Marius "Mimi" Kothor, is graduating from high school this month and has a full scholarship to the University of Rochester, according to a story in the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle. She's a student who arrived in the United States at about age 10 with out any schooling.


A policy update about the education of English-language learners in Texas, and the United States as a whole, says that "after decades of experimentation," the United States now has "islands" of effective instruction. The 15-page overview of ELL instruction across the country says that the growing numbers and distribution of such students "make these islands of effective efforts no longer sufficient for addressing existing and expanding needs." The update was published by the Intercultural Development Research Association, a private, nonprofit organization with a mission of improving public schools. The policy update, "Education of English Language Learners in U.S. and ...


The Old Man and the Sea, by Ernest Hemingway, Travels With Charley, by John Steinbeck, and To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee, are several books that are accessible for students of English as a second language, according to a post by One Language that is part of the ESL/EFL/ELL Carnival. The carnival is being hosted this month by Alice Mercer, a computer-lab teacher at an elementary school in Sacramento, Calif., who has a blog, Reflections on Teaching....


Tom Horne, Arizona's superintendent of public instruction, has mandated that Arizona schools simplify the home-language survey that parents fill out when enrolling a child in school from three questions to one. The move is expected to reduce the numbers of students who are identified as needing extra help to learn English, according to an Arizona Republic article published today. Some say that Horne is trying to save money that would be used to provide that extra help, but the state schools chief says that isn't true. He contends the policy will reduce the numbers of students who are unnecessarily identified ...


From Guest Blogger Sean Cavanagh The state of Alaska has announced it will hire a new director of rural education, who will also be assigned to work with the state's native population, known as Alaska Natives. Those students make up more than 23 percent of the state's 128,000 students. Alaska faces major challenges in serving those students, partly because of the vast distances and rugged landscape that separates its schools. See Curriculum Matters for more. One of new rural director's jobs will be to travel to its far-flung villages and build ties with native communities. Another task will be ...


The Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest at Edvance Research is sponsoring a study about reading comprehension and ELLs.


President Obama's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor, is someone with whom English-language learners may be able to identify in classroom discussions about current events. Sotomayor spoke more Spanish than English while growing up, according to news coverage by WABC-TV New York. CNN says her father, who died when she was 9, worked in a factory and didn't speak English. Her parents moved from Puerto Rico to New York during World War II. Politics K-12 reported today that Nancy Drew books helped her get hooked on reading and learning. School Law Blog provides information on her educational ...


Thanks to those of you who signed in to today's online chat about adolescent literacy after a long holiday weekend. The guest was Michael L. Kamil, a reading expert at Stanford University who also knows a lot about ELLs. I asked Kamil one question, the last question of the chat, about ELLs and literacy. He answered that "appropriate use of native language is most effective in acquiring literacy in a second language." The transcript is now online here. By the way, a Webinar on adolescent literacy is scheduled for June 2, a week from today, noon to 1:30 p.m.,...


EdWeek will be hosting Michael L. Kamil, a prominent researcher on reading, for a live chat today focusing on adolescent literacy. I'll be the moderator and it will take place from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m., Eastern time. Find more information here. Kamil was a member of the National Literacy Panel for Language-Minority Children and Youth, so he has a lot of knowledge about literacy and English-language learners as well as adolescent literacy in general. I'm thinking that some of you who are working with ELLs with interrupted formal schooling, who have little or no literacy in their ...


Kenji Hakuta, an education professor and expert on English-language learners at Stanford University, and his doctoral students have created WordSift, a Web tool that enables students to click on words and pull up images that illustrate them.


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