Twenty-five years ago this week, Education Week published several stories about the rise of bilingual education in this country and how, even then, the educational method was running into political problems. The lead story was "Law and Policy in the Lau Era: The Emerging Politics of Language," which is not available online. The stories were part of a series on language policy and marked a decade since the U.S. Supreme Court had decided in Lau v. Nichols that the San Francisco school system was violating the civil rights of Chinese-speaking students by not helping them learn English. I learned ...


My colleague Debra Viadero writes in "Scholars See Comics as No Laughing Matter" in this week's Education Week that scholars are viewing comics as a promising subject for educational research. She reports that about 125 teachers, scholars, and artists attended the first academic conference on "Graphica in Education" about how comics can be used in the classroom. Since using visuals is one recommended strategy for language teachers, it's no surprise that over at EFL Classroom 2.0, David Deubelbeiss has written about how manga and comics are great tools for educators of English-language learners. He includes a folder of comics ...


Although 75 percent of English-language learners in the United States speak Spanish, bilingual education teachers tell me it can be hard to find high-quality classroom materials in Spanish. World Book Inc. is apparently trying to fill the void. The company, in partnership with Hispanica Saber, has created a comprehensive online encyclopedia in Spanish....


The Guardian Weekly, a British newspaper, just published an adaptation of an article I had written for Quality Counts 2009 about the impact of provisions for English-language learners in the No Child Left Behind Act. The newspaper put a more provocative headline on the article, "No Child Left Behind, Did Bush Get It Right?", than did Education Week, but the content is basically the same as in "English-Learners Pose Policy Puzzle," which I shortened at the Guardian Weekly's request. Let me clarify that while the description of me at the end of the article says I'm "author" of Quality Counts ...


I wonder how English-language learners will be served at Manhattan's Louis D. Brandeis High School, now that that the New York City Department of Education has decided to break it up into three small schools, reported this week by the New York Times. The 2,251-student school enrolls a large number of special education students and English-language learners, according to the article. Two-thirds of its students are Hispanic and 28 percent are black. I visited this school in 2003 when I wrote for Ed Week about Spanish for Native Speakers classes taught there. I distinctly remember having a conversation with ...


Within six years, Mexican education officials plan to have all 12 million of the country's public primary schoolchildren learning English, according to an article published this week in the Houston Chronicle. (Hat tip to TESOL in the News Blog.) Currently, the Mexican government requires English to be taught in 7th through 9th grades. Starting next fall, a federal pilot program will support 5,000 schools with textbooks and funds to teach English in the primary grades. See "Technology Becomes Substitute for English Teacher," which Kathleen Kennedy Manzo and I wrote for Education Week in April 2006 for more information about ...


Park City School District in Utah is the latest school district I've heard of that is requiring new teachers to get an English-as-a-second-language endorsement. Deseret News reports that the district is requiring all new teachers to get an ESL endorsement within the first three years of their employment. Only three states—Arizona, Florida, and New York—require all prospective teachers to show they are competent to teach English-language learners, according to Quality Counts 2009, "Portrait of a Population: How English-Language Learners Are Putting Schools to the Test." But one by one, school districts are approving policies that require their teachers...


Kirsten E. Gillibrand, New York's new senator, has told elected Latino officials that she supports a congressional bill that would provide a path to legalization for undocumented students who grew up in the United States and are attending college, according to the New York Times. That bill, called the DREAM Act, which is short for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act, last stalled in the U.S. Congress in November 2007. Despite Gillibrand's pledge of support for the DREAM Act, the Times' Feb. 1 article also says that some Latino officials didn't sound convinced that she was sincere ...


The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, in Tyler, Texas, has decided that Texas may wait to overhaul the state's programs for secondary English-language learners until the appeals court decides if a lower court was correct in ruling that the state's programs don't comply with federal law. (Click here for the court document granting the stay.) William Wayne Justice, a senior U.S. district judge for the eastern district of Texas, Tyler division, ruled in July in U.S. v. Texas that Texas violates the federal Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 by not providing adequate programs ...


Among the posts selected for the 9th edition of the EFL/ESL/ELL Blog Carnival is one by EFL Classroom 2.0 about Project Peace, which aims to help teachers of English-language learners around the world share ideas about how to teach about peace. Some of the other posts give teachers advice on how to shape lessons on various elements of the English language, such as how to use adverbs. Larry Ferlazzo of Larry Ferlazzo's Websites of the Day is the founder of this English-learning Carnival. I hosted the 8th edition....


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