For the fourth time this school year, the ELLIS Preparatory Academy in the Bronx, a high school for English-language learners who arrive in the United States as teenagers, is being featured by a news organization. The BBC published an article about the high school, which opened this school year and has 85 students, over the weekend. (Hat tip to GothamSchools.) The school enrolls a lot of students who are categorized as "Students with Interrupted Formal Education," or SIFE. (I last wrote about SIFE students in New York City in February). I visited the ELLIS Preparatory Academy in the fall, while ...


Over the last year, more than 130 teachers received national-board certification in a category called teaching "English as a New Language," according to a press release from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. That brings the number of teachers in this country with that credential to more than 900. You can learn more about what the certification entails here and here. A study published by the National Research Council last June concluded that teachers with certification from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards are more effective than teachers without the credential, but it also said that there isn't ...


The April issue of Educational Leadership has tapped experts on English-language learners from across the country to discuss best practices for educating these students. I commend the editors of the issue for publishing a couple of articles devoted to best practices for teaching adolescent ELLs, including long-term ELLs. Many high schools are struggling with how to help such students acquire content and English at the same time. Readers, are any of you in middle or high schools that are using what is called the "ELL cluster model?" I've seen classes with some elements of this model at Luther Burbank High ...


The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, or "DREAM Act," which would provide a path to legalization in this country for undocumented students who attend college or join the military, was reintroduced this week in Congress (hat tip to ImmigrationProf Blog). Proponents of the act include the National Council of La Raza. See a press release on the legislation from the National Immigration Law Center posted at change.org. It's amazing to me that some of these undocumented students who graduated from U.S. high schools are attending Ivy League schools or are in graduate school. But it's ...


I'm reading with interest news reports on U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's visit to Mexico and U.S. Department of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano's decision to increase the number of agents on the U.S.-Mexican border. For a while now, I've been hearing that members of drug cartels are shooting people right and left in Mexican border towns. But I've heard that the terror happens mostly at night. So, just last weekend, I parked a rental car and walked across the U.S.-Mexican border at Nogales, Ariz., to have lunch and browse in the markets in ...


While I was on spring break, English-language learners kept making the news. Here's some news I found browsing blog posts and my e-mail messages from when I was out. —GothamSchools noted that a new report by the New York City Department of Education indicates that ELLs are doing well in the city, but some say the results aren't as positive as the report implies. Immigrant parents, meanwhile, release their own report calling on schools to be more receptive to them. —Rochelle Cisneros, a former ELL teacher and teacher educator, writes a commentary for a blog at the Orlando Sentinel...


Accountability for schools in Great Britain differs from that in the United States, but a couple of opinions expressed in an article about English-language learners in Great Britain's Daily Mail sound similar to those expressed by educators in the United States. Mick Brookes, the general secretary of Great Britain's National Association of Head Teachers, is quoted as saying: "We are now hearing head teachers complaining that they and their schools are being unfairly judged because they have a large number of children with English as a second language." Sound familiar? Interestingly, the article reports that the British government was poised ...


I'm taking a vacation and don't expect to be blogging again until Thursday, March 26. But hopefully I've left you with a couple of topics, such as how stimulus funds can be used to benefit English-language learners, that you can ponder while I'm gone. (Clip art licensed from the Clip Art Gallery on DiscoverySchool.com)...


A group of researchers who are experts on English-language learners and well-respected in the education field are poised to release recommendations this week on how states and school districts should use stimulus funds to improve education for English-language learners. The group of 14 researchers drew up the recommendations because they didn't want ELLs to lose out on the benefits of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, said Diane August, a senior research scientist at the Center for Applied Linguistics, who helped convene the group and sent me the document. "We wanted to provide some input. We were quite disappointed there ...


In schools with a small number of English-language learners, first-generation immigrant students do better academically if they aren't placed in English-as-a-second-language classes, according to a study published in the March issue of Educational Policy. Their counterparts in mainstream classes without ESL do better academically than students who are put in ESL classes; this finding is true only in schools with a low number of ELLs. The study's authors say they do not interpret the finding to mean that English-language learners do not need special support services. Rather, they argue that those services available in schools with few immigrant students appear ...


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