In her self-syndicated column, Esther J. Cepeda, a Latina, vents her frustration that more people in a graduate class she took on strategies for teaching English-language learners didn't share her distaste for bilingual education. Ms. Cepeda was a bilingual teacher in two Illinois school districts for a short stint and fought for Spanish-speaking students to be integrated into classes with native-English speakers and taught in English, according to a previous column she wrote. Illinois requires school districts to provide bilingual education when they have a critical mass of English-language learners who speak a language other than English. Cepeda's take on ...


Tom Horne, Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, is asking the state legislature to require charter schools to adhere to the same law that public schools must follow: that they be prohibited from educating students who are residents in Mexico but cross the border just to attend school. Now, Horne said, charter schools are exempt from the requirement. Horne says in a press release he put out today that he recently learned "taxpayers are paying a charter school for educating students who are residents of Mexico and who cross the border to attend." The schools chief notes that while Arizona is ...


ELL teacher and blogger Larry Ferlazzo writes that many Hmong students, some of whom are English-language learners, at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif., missed school yesterday to protest charges brought against General Vang Pao, who is Hmong, and 10 others. The general and the other 10 have been charged with trying to overthrow the communist government of Laos. Ferlazzo has been tapping into his students' interest in the court case involving Gen. Pao, who is a leader of the Hmong community in the United States, by teaching civics lessons and developing exercises for language learning from newspaper coverage ...


In trying to counteract some of the negativism surrounding immigration issues, Inez Russell points out in a commentary published in the Santa Fe New Mexican, that enrollment of students in the Santa Fe school district would be in "serious decline" without English-language learners, many of whom are immigrants. The editorial challenges readers to propose solutions to members of Congress or local politicians for addressing immigration issues rather than blaming immigrants....


Would you like to see California's home-language survey for identifying students who speak a language other than English? How about Arizona's waiver form for parents who want to request that their children be removed from "sheltered English immersion?" Anyone want to read New Jersey's bilingual education code? I found each of these documents with a few quick searches using a database of the Language Portal, run by the National Center on Immigrant Integration Policy, which is an arm of the Migration Policy Institute. According to a promotional e-mail I just got for Language Portal, the Web site has more than ...


Dianne Piche, the executive director of the Citizens Commission on Civil Rights, has been selected for the number two post at the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Education, reports Politics K-12. She'll be the deputy assistant secretary for the office. She's paid close attention to the rights and educational needs of English-language learners over the years. She mentioned the needs of such students several times, for instance, during her testimony in 2007 at a House Education and Labor Committee hearing on supplemental services provided under the No Child Left Behind Act....


People living in the United States who started school knowing only Spanish are more likely than those who started school knowing only English to struggle with reading as adults, according to a federal study released this week that explores why some adults in the United States are struggling readers. The study's findings are featured in an article, "Why Do Millions of Americans Struggle with Reading and Writing?," published this week in the Christian Science Monitor (Hat tip to This Week in Education). The article says that the researchers moved into relatively new territory by interviewing adults whose first language is ...


WestEd has published a guidebook, "Making Mathematics Accessible to English Learners," designed for teachers who don't have much training in how to teach math to English-language learners. The promotion for the book says it contains rubrics for helping teachers identify language skills at different proficiency levels, as well as sample lesson "scenarios." Two years ago, WestEd published a guidebook for teaching science to ELLs....


The positive effects of lessons in academic English from Word Generation, which I introduced to you on this blog a couple of weeks ago, are strongest for English-language learners, according to an article published at edweek.org today by my colleague Debra Viadero. (By the way, check out Debbie's new blog at EdWeek, Inside School Research.) After 12 weeks of lessons, students in Boston public schools who participated in the program scored as well on vocabulary tests as students who didn't participate who were 2 years older, according to the article. And the impact was strongest among ELLs. What's interesting ...


An editorial published this week in New Jersey's Star-Ledger supports the move by a Newark social-service agency to offer testing for Latinos to get a General Educational Development certificate, known as a GED, in Spanish. (Hat tip to Colorin colorado.) The editorial argues that getting a Spanish GED can be an important step for an immigrant toward educational or job improvement, such as being able to enroll in a community college to begin courses in English as a second language. While I've reported research findings on this blog that show a GED isn't nearly as valuable as a regular high ...


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