The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition is churning out Webinars about English-language learners these days. I've already promoted one about testing little kids in English-language proficiency, scheduled for this coming Monday, June 15, 2 p.m., Eastern time. Sign up here. A couple of others are planned as well for this month: June 16, 2 p.m., Eastern time. "Participation and Performance of English-Learners in the National Assessment of Educational Progress." Register here. June 18, 2 p.m., Eastern time. "Making Tests Fair for English-Language Learners." Sign up here. Update: Here's one more: June 19, 2 p.m., Eastern ...


In The New York Times column After Deadline, Philip B. Corbett reports that news coverage of Sonia Sotomayor's nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court has raised some questions about the usage of words such as "Latino," "Hispanic," and "immigrant." It's a topic that is relevant to this blog since 68 percent of English-language learners are Spanish-speaking, and teachers and administrators may often be in the position of describing them to others. Corbett notes that Sotomayor refers to herself as "Latina." He adds that while "Latino" or "Hispanic" are acceptable, some people have a strong preference. He says that reporters ...


Education Week has put together an online package of articles about English-language learners that covers hot topics in the field such as assessment, placement, and ways to enhance instruction for ELLs, such as through after-school programs or technology. It includes a couple of commentaries as well as news articles and sells for $4.95. In case you are wondering, I didn't write all the articles. One on research and another on assessment, for example, were written by my colleagues. So far, Education Week has published similar packages on teacher-performance pay, response to intervention, and math and science education as part ...


The Austin, Texas, school board approved a plan for the district to use some of its federal stimulus funds to benefit English-language learners.


A Washington Post reporter and photographer visit command central for scoring Virginia's portfolio tests in Fairfax County. The tests are used for ELLs and students with disabilities.


What I like best about this article from the Washington Post about how English-language learners from two different schools take a fishing trip together every year is the story about how the annual event got started. Two decades ago, an English-as-a-second-language teacher at Bethesda Elementary School in Maryland had a student who had lived and survived in the jungles of Cambodia with his family for two years. She took her class of ELLs to a local lake so the boy could display his remarkable talent for fishing and teach his classmates. Hence a tradition began that is still going on ...


Pressure from the office for civil rights of the U.S. Department of Education pushed the Salt Lake City school district to bolster services for English-language learners, according to a number of teachers who work directly with such students. I interviewed them during a visit there last month. My article, "English-Learners' Lot Improves With Federal Pressure," was published on Friday at Education Week. At the same time, the office for civil rights has recently had a reputation for being soft on enforcement, William L. Taylor, the chairman of the Washington-based Citizens Commission on Civil Rights, told me in an interview ...


The Arizona Republic takes stock of how educators of English-language learners feel the controversial four-hour program is working in three Arizona school districts. The program was mandated as part of a law the legislature passed to respond to the long-running Flores v. Arizona federal court case involving funding for ELLs. (Now called Horne v. Flores, the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to rule on it this month.) All students who are ELLs are required to receive four hours of instruction in English skills separately from other students each school day. In all three of the school districts, the number ...


A few years back, California was resisting a requirement under the No Child Left Behind Act to assess English-language learners as early as kindergarten on whether they could read or write in English. State officials thought that it should be sufficient that the state already tested students in the earliest grades in speaking and listening. California lost that battle and began to develop an English-proficiency test that would include reading and writing, as well as speaking and listening, for students in kindergarten and 1st grade. I haven't had a chance to report on how assessing ELLs in English proficiency in ...


A budget bill in Wisconsin, which hasn't yet been voted on by the legislature, includes a rule that voucher schools in Milwaukee must teach bilingual education if more than 10 percent of their students are English-language learners, according to the Associated Press.


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