It's as clear as mud what kind of instruction schools will be giving English-language learners in Arizona in the coming school year. I didn't have much luck sorting matters out at the school district level, so I went to Tom Horne, Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction, for the official word on what ELL classes might look like in the fall. A bill passed by the Arizona legislature in March 2006 requires school districts to give ELLs at lower levels of proficiency four hours of English-language-development instruction each day. Up until this school year, when a state task force further spelled ...


Eight in ten Muslim students surveyed in New York City say their schools are "pretty cool," according to the results of a study that Louis Cristillo, an education professor at Columbia University's Teachers College, will present at a conference hosted today by his university. The study, "Religiousity, Education and Civic Belonging: Muslim Youth in New York City Public Schools," also showed that 17 percent of Muslim students responding to the survey said they had been the target of bigotry, often in the form of teasing or taunting about Islam, according to a Teachers College press release. Click here for more ...


In a video that I watched this morning "Ms. Griego" models for "Ms. Sullivan" how to give English-language learners "think time" during a lesson and how to guide students to chat with a "shoulder partner," whoever is sitting next to him or her. Ms. Griego is a coach for teachers of ELLs, and Ms. Sullivan is a teacher being coached. The video doesn't name the schools where the teachers work. The video captures excerpts of Ms. Griego's model lesson delivered to ELLs in 3rd grade, and conversations between the two teachers. It's available online from Stanford's School of Education. The ...


I found myself in the same boat as many educators a few weeks ago when I embarked on a quest to learn about Bhutanese refugees, a new wave of immigrants arriving in the United States. I had to start from scratch. Here are a few of the basics: Bhutan is a small country wedged between India and China. It has been the home to different ethnic groups, including the refugees, who lived in Bhutan for generations and retained their Nepalese language and culture. The refugees say they were forced out of the country by discriminatory policies that made it difficult ...


Don't miss Larry Ferlazzo's compilation of "The Best Sites to Learn About U.S. Presidential Elections," which he's found to work well with English-language learners. Mr. Ferlazzo is teaching a government class this semester for intermediate ELLs at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, California....


Update: A comment from Charles Stansfield caused me to check out the Ohio Department of Education's Web site and find that Ohio provides translation in Somali for a number of state tests, though students must read portions of the state's reading test in English. So the premise of my blog item is wrong. Ohio education officials, I apologize to you for making a totally wrong assumption. Original Blog Post: A journalist for the Cleveland Scene has written a thoughtful piece, published April 16, about English-language learners and the No Child Left Behind Act. The article, "How do you pass No ...


I came across a story via hispanictips.com and TESOL in the News about how the scores of English-language learners in a Colorado school district on the state's English-language-proficiency test improved significantly this school year over the previous one. This is the second year that Colorado schools have administered the Colorado English Language Assessment test, or CELA. While reading the article, I recalled reading an article about improved test scores of ELLs on Oregon's English-language-proficiency test that spurred a lot of discussion last month over at the ELL Advocates blog. In that story Oregon educators were quoted as saying that ...


Over at Colorin colorado, a teacher of English-language learners in Minnesota has posted an article telling how she helped her students to discover what it takes to get a passing score on the state's writing exam. Passing the writing test is one of the biggest obstacles to graduation for her ELL students, writes Kristina Robertson. "They had a lot of anxiety around writing," she says in the article, "and the state writing exam was like a monster growing in the room as the test date neared." In one way, the article, "Writing a Winning Essay," is a prescription for "teaching ...


With the exception perhaps of Stephen D. Krashen, a professor emeritus of the University of Southern California, I don't believe anyone has penned more commentary than James Crawford arguing that bilingual education benefits English-language learners more than do English-only methods. Particularly notable in my mind is an "obituary" for the federal Bilingual Education Act that Mr. Crawford authored in 2002 as a policy brief for Arizona State University. I confess that when I learned that provisions for English-language learners under the No Child Left Behind Act would fall under a title with the number III rather than the number VII, ...


One trend I've noticed in the field of teaching English-language learners is that lots of educators are talking about how best to impart "academic English"—the language of school as opposed to social English—as efficiently as possible. At TESOL's annual conference recently, Kaye Wiley Maggart, who has written books for ELLs published by Pearson Education, encouraged teachers to refer to word lists developed by linguists to make sure students are learning the vocabulary they need to do well in school and on standardized tests. She recommended an academic word list developed by Averil Coxhead from Victoria University of Wellington,...


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