NABE Weekly eNews
Nov. 27, 2013

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

Click here to view the complete flyer.More

Researchers map brain areas vital to understanding language
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Science Daily
When reading text or listening to someone speak, we construct rich mental models that allow us to draw conclusions about other people, objects, actions, events, mental states and contexts. This ability to understand written or spoken language, called "discourse comprehension," is a hallmark of the human mind and central to everyday social life. In a new study, researchers uncovered the brain mechanisms that underlie discourse comprehension.More

Which states are most vulnerable to K-12 sequester cuts?
Education Week
Sequestration — those 5 percent across-the-board cuts that hit school districts this year and are slated to be in place for a decade — has affected some districts and states harder than others. Part of the reason? Some states are much more dependent on federal funding than others. So which states are the most vulnerable to federal cuts? The American Association of School Administrators took a look at that in a report.More

Latino students in Arlington, Va., explore careers
The Washington Post
Latino students from across Arlington County, Va., got to glimpse potential future careers at a leadership conference Friday at George Mason University. About 200 students spent the day on the college campus and met with Latino professionals to hear how they pursued their educations and jobs. "Bienvenidos a todos," said George Mason president Angel Carbrera, a native of Spain, in a keynote address. He encouraged the Arlington students to think without limits about their futures and to improve their chances of getting a good job by pursuing higher education.More

From second language learning to bilingualism in schools
Psychology Today
We are many who feel that education should help children and adolescents acquire a second or third language while retaining their first language. Education should also encourage the active use of those languages, if at all possible. Currently, many educational systems throughout the world follow one of UNESCO's objective in its 2002 Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity which encourages, among things, "the learning of several languages from the earliest age". But there are many different ways of doing so, as we will see below.More

Education Department: English language learner clearinghouse to be revamped
Education Week
In the long and gripping saga of the National Clearinghouse for English-Language Acquisition, we may finally have an ending. And it's the same one we saw a year ago. The U.S. Department of Education has chosen Leed Management Consulting, a small Silver Spring, Md., company, to become the new manager of its $2 million contract for the clearinghouse better known as NCELA. Leed was the Education Department's first choice a year ago. But the contract was withdrawn after formal protests with the federal Small Business Administration and the Government Accountability Office prompted the department to take "corrective action" and review the procurement process that led up to the award being issued to Leed.More

Lack of national uniformity in ELL instruction a challenge
It's time for social studies in a fifth grade classroom in Glendale. Among the students following the lesson about the American colonies is Karen Beltran. She's a 10-year-old with a perpetual smile. When Beltran first entered public education in Arizona about five years ago, she didn't speak much English. "It felt really scary, I was like shocked," Beltran said. "I was like, 'Oh my gosh.' Yeah, it was really weird learning English because I mostly speak Spanish at home." Things have improved since then.More

Researchers map brain areas vital to understanding language
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Science Daily
When reading text or listening to someone speak, we construct rich mental models that allow us to draw conclusions about other people, objects, actions, events, mental states and contexts.More

Language gap in the US is a problem, opportunity
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
There's a joke among linguists: If you speak two languages, you're bilingual. If you speak one, you're American. The joke isn't funny, though, at a time when the number of Chinese with familiarity in English matches the entire population of the U.S., and when officials warn that America's "national language gap" is a major competitiveness handicap. More

ESL teachers, academic language and the Common Core State Standards
Education Week (commentary)
Making the rigorous Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics accessible to every type of learner is a huge undertaking for educators. In a new special report called Moving Beyond the Mainstream, three of my Education Week colleagues and I try to tackle some of the most central challenges to that endeavor.More

Aim to please
Language Magazine
Accelerative Integrated Methodology is an intensive second-language-learning system designed to accelerate the development of language proficiency and fluency at the beginning stages of learning. This "post-method methodology" devised by Canadian teacher and author Wendy Maxwell is enabling teachers to consistently and coherently put into practice a combination of often discussed but scarcely implemented language-acquisition techniques fused with original elements in AIM.More

English instruction a priority
Studies show 10 percent of students in U.S. schools are still learning to speak English. But just 1 percent of teachers are qualified to instruct them. Whether it's a doctor, firefighter or a baseball player, most kids have an idea of what they want to be when they grow up. David Aregbe didn't. Last year, his dream was learning how to communicate with his fellow fourth graders. But there was one subject Aregbe did get, math. It's a subject with its own universal language. ELL instructors like Magdalena Mujica Voy use other universal ideas like pictures to help English learners.More

States insist on 3rd grade reading proficiency
Educators have known for decades that learning how to read by the third grade is a critical milestone for children. Students who fall too far behind by the third grade rarely catch up. One recent study found that students who don’t read well by the third grade are four times more likely to drop out of high school. Despite progress in some states, only 35 percent of fourth graders across the country are proficient in reading, according to the most recent National Assessment of Educational Progress, released earlier this month.More

Sex of speaker affects listener language processing
University of Kansas via Science Daily
Whether we process language we hear without regard to anything about the speaker is a longstanding scientific debate. But it wasn't until University of Kansas scientists set up an experiment showing that the sex of a speaker affected how quickly listeners identified words grammatically that there was evidence that even higher-level processes are affected by the speaker.More

How monolingual teachers can support young dual-language learners
Education Week
There's an accruing pile of evidence that teaching in English and a child's home language in the preschool and early elementary years is best for young dual-language learners, both for academic achievement and for English proficiency later in their school careers. But consider that dual-language learners now represent nearly one-third of all children under the age of 6 in the United States. And consider that the vast ranks of early-childhood teachers are monolingual English speakers.More