NABE Weekly eNews
Dec. 27, 2012

Speaking multiple languages can influence children's emotional development
Medical Xpress
From Aug. 9, 2012: In a new article in the July issue of Perspectives on Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, psychological scientists Stephen Chen and Qing Zhou of the University of California, Berkeley and Morgan Kennedy of Bard College delve deeper into the linguistic phenomenon of code-switching. Drawing on research from psychology and linguistics, the researchers seek to better understand how using different languages to discuss and express emotions in a multilingual family might play an important role in children's emotional development.More

Translating the Common Core for dual-language classrooms
Education Week
From Oct. 25, 2012: When it comes to putting the new Common Core Standards into classroom practice, dual language teachers must prepare and adapt their instructional strategies to teach the more-rigorous common standards in language arts and mathematics not only in English, but in a second language. In many dual-language programs, particularly in the early grades, students are learning as much as 90 percent of their content in the target, non-English language. So what does the common core look like in Spanish language arts, for example? Who is doing the kind of translation and modification that dual language teachers need to bridge the language they are teaching in with the content standards? And where can dual language teachers find more resources to help them?More

Schools falter at keeping ELL families in the loop
Education Week
From Oct. 11, 2012: As thousands of communities — especially in the South — became booming gateways for immigrant families during the 1990s and the early years of the new century, public schools struggled with the unfamiliar task of serving the large numbers of English learners arriving in their classrooms. Instructional programs were built from scratch. Districts had to train their own teachers to teach English to non-native speakers or recruit teachers from elsewhere. School staff members had to figure out how to communicate with parents who spoke no English.More

More than 10,000 students earn new State Seal of Biliteracy in California
California Department of Education
From July 12, 2012: More than 10,000 graduating high school students across California have earned the first state recognition in the nation for achieving proficiency in multiple languages, State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced. The "State Seal of Biliteracy" was established per Assembly Bill 815 to recognize high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in speaking, reading and writing in one or more languages in addition to English. It takes the form of a gold seal affixed to the high school diplomas of qualified students.More

US immigrant high school students reflect on American Dream
Public Radio International
From June 28, 2012: For a group of Boston 11th-graders, they're looking forward not just to vacation, but also to becoming published authors. Fifteen immigrant students from Boston International High School will be featured in a new publication called "So What Now?" The book is a collection of reflections on the American Dream and the young authors are from places like Sudan, Albania and Colombia. More

Top 5 technology tools for ELL teachers
Learning is Growing (commentary)
From Sept. 13, 2012: I recently introduced teachers of English language learners to a variety of technology tools that can be integrated into the classroom. These tools are actually beneficial for all classrooms. It has been said many times that as teachers we are preparing students for thier futures, not our past. We need to take a hard look at our classrooms and instruction. Have our practices moved into the 21st century or are they still locked in the past? Does school look and feel like it did when we went to school?More

Obama administration approves 5 more states for NCLB Waivers
U.S. Department of Education
From July 5, 2012: The Obama administration approved five additional states for flexibility from key provisions of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) in exchange for state-developed plans to prepare all students for college and career, focus aid on the neediest students, and support effective teaching and leadership. The states approved for waivers are Arkansas, Missouri, South Dakota, Utah and Virginia. The announcement brings the number of states with waivers to 24. Thirteen additional applications are still under review.More

Study: Language use is simpler than previously thought
From Oct. 4, 2012: For more than 50 years, language scientists have assumed that sentence structure is fundamentally hierarchical, made up of small parts in turn made of smaller parts, like Russian nesting dolls. A new Cornell study suggests language use is simpler than they had thought. Co-author Morten Christiansen, Cornell professor of psychology and co-director of the Cornell Cognitive Science Program, and his colleagues say that language is actually based on simpler sequential structures, like clusters of beads on a string.More

Study: Immigrants responsible for large share of US patents
Los Angeles Times
From July 5, 2012: Foreign-born inventors are responsible for more than three-quarters of the patents that emerged from top American research universities last year, according to a new report. The Partnership for a New American Economy, a bipartisan nonprofit group composed of hundreds of mayors and business leaders and co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, released the report as part of its effort to reform immigration policies.More

Report: Scrap 1-size-fits-all approach to teaching ELLs
Education Week
From Nov. 8, 2012: As more and more school districts around the country put the common standards in English/language arts and mathematics into practice, one refrain is growing louder and louder: Instruction for English learners must change radically. Of course, the instructional shifts required in the common core are significant for all students, but for the nation's large — and growing — population of English learners, traditional approaches of teaching them the language by emphasizing grammar and syntax, for example, have to give way to instruction that allows ELLs to understand content, think critically and communicate ideas — even if imperfectly.More