NABE Weekly eNews
Dec. 19, 2013

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

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Bilingual education takes a new form in California
Latina Lista
With the passing of prop 227 in 1998, which put a ban on bilingual education, many thought bilingual learning had come to an end. This ban on language learning was not because California didn't need bilingual education in its school system, but it helped create the need for finding new forms of bilingual learning. In the past, non-English speaking students who entered the public school system were isolated from the rest of the class, pulled out and provided language support. This format discouraged bilingual education and isolated students, but paved the way for a new form of learning called dual immersion.More

US House votes to roll back sequestration
Education Week
School districts and early-childhood education programs are one step closer to getting some relief from across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, which trimmed about 5 percent of federal K-12 spending this school year. The U.S. House of Representatives approved 332-94 a plan that would roll back the majority of the cuts slated to hit most school districts during the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years. The agreement, which was written by U.S. Sen. Patty Murray, D-Wash., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., will now proceed to the U.S. Senate.More

Compliance or engagement: When are students truly engaged in class?
By Erick Herrmann
In the classroom, the importance of student engagement is paramount. If students are not engaged in the tasks at hand, they are not likely learning what we are teaching and what we expect them to learn and be able to do. Given that, what does student engagement look like in the classroom? What does it sound like? What are some tools to keep student engaged in the lesson and tasks at hand? The answers to these questions can be complex, given that we are dealing with human beings. More

Bilingual kids have better working memory
Times of India
Bilingual children develop a better working memory — which holds, processes and updates information over short periods of time — than monolingual children, a new study has revealed.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

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

New school program will graduate bilingual students
Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Students who can read, write and talk proficiently in English and Spanish will be part of the Fort Worth, Texas, school district's Class of 2020. That's when the first class of students is expected to graduate from the World Languages Institute. The program, which begins next fall, is the district's first secondary school to cater to students who have learned English and Spanish simultaneously. "I have already planned their graduation," said Carrie Harrington, director of the Fort Worth school district's world languages department.More

Bilingual kids have better working memory
Times of India
Bilingual children develop a better working memory — which holds, processes and updates information over short periods of time — than monolingual children, a new study has revealed. The working memory plays a major role in the execution of a wide range of activities, such as mental calculation (since we have to remember numbers and operate with them) or reading comprehension (given that it requires associating the successive concepts in a text).More

Schools dual language learners reach milestone
Tri-City Herald
In kindergarten, Ryan Calveard wasn't thrilled about sitting in a class where most everything was taught in a language he didn't understand. "All they spoke was Spanish, all the time," Ryan said. "It was hard." Now the 14-year-old Pasco High School freshman is taking advanced courses in English and science but still studying Spanish. He can carry on a conversation in either language with ease and says he wants to go into law enforcement, a career where bilingualism would be a big boost.More

A poverty, not education, crisis in U.S.
USA Today
The latest results of the Program for International Student Assessment — which measures the knowledge and skills of 15-year-old students in math, reading and science — and once again Finland is near the top. True, this time students in Asia claimed many of the top spots. But Finland's system remains one of the world's highest-performing, with its universal preschool program, site-based management and dislike of standardized testing often cited for its success. By comparison, U.S. student scores remained in the middle of the pack. But the most telling difference between Finns and Americans when it comes to education is child poverty.More

Parents ask for Spanish dual-language program at Casper, Wyo., school
The Star-Tribune
As Natrona County, Wyo., school officials craft a policy to approve future dual-language immersion programs, a group of local parents is revamping its efforts to advocate for a second such program in Casper, Wyo. Park Elementary School was one of three schools to apply for a dual-language immersion program when interest first surfaced here last year. Though the district this spring approved a proposal for a Chinese dual-language immersion program at Paradise Valley Elementary, and not Park's proposal for a Spanish dual-language immersion program, a contingency of parents and school officials are still passionate about the possibility.More

School districts face Common Core test tech requirements
U.S. News & World Report
If you're reading this, you're connected to the Internet. It's a connection many people take for granted in the age of tablets, smartphones and Wi-Fi-enabled televisions. Users expect Web pages to load swiftly and videos to stream seamlessly. A strong digital connection is a luxury not found in most high schools, though. In fact, 72 percent of U.S. public schools lack the broadband connection needed to sustain digital learning, according to EducationSuperHighway, a nonprofit group.More

Bilingual DNA codes discovered — Second language means 'a lot for disease diagnosis and treatment'
Design & Trends
Scientists have discovered a second way to read and decode DNA code, and the findings are leading to speculation that it could forever change how doctors uncover, diagnose and treat various diseases. Scientists at the University of Washington conducted the research as a part of the Encyclopedia of DNA Elements Project, or ENCODE, according to a news release. The project's objective is to determine how and where directions for biological functions are stored in the human genome.More