NABE Weekly eNews
Sep. 19, 2013

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

A recipe for ELL student success
Language Magazine
As schools face the reality of the Common Core State Standards, assumptions about the effect they will have on struggling students is a prominent part of the conversation. The standards are meant to be achievement benchmarks that raise the bar for all students and provide guidance through the grade levels for the development of key learning goals.More

Career dual-language educator named head of Federal ELL office
Education Week
A veteran bilingual and dual-language educator and former district superintendent has been tapped by the U.S. Department of Education to head up its Office of English Language Acquisition. Libia Gil, who currently serves as a vice president for the Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning, or CASEL, in Chicago, has been named as an assistant deputy secretary and director of OELA. The OELA job has been filled on an interim basis for nearly a year since Rosalinda Barrera resigned last October.More

Bilingual speakers develop mental flexibility
PsychCentral
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, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics and Women's Studies.More

Science, brains and learning languages
Getting Smart
We've known for several decades that there is a critical period for learning language: children are more likely to reach native (or native-like) fluency in language(s) that they learn before age 5. (The exact age and importance of this window is not written in stone.) The good news is that the benefits of learning a language do not disappear after age 5. A recent deluge of studies point to interesting and encouraging links between learning languages and the brain.More

Think twice, speak once: Bilinguals process both languages
Penn State via Science Daily
Bilingual speakers can switch languages seamlessly, likely developing a higher level of mental flexibility than monolinguals, according to Penn State linguistic researchers. "In the past, bilinguals were looked down upon," said Judith F. Kroll, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics and Women's Studies. 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

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

Ideas for implementing literacy Common Core in the non-ELA classroom
Edutopia
For those of us who work in states where the Common Core is already being implemented, we all must address the Common Core Standards, even if we are not English language arts or math teachers. However, this provides a great opportunity to support the literacy work already occurring in the ELA classroom. The Common Core Standards for Literacy in the History/Social Sciences, Science and Technical Subjects are all standards that non-ELA teachers, from art to science, can target.More

Smarter Balanced approves testing supports for English learners
Education Week
The Smarter Balanced states that are designing Common Core assessments have agreed to a series of testing supports for students that include native language translations of test directions and test items in mathematics for students who are not yet proficient in English. But not every English learner in the 25 states that make up the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium will have access to the range of available language supports. Member states with laws and regulations that restrict or prohibit the use of languages other than English to teach or assess ELLs do not have to offer such translation options for test takers.More

Think twice, speak once: Bilinguals process both languages simultaneously
Penn State via Science Daily
Bilingual speakers can switch languages seamlessly, likely developing a higher level of mental flexibility than monolinguals, according to Penn State linguistic researchers. "In the past, bilinguals were looked down upon," said Judith F. Kroll, Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics and Women's Studies. "Not only is bilingualism not bad for you, it may be really good. When you're switching languages all the time it strengthens your mental muscle and your executive function becomes enhanced."More

'Race to the Top' for education a flop, report finds
Politico
The Obama administration's signature $4 billion Race to the Top initiative, designed to spur far-reaching education reforms across the country and raise student achievement, is largely a failure, an analysis concludes. Most winning states made what the Broader, Bolder Approach to Education labeled "unrealistic and impossible" promises to boost student achievement in exchange for prizes that were ultimately paltry in comparison with their pledges.More

Governor checks in on English language learners
Las Vegas Review-Journal
A small group of Hispanic kindergartners huddle around their teacher as she demonstrates how to cut on the dotted line. Entranced, they "Aww" when Kathleen Quigley makes a perfect cut, but they keep glancing at the stranger behind them. At the back of the room stands Gov. Brian Sandoval. He's largely the reason that Quigley won't be teaching more than 21 students this year or next. Before that, kindergartners had long been split into groups of more than 30 students at Cortez Elementary School.More