NABE Weekly eNews
Oct. 17, 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

Comprehension: Do your English learners understand your instruction?
By Erick Herrmann
Every teacher intuitively knows the importance of student comprehension of instruction. Without comprehension, there is no learning. When teachers have the added challenge of working with students at varying English proficiency levels, they must find ways to lower the linguistic demand of the content, while keeping the academic rigor in place. Several key concepts and techniques can be used to help English learners comprehend to a greater degree in any classroom.More

Students thrive in dual language program
El Paso Times
Fourth-grader Sofia Hernandez's first language is English but she already has practical reasons for mastering a second language at an early age. "When I'm bigger I want to be a doctor," she said. "If I don't know what's wrong with the patient and they speak Spanish, they can tell me what's wrong." Hernandez and other classmates at Kohlberg Elementary get more than the typical exposure to Spanish. Two out of six fourth grade classrooms at the campus are dual language — students alternate instruction in language arts, social studies, math and science each week in English and Spanish.More

Cutting to the Common Core: Analyzing informational text
Language Magazine
The Common Core State Standards for reading focus heavily on students gathering evidence, knowledge, and insights from what they read. In fact, 80-90 percent of the reading standards in every grade require text-dependent analysis — being able to answer questions only by referring back to the assigned text, not by drawing upon and referencing prior knowledge and experiences. Equal emphasis is placed on the sophistication of what students read and the skill with which they read. With an aim of equipping students with 21st century literacy and learning skills for college and the global workplace, the standards demand an increased percentage of informational text exposure and rigor as students advance in their coursework.More

Grappling with global learning
Inside Higher Ed
Virtually every college says it puts a priority on "global" or "international" learning and, in recent years, many have added language to that effect to their mission statements. But in the haste to do so, some institutions haven't quite fleshed out what they mean by it or what strategies will best support it.More

In Morrisville, NC, ESL classes attract Chinese-Americans
News & Observer
When the town started offering free English as a second language classes, everyone expected Indian-Americans and Latinos to take part. But another group is showing the most interest: Chinese-Americans. Morrisville, N.C., is known for its large Asian-American population. The town has the highest concentration of Indian-Americans — about 20 percent — of any Wake County, N.C., municipality. But as the ESL program shows, Morrisville's Asian community is diverse. With 483 residents, Chinese-Americans are the second-largest ethnic group within the town's Asian demographic.More

US heritage language programs on the rise
Reflejos
Dorothy Villarreal grew up dreaming in Spanish, first in Mexico and later in Texas, where her family moved when she was six. She excelled in school in English. But at home life was in Spanish, from the long afternoon chats with her grandparents to the Spanish-language version of Barbie magazines she eagerly awaited each month. She figured she was fluent in both languages. Then the Harvard University junior spent last summer studying in Mexico and realized just how big the gaps in her Spanish were.More

Cutting to the Common Core: Analyzing informational text
Language Magazine
The Common Core State Standards for reading focus heavily on students gathering evidence, knowledge, and insights from what they read. In fact, 80-90 percent of the reading standards in every grade require text-dependent analysis — being able to answer questions only by referring back to the assigned text, not by drawing upon and referencing prior knowledge and experiences. More

Benefits of being bilingual: Why we should learn a second language
Voxxi
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

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

Diversity of the Sioux Falls, S.D., school district
KELO-TV
South Dakota's largest school district is using its annual demographics report to find ways to improve and grow with the diverse population. According to the district, kids are speaking 60 different languages with several dialects in Sioux Falls schools. And that number could continue expanding with new ethnic students moving to the area. "Right now this year, we are 30.4 percent diverse. So that number continues to grow at a rate of about one to two percent over the last 15 years or so," Community Relations Supervisor DeeAnn Konrad said. To help acclimate these kids into regular classrooms, there are programs to help them learn English at their own pace. The English language learning program, or ELL., is designed to work with kids on a one-on-one basis. According to the "Demographics Report", there are currently more than 2,000 students participating in ELL.More

Burlington, Vt., seeks to improve English language learner program
Vermont Public Radio
Vermont's Burlington School District is the most diverse in the state. But the district has been criticized for not providing an equal education experience to minority students, especially those who are not native English speakers. Burlington's English language learner program was recently evaluated, and now the district is taking those recommendations into account. Burlington's status as a U.S. refugee resettlement city makes the city home to families from all over the world. When refugee families arrive, not all speak English.More

Increasing diversity in higher education through class
University World News
For more than four decades, affirmative action programs in the United States have sought to create equal educational opportunity for historically disadvantaged groups. Over that time we have made undeniable progress, clearing a path to higher education for women and students of color. Still, as the number of students pursuing a college degree has risen, the income divide on college campuses has widened.More

Budget tensions cloud hopes for end to 'sequester'
Education Week
Sequestration — the across-the-board budget cuts that represent the biggest slash in federal education spending in recent history — may continue for the foreseeable future, education advocates fear, a consequence of the budget deadlock that shuttered the U.S. government and congressional brinkmanship over the debt ceiling. With those twin fiscal crises having consumed lawmakers' attention for weeks, stopping the sequestration cuts has been shoved to the side, leaving school districts likely to cope with yet another round of reductions to programs that serve the neediest children and students in special education.More

New biometric technology for global English testing
University World News
IELTS, the International English Language Testing System and the world's most popular English language test for higher education, has introduced biometric measures — including finger scans — to verify the identity of test takers. Worldwide, more than 8,000 education institutions, governments, professional registration bodies and employers use IELTS to provide measurement of English language proficiency. Candidates are tested on listening, reading, writing and speaking. All tests are scored on a banded system from one (the lowest) through to nine (the highest).More

What can bilingual education do for Houston kids?
KUHF-TV
For the 41st time, the Texas Association for Bilingual Education, or TABE, is having its annual conference. That's an appropriate location, considering that about a quarter of people here speak English "less than very well" and 37 percent of Houstonians speak Spanish at home. That's according to the U.S. Census Bureau. "This conference brings the best and the brightest to Texas. We have national speakers that come to share their research about bilingual education and ESL." That's Dr. Luis Rosado with TABE. He says the organization advocates for dual language instruction because it's the best way to help immigrant children succeed in school.More