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Arne Duncan Honors History Teacher of Immigrant Kids

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan honored a history teacher from Salt Lake City yesterday who received the Preserve America National History Teacher of the Year Award, according to the Education Department's blog. It's interesting that the Education Department features how the honoree—Timothy Bailey, a teacher at Escalante Elementary School in Salt Lake City—teaches American history to many immigrant children.

In a video accompanying the announcement of the award, Bailey says that he teaches at a school with children from 30 countries. He doesn't talk specifically about English-language learners, but the video gives a sense that he puts a lot of importance on fostering student interaction in his classes, which is good for ELLs. "Real learning doesn't take place without an emotional connection," he says in the video. He says he tries to find ways that students can have fun while they are learning. The video was commissioned by the Education Department.

The Salt Lake City school system has come a long way in improving services for ELLs over the last decade, in part because of prodding from the office for civil rights of the Education Department. I visited the school system in spring 2009 and wrote about services for ELLs there.

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