The National Center for Family Literacy has announced that it will expand its family literacy centers for Hispanic and immigrant families to five new cities. They are: Las Vegas, Las Cruces, N.M.; Long Beach, Calif.; Memphis, Tenn.; and Springdale, Ark. The center already operates family literacy centers in 20 cities in partnership with Toyota. Sharon Darling, the founder of the National Center for Family Literacy, which is based in Louisville, Ky., explained to me that through the program parents typically spend several half-days per week at their child's school. The program targets parents of children in kindergarten through 3rd ...


The U.S. Department of State is planning to create an on-line program to help disadvantaged youths outside of the United States learn English, according to a summary of the project posted by TESOL in the News. The program will be free. I hope that ELLs living in the United States will also be able to access it. The U.S. Department of Education just released an online program, USALearns, designed for adult ELLs living inside the United States to learn English. Larry Ferlazzo says his high school ELLs have found it engaging....


...for the next edition of the ESL/ELL/EFL Carnival, which features blog entries about the education of English-language learners. The deadline for submissions is Nov. 28. I'll post the carnival on Dec. 1. Use this submission form or send a link to me at [email protected]


Education Week has published an article, "Advocates of Bilingual Education Eager to Embrace Obama as Ally," in which I report on Barack Obama's endorsement of transitional bilingual education during his campaign and what that might mean for education....


Yvonne S. Freeman and David E. Freeman, who are popular speakers about English-language learners at education conferences, have published a book to help educators recognize "academic language," the language of school, and help ELLs to acquire it. The husband-and-wife writing and speaking team are bilingual education professors at the University of Texas-Brownsville. Their new book, "Academic Language for English Language Learners and Struggling Readers," is written in a way that I find engaging. For example, they publish an essay,"Problems with Minorities," by an English-learner named Dolores and explain why her essay doesn't show a mastery of academic English. Dolores ...


It seems that an increasing number of schools are trying to get all teachers in a school to adapt their teaching methods to better reach English-language learners. The need for systemic approaches to improving the education of ELLs is a theme woven through several articles about such students published in the recent issue of R&D Alert, a newsletter of WestEd. "EL Expertise: Not Just for Specialists Anymore" tells about a professional development model developed by Aida Walqui, the director of WestEd's teacher professional development program, and colleagues. Through the model, called Quality Teaching for English Learners, or QTEL, secondary ...


More than a year ago, when Elvira Arellano, a Mexican and the single mother of a U.S.-born son, was deported to Mexico, I wondered who would care for her son. She had been a cleaning woman at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. But then, after she was arrested and told to appear before immigration authorities, she took refuge in a Chicago church for a year rather than be deported. When she left the church to give a speech in Los Angeles, she was arrested and deported. Saul had participated in rallies and met with Washington politicians in a campaign ...


President-elect Barack Obama's transition team includes at least one person—Juliet V. Garcia, the president of the University of Texas-Brownsville—who must know quite a lot about English-language learners. Her university is located on the bank of the Rio Grande River, which defines the U.S.-Mexico border, and enrolls a great number of ELLs or former ELLs. Before she became president of UT-Brownsville in 1992, she was president of Texas Southmost College, a community college in Brownsville, for six years. Ms. Garcia, a Mexican-American, has a Ph.D. in communications and linguistics from the University of Texas at Austin....


The Dallas Morning News reports today that the Dallas school district had, until last summer, a practice of giving foreign teachers with visas fake Social Security numbers to quickly get them on the payroll. Some of the phony numbers were used to conduct background checks of new hires who had been brought in to teach bilingual courses, the article says....


While watching a documentary play this week, sponsored by Vital Voices Global Partnership, I was amazed by how some women who have experienced great suffering have gone on to do a lot to help other people. This could be the case with some of the English-language learners in this country as well, many of whom have experienced war or extreme poverty. Or they may be able to identify with some of the stories of these women. The play, Seven, tells the story of seven women from around the world who have fought for human rights. Those seven are Hafsat Abiola ...


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