"The more words you know, the easier it is to acquire new words," said David J. Francis, a professor of quantitative methods in the psychology department of the University of Houston, while presenting a study about teaching vocabulary to English-language learners at a conference of the Institute of Education Sciences this month in Washington. Mr. Francis argued at a June 11 session about ELLs that schools need to do a better job of infusing the teaching of vocabulary across a school's whole curricula. Mr. Francis noted that the Reading First Impact Study, released in May, shows that children in Reading ...


A comment by Zoe Ann about a recent blog entry on how some schools are moving toward a push-in model and away from a pull-out model for teaching English as a second language, sent me in pursuit of research on the effectiveness of either educational approach. The answer so far (readers, tell me if I'm missing something): There's not much out there. With the push-in approach, ESL teachers work with ELLs in their regular classrooms; with the pull-out approach, ESL teachers work with such students in separate classrooms, whether for one period a day or a much longer time. Two ...


Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne has refiled a lawsuit in federal court that he had filed in July 2006 against the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. The lawsuit alleges that the federal education department reneged on an oral agreement it had made in 2003 with the Arizona Department of Education concerning the inclusion of test scores of English-language learners in the accountability system of the No Child Left Behind Act. According to the lawsuit filed last Friday, Arizona education officials agreed back in 2003 to follow federal regulations to include ...


It was only yesterday that FlashReport published a commentary by Lance Izumi, the senior director of education studies for the Pacific Research Institute, that praises Proposition 227, the ballot measure approved by California voters 10 years ago this month that greatly curtailed bilingual education in California. And already, Stephen Krashen, a professor emeritus at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles, has posted an article on the ELL Advocates blog that he published in 2004 that he believes rebuts Mr. Izumi's premise. (The posting has a time of 1:48 a.m., which would mean that Mr. Krashen posted it ...


In a June 18 press release, the Washington-based Immigration Policy Center accuses lawmakers of trying to " 'deport their way out' of a dysfunctional immigration system that has fueled a growing undocumented population." (Hat tip to ImmigrationProf Blog.) The press release gives an update on three youths whose education plans for the future have been interrupted because of their illegal status in the United States. See earlier posts, "Boy Scout to Be Deported," and "Valedictorian of California High School to Be Deported." I have a depressing thought that I may need to start a not-very-occasional feature within this blog called Youth ...


Northfield School District in Minnesota is one more school district deciding to have English-as-a-second-language teachers work with English-learners in their regular classes rather than pulling them out of class for specialized instruction, according to a June 18 article in the community's local newspaper, Northfield News. (Hat tip to TESOL in the News.) Gary Lewis, the school district's director of student services, pitched a plan to the Northfield school board to improve services to the district's 278 ELLs after the district went into "program improvement" under the No Child Left Behind Act. It had failed to make adequate yearly progress for ...


I'll pass on to you some tidbits of news about the money behind an initiative set to be put on the Oregon ballot in November that would limit English-as-a-second-language classes or native-language instruction for English-learners to two years. See my earlier post on the initiative. Erik Sorensen, a spokesman for Causa, an Oregon immigrant-rights group opposed to the initiative, sent some links to help me find this information. Causa is calling the ballot initiative an "anti-ESL instruction initiative." The Statesman Journal, published in Salem, Ore., has characterized it as "an initiative to end bilingual education." The terminology used in the ...


Though advocates of bilingual education still groan when they hear his name, it's been several years since Ron K. Unz, a California businessman, stepped away from the national debate on how best to educate English-language learners. Before Mr. Unz's withdrawal, he financed campaigns that succeeded in getting voters in Arizona, California, and Massachusetts to approve ballot initiatives to curtail bilingual education in those states. He financed a similar campaign in Colorado as well, but lost that one. Now supporters of an initiative to curtail bilingual education in Oregon have succeeded in gathering enough signatures to have it put on the ...


In California, most English-language learners are reclassified as fluent in the language in 4th through 6th grades, with another large group reclassified in 8th and 9th grades, according to a paper about California reclassification rates released this week by the Lexington Institute, a conservative think tank in Arlington, Va. The paper, "The Education of Jaime Capellan: English Learner Success in California Schools," synthesizes information from various reports about the progress of California ELLs in learning English. You may have noticed that the Lexington Institute keeps a close watch on reclassification rates of ELLs in California. In May 2007, the institute ...


Elise Martins, a teacher from Postville, Iowa, didn't expect her personal account of the immigration raid in her community on May 12 to spread widely over the Internet, according to ImmigrationProf Blog. But her account is so vivid, and points to what other educators in this country could face during immigration raids in their communities, that I can't help but spread the account farther. At the time of the raid, the teacher was with a group of students in the community on a field trip. Here's an excerpt about the instructions she received on how to proceed: I am told ...


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