Blogger and social studies/English teacher Larry Ferlazzo works hard to help his English-language learners stay on top of the news. He posted this week examples of some of the reports English-language learners in his classroom put together about swine flu. (Scroll down to the bottom of the entry.) "I will tell to my family that we don't have to go to Mexico right now," writes Edgar in his report....


It doesn't surprise me that a new research brief says children of immigrants (ages 3 or 4) aren't as likely as children of native-born families to attend preschool in the United States. It fits with the trend that I've noted twice recently on this blog that Hispanic children are less likely to be enrolled in early-childhood programs than children of other racial and ethnic groups. After all, many immigrants are Hispanic. (Find a summary of the brief here.) But what is surprising is that in 12 states, 3- and 4-year-olds in immigrant families are about as likely, or more likely, ...


The Tamalpais Union High School District in California has fired an adult English-as-a-second-language teacher after he answered students' inquiries about some off-color English words, according to a story published this week in the Contra Costa Times. (Hat tip to TESOL in the News). Jack Lieberman, the teacher in question who taught at an adult school run by the high school district, says that after students inquired about some bad words, he talked with them about how to be careful in using words like "sheet" and "beach," because they sound similar to other off-color words. Reading this news story, I recalled ...


Five congressional staffers and at least one U.S. Department of Education official plan to soon participate in a two-day field trip to schools in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas to learn about the education of English-language learners. The trip, May 6-8, is to be led by the Washington-based American Youth Policy Forum and focuses on visits to schools that have a good reputation for serving high school ELLs, according to Sarah Hooker, a program associate for the AYPF who is organizing it. Thus, some of the people who help to shape policy in Congress and in the federal ...


In a "social policy brief," the Society for Research in Child Development recommends three priorities the federal government should have to improve education for Latinos in preschool and early-elementary grades. The first is to develop and expand programs to produce more preschool and early-elementary teachers who are proficient in English and Spanish. Another is to devise and expand programs to recruit Spanish speakers trained in second-language acquisition to work as aides or consultants to teachers. The third is to expand two-way immersion programs, in which students who are dominant in English and students who are dominant in another language learn ...


Over at my other blog, Curriculum Matters, I've written about Word Generation: Middle School Literacy Development Using Academic English, a new Web tool with resources for teaching "academic language." That is the words, abstract phrases, and grammatical structures students need to know to understand school subjects. Before I browsed the resources in this tool, frankly, I didn't really realize that it's so important to explicitly teach academic English to all students, not just ELLs. Word Generation seems to have some rich resources that can help educators to crack the mystery of how they can support students to learn the language ...


John Wills Lloyd over at TeachEffectively reflects on Horne v. Flores, the Arizona ELL case that was heard by the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. He cites my story that previewed the case, "Roots of Federal ELL Case Run Deep," as well as a preview by NPR's Nina Totenberg. Our Web site has since published my story and a post by Mark Walsh at the School Law Blog that report on Monday's oral arguments. Update: The Arizona Republic ran on a story on the arguments, too. Lloyd argues that effective teaching, not necessarily more funds (as the Flores side ...


The College Board, an association of 5,000 colleges and universities and the creator of the SAT, has publicly endorsed the "DREAM Act," which would give undocumented students who graduate from high schools in this country and attend college or serve in the military a path toward legalization. (See this week's coverage by USA Today and the Los Angeles Times.) At a briefing on Capitol Hill yesterday, College Board President Gaston Caperton expressed his organization's support for the 'DREAM Act,' which is short for the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act. It was reintroduced in Congress in ...


So many books and so little time to read. But I've just put Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, an American Town on my mental list of books to read, after skimming a review of it in The Washington Post over the weekend. Authored by New York Times reporter Warren St. John, the book tells about the lives of a dozen boys from war-torn countries living in Clarkston, Ga., who are formed into a soccer team by Luma Mufleh, an immigrant from Jordan. Mufleh, the coach, who was cut off from her father in Jordan, has nowhere to go back to, ...


Four of Philadelphia's 63 charter schools were established particularly to serve English-language learners, according to a blog post over at The Notebook, "an independent voice for parents, educators, students and friends of Philadelphia Public Schools." What's one way that a charter school (or any school, for that matter) can be friendly to families with ELLs? Invest in simultaneous translation equipment so parents can figure out what's going on at school events and meetings....


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