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....


In today's oral arguments in Horne v. Flores, the long-running ELL case in Arizona, U.S. Supreme Court justices questioned what is sufficient academic progress for ELLs. Justice Antonin Scalia at one point asked: "Do you really think you haven't complied with adequate funding of ELL programs until you raise all of the ELL students up to the level of native-English speakers?" (Link to transcript is here.) It sounds a lot like a question that a lot of educators ask about the No Child Left Behind Act. Is it appropriate for the federal education law to require ELLs to meet ...


Nearly 60 percent of 1st- and 2nd-year medical students at Canada's University of British Columbia speak at least one language other than English at a moderate or advanced level, but many still say they don't feel proficient enough to use it with patients, according to a study published in the BC Medical Journal. The Vancouver Sun reported on the study yesterday (which I picked up from the TESOL in the News Blog). The authors of the study write: It is likely that students lack the basic medical terminology/vocabulary in their non-English languages and, as such, feel unqualified to communicate ...


Americans who perceive that immigrants who come to the United States these days are resistant to learning English and making new demands of schools to cultivate their native languages are wrong, argues a sociologist in the May 2009 issue of American Journal of Education. His article about immigrant trends is called: "What Have Immigrants Wanted from American Schools? What Do They Want Now? Historical and Contemporary Perspectives on Immigrants, Language, and American Schooling." (Only an abstract is available free online.) Michael R. Olneck, a professor of educational policy studies and sociology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, contends that Mexican-Americans and ...


One of the reasons that preschool attendance is low among Latinos in the United States is low-income neighborhoods have a scarcity of preschool slots, according to an article published yesterday in the Chicago Tribune. The article notes that funds from the federal stimulus package could help to alleviate the situation. The story doesn't mention a finding I came across in a research brief and blogged about a couple years ago: In Mexico, where preschool is free, low attendance in preschool isn't a problem....


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