a new movement is pushing to nationalize those standards. That general push for one set of guidelines is comparable to states joining Common Core, a national set of standards that the majority of states have adopted. Georgia currently belongs to a 33-state consortium called the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium.More

District falters on English language learning
Statesman Journal
Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon continues to stumble on three measures of how well it helps non-native speakers learn English, according to a state report on English language learners released. The percent of students who made one year's worth of progress dropped 2 percent after a 1-point drop the year before. Students who learned enough academic English to exit the program last year remained steady.More

Spanish to grow quieter in Irving, Texas, ISD bilingual classes
The Dallas Morning News
With 40 percent of its students still learning English, Spanish is as big as the ABCs in Irving ISD. For years, the district followed a philosophy that children learn English best when they practice it along with their native tongue. As its Hispanic population boomed, teachers and students alike spoke more Spanish in the classroom. More

Will new Common Core Standards mean less teaching to the test?
NPR
One of the big questions as Florida and 44 other states transition to new education standards and new tests over the next few years is how much time will teachers have to spend teaching to the test? Teachers complain that they can only spend classroom time on items which will appear on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. In addition, another complaint is that class time is used to teach kids how to take a test rather than imparting more important knowledge.More

States may move closer to uniform way of identifying ELLs
Education Week
The widespread adoption of the Common Core Standards and the imminent rollout of shared content assessments is pushing states to find common ground in yet another dimension of schooling: how best to serve the growing population of English language learners. With a just-released set of recommendations from the Council of Chief State School Officers to help guide them, most states are now set to embark on an effort to bring more uniformity to identifying who English learners are and when those students are no longer in need of language instruction. The goal is to move all states to a more consistent playing field over the next four or five years.More

Hispanic, English language learners making gains
The Watch
Colorado test results revealed Hispanic students in Montrose and Olathe schools are narrowing the achievement gap with their white counterparts, and that proficiency ratings among English language learners and those on government lunch programs are on the rise. More Hispanic children are reaching proficiency on statewide exams, a measurable sign of progress, with the Hispanic population now comprising 38 percent of the Montrose County student population. Statewide, 32 percent of Colorado's students are Hispanic.More