NABE Weekly eNews
Oct. 10, 2013

President's letter — NABE 2014
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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Common Core and English learners: Teaching math and language
Education Week
The Understanding Language team at Stanford University has just released its first major collection of common core instructional resources in math meant for teachers who work with English language learners. A team of experts, including Judit Moschkovich, a professor of mathematics education at the University of California, Santa Cruz, used or adapted tasks from two series of curricula: Inside Mathematics and the Mathematics Assessment Project. Each lesson in the package includes detailed notes on how teachers can use them in classrooms with English learners.More

Languages for all?
Inside Higher Ed
The organizers of the "Languages For All?" conference at the University of Maryland said more than once that the event, in the words of the university's Director of Language Policy Initiatives Richard Brecht, "is not about advocacy, this is about inquiry." But it was clear that the 150 or so professors, researchers, policy makers and government employees in attendance vehemently promote at least one stance: that languages are critical, and that Americans' unwillingness and/or disinterest in learning them is holding the country back.More

Bilingual education: Why gutting it hurts us all
Hispanic Heritage Month provides the perfect opportunity to explore how bilingual education positively or negatively affect our children. Despite study after study showing that bilingual education benefits students and communities, budget cuts and xenophobia nationwide have led to many dual-language programs being cut in Florida, Texas and California. Most recently, for example, the Irving Independence School District outside of Dallas gutted its program, which for years was championed by newly retired school board member Ronda Huffstetler.More

Mexican consulate closes gap between Spanish-speaking parents
The Denver Post
A partnership between the Mexican consulate and Denver Public Schools is working to close the gap between Spanish-speaking parents and Colorado's educational system with each school brochure and English-language kit they hand out. Hundreds of people have utilized the Educational Opportunities Information Booth since it opened just inside the doors of the consulate, 5350 Leetsdale Drive in Glendale, on Sept. 5. The booth — one of four run by the Mexican embassy in the U.S. — aims to serve visitors to the consulate who ask for school information. As many as 500 people visit the consulate each day.More

Understanding how infants acquire new words across cultures
Northwestern University via Science Daily
Infants show strong universals as they acquire their native language, but a recent study with infants acquiring Korean also reveals that there are striking language differences. 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

Stand in solidarity with Randi and the others arrested on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform
AFT President Randi Weingarten was one of 200 labor, civil rights, faith and immigrant leaders arrested in an act of civil disobedience at the Concert and March for Immigrant Dignity and Respect. Maria Neira, vice president of New York State United Teachers, an AFT vice president and a member of the President's Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics was also arrested.

Stand in solidarity with Randi and the others arrested on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform.

On her way down to the police station, Randi said, "There are times when injustice is so great that there is no other choice but to be civilly disobedient. This is one of those times. From the students who have never known a home beyond the United States to the teachers who want all their students to have equal opportunities, our broken immigration system is a huge obstacle for AFT members, students and families they serve. That's why we are working to reclaim the promise for all who make America home — regardless of where they were born."

Randi was joined at the rally, and later at the police station, by AFT Vice President Maria Neira of the New York State United Teachers. Neira said, "Our nation was built on the strength and vitality of immigrants. It's time for Congress to recognize the contributions immigrants have made, are making and will continue to make by passing a comprehensive reform bill — one that includes a pathway to educational opportunity and citizenship for students and families."

Randi and Maria stood up for what they believe is right. Stand with them for compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform.

For years, the AFT has stood in solidarity with immigrant workers and advocated to advance comprehensive immigration reform. More

The order of words: Understanding differences in how children and adults learn
Sissa Medialab via Science Daily
There are words that convey a meaning, like verbs, nouns or adjectives, and others, like articles or conjunctions that sustain them, providing a structure for the sentence. A few years ago some scientists of the International School for Advanced Studies of Trieste, together with collaborators from other Universities, showed that the order of the two categories of words within a sentence is important for language acquisition in infants already in their first year of life. A study carried out by the same SISSA scientists, shows that also adults have similar preferences. A phenomenon that may help understanding the differences between how children and adults learn.More

ESL students need to master English language and also do well in regular studies
Press Connects
Two years ago, the only English that Crystal Lee knew was what she had learned in a classroom in Korea. She came to Maine-Endwell High School as a freshman and lived with a host family. Her second year at the school, Lee enrolled in English as a second language courses to help her master the language and keep her grades up. This fall, after a full-year of classes, Lee won first place in the statewide Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages Essay Contest.More

Shutdown's impact on schools limited for now
Education Week
The start of the first shutdown of the federal government in nearly two decades caused some anxiety for state and district education officials, but didn't interrupt business as usual for schools across the country, at least at first. To be sure, there have been headaches, particularly for the federal Head Start pre-K program, with a handful of centers in several states closing entirely because of Congress' failure to come up with a budget deal before the 2013 federal fiscal year expired on Sept. 30. And the closure has slowed the pace of federal research, put a monkey wrench in state and federal collaboration on key K-12 issues — and turned the U.S. Department of Education's headquarters in Washington into a virtual ghost town, with more than 90 percent of the staff furloughed as of Oct. 1.More

Insufficient learning resources barrier to honing English skills
The Daily Star
Students find it difficult to learn English due to insufficient learning resources in schools and this is where the "English in Schools" program steps in, said speakers at a discussion. Robi and The Daily Star organized the consultation, on the latter's premises in the capital, among those empowering students with English language skills on the possible efficacy of the program they have undertaken. As per the Sept. 6 contract of the program, 1,000 secondary schools all over the country will get three copies of the newspaper five days a week (except Friday and Saturday). This will initially continue for six months.More

Understanding how infants acquire new words across cultures
Northwestern University via Science Daily
Infants show strong universals as they acquire their native language, but a recent study with infants acquiring Korean also reveals that there are striking language differences. Sandra Waxman, Louis W. Menk Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, is senior author of a new study providing the first ever evidence comparing how infants (monolingual, from Korea) acquiring Korean learn new nouns and verbs.More