NABE Weekly eNews
Sep. 26, 2013

President's letter — NABE 2014
Hola Colegas!

I am honored to serve as your NABE President for 2013-2014!

On behalf of NABE's Board of Directors we invite you to join us at NABE's 43rd Annual National Bilingual Education Conference, Sailing into the 21st Century: Multiple Languages, Multiple Paths, Lifelong Advantages! to be held in beautiful San Diego on Feb. 12-15! We have a tremendous lineup of keynote speakers, featured sessions, and concurrent sessions. We also have a long list of exhibitors demonstrating and sharing quality instructional learning materials to support our enriched classrooms and we invite you to have breakfast with them every morning!

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

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Leveling the playing field
Language Magazine
President Barack Obama's ConnectED Initiative calls for 99 percent of America's students to be connected to the Internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within five years, and this fall, an increasing number of students are returning to schools taking large strides toward achieving that goal. "In 2013 and going forward, digital literacy is an essential subject that must be taught," says Leo Gómez, president of the National Association for Bilingual Education. "If we don't start to recognize the true importance of digital literacy in the school setting, we're setting up our kids for many problems and conflicts in their futures." Preparing our students with the digital skills they need to compete for jobs globally and locally is essential. But do English language learners and their native-English-speaking counterparts approach technology on a level playing field?More

Benefits of being bilingual: Why we should learn a second language
Many Hollywood celebs know the advantages of being bilingual, especially Latino stars who embrace their Hispanic heritage and proudly speak their native Spanish language. Salma Hayek, Sofia Vergara, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Penelope Cruz, William Levy, Antonio Banderas, Daisy Fuentes, Thalia and Marc Anthony are some of the approximately 60 mainstream celebs that remain true to their Latino roots by speaking Spanish, according to Latina Magazine.More

Working memory in English language development
By Beth Crumpler
Working memory is crucial to learning. It is the human mind's processing of information to complete tasks. When people have problems with their working memory, they struggle with retaining information in the short term that is vital to learning in the long term. English language learners are extremely susceptible to deficiencies with working memory functionality due to the anxiety, fear and stress learning a second language can cause. Teachers of ELLs must keep vigilant watch for the signs of working memory struggles in students.More

In fast-growing ELL states, what does spending look like?
Education Week
South Carolina has seen the most extreme growth in its population of English language learners — a jump of 610 percent in the last decade — but the state does not provide schools with any resources on top of the regular per-pupil allocation to educate those students. Mississippi, in the same period, saw its English learner population grow by 158 percent, but like in South Carolina, its schools don't get any state aid to help pay for their educational services. Nevada, a third high-growth ELL state, until this year had not ever provided targeted funding to schools to pay for the education of ELLs. A measure signed earlier this year by Gov. Brian Sandoval is changing that.More

Benefits of being bilingual: Why we should learn a second language
Many Hollywood celebs know the advantages of being bilingual, especially Latino stars who embrace their Hispanic heritage and proudly speak their native Spanish language. 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

Bilingual speakers develop mental flexibility
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.More

Report: Fewer Latinos will speak Spanish, more non-Latinos will
It's no secret that more and more people are speaking español in the United States, but what you probably didn't know is that in the future more of those Spanish speakers will not be Hispanic. That's right — as immigrant families become more established here, future generations will follow the pattern of previous immigrants from Europe and Asia and stop using their native language. But at the same time, non-Latinos will be learning Spanish and helping their kids to grow up bilingual because they want to pass on what they learned in school, take advantage of business opportunities or even because they have a Spanish-speaking spouse.More

Portland, Ore., public schools could see multiple new language immersion programs by fall of 2014
The Oregonian
Portland, Ore., public schools could see new dual language immersion programs in Mandarin, Vietnamese and Spanish in the fall of 2014, according to the latest update from the district's language immersion officials. By the end of October, the district hopes to have specific recommendations for dual language immersion expansion for the fall of 2014, Debbie Armendariz, the interim director of dual language immersion, told the board. Dual language immersion teaches students core content in both English and a foreign language in an attempt to foster fluency. The district helped launch some of the state's first language immersion programs two decades ago.More

A gap in our field: Leadership in language education
By Andy Curtis
Books in our field on leadership and management are relatively rare, compared with books on methodology in TESOL, and compared with books on leadership and management in other fields, such as health care. Given the many thousands of language program administrators all over the world, it is surprising that there are not more books in this area. Many of us move from language teaching into language program administration almost "accidentally," and it may mean learning how to lead and manage from the periphery.More

Not enough English classes as number of limited-English speakers rises
There was a point where something as simple as standing in line at a post office made Dolores Rangel nervous. That's because she feared the person at the counter would only speak English, which she didn't know how to do even though she has been living in the United States for almost three decades and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.More

Grade expectations
Language Magazine
The idea of some "one size fits all" assessment for the nation is daunting when you consider the regional variations of this vast nation. English language learners pose a particular challenge to test developers, who not only have to consider that questions should be as culturally appropriate for a child in Des Moines as one in Santa Ana but also have to take into account the laws of certain states designed to level the assessment playing field. Currently the Common Core State Standards only cover math and English. While it may be unrealistic to expect Spanish translations of the English assessments, unless we want to assess literacy and comprehension in any language, translations of math items and inclusion of cross-cultural contexts are crucial for ensuring that ELLs perform as well as possible on CCSS assessments.More