NABE Weekly eNews
Dec. 26, 2013

How bilinguals switch between languages
Science Daily
Individuals who learn two languages at an early age seem to switch back and forth between separate "sound systems" for each language, according to new research conducted at the University of Arizona. The research, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, addresses enduring questions in bilingual studies about how bilingual speakers hear and process sound in two different languages.More

Sequestration and aid to ELLs: What happens to Title III?
Education Week
Unless a standoff between President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans gets rapidly resolved, across-the-board federal spending cuts will be triggered and set off a cascade of effects for public schools, including programs that serve English language learners. Title III, Part A, of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, provides roughly $730 million in aid to states and districts to support instruction for students who are not proficient in English. That aid pays for things like ESL teachers, bilingual classroom aides, and curricular materials for English learners.More

No Child Left Behind is out, what's next?
The Washington Post
Congress might not agree on much these days, but there's consensus that No Child Left Behind has got to go. Anne Hyslop, of the New America Foundation, and Lindsey Burke, of The Heritage Foundation, talk with On Background's Nia-Malika Henderson about what comes next for 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

Are schools getting tongue-tied?
District Administration Magazine
English as a Second Language programs have historically focused on Spanish-speaking students, but the ESL map is undergoing a dramatic transformation that is challenging K-12 schools to cope with a burgeoning number of different native languages — more than 100 in some locations — as new immigrants arrive in districts across the country. 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

North Carolina school a standout for bilingual education
La Prensa
A North Carolina school has become a national model for its bilingual curriculum that offers students of different origins an education in both English and Spanish. When the eighth-grade students at Charlotte's Collinswood Language Academy finish their classes they will be the first group to complete one of the most innovative programs for bilingual education in the United States.More

Bilingual speakers develop mental flexibility
PsychCentral
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. "In the past, bilinguals were looked down upon," said Judith F. Kroll, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Linguistics and Women's Studies.More

Department of Education announces 11 states will receive funding to continue efforts to turn around their lowest-performing schools
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that 11 states will receive funding to continue efforts to turn around their persistently lowest achieving schools through the Department's School Improvement Grants program.More

Why learn a foreign language? Benefits of bilingualism
The Telegraph
Physiological studies have found that speaking two or more languages is a great asset to the cognitive process. The brains of bilingual people operate differently than single language speakers, and these differences offer several mental benefits.More

How bilingual brains think outside the boxe(s)
The Huffington Post
A recent study compared memory in bilingual and monolingual children. As the Journal of Experimental Child Psychology reports, a team led by Julia Morales Castillo of the University of Granada gathered two sets of children; one monolingual group and one bilingual group; and put the kids through a series of simple tests designed to examine the storage capacity of their working memory — the form of memory that stores items, like numbers in a column or cards on a table, in our immediate sense of the present moment.More

Are schools getting tongue-tied?
District Administration Magazine
English as a Second Language programs have historically focused on Spanish-speaking students, but the ESL map is undergoing a dramatic transformation that is challenging K-12 schools to cope with a burgeoning number of different native languages — more than 100 in some locations — as new immigrants arrive in districts across the country. And the number of English language learners has increased by 65 percent between 1993 and 2004 compared to barely a 7 percent increase in the total K-12 population, according to a 2006 study by the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition. And according to the Migration Policy Center, more than 70 percent of ESL students are Spanish speaking.More