I'm hearing a lot of talk lately about the need for teachers to be trained to work with English-language learners. Only a few states require all teachers to receive such training, so it wasn't surprising that in a recent audit by the Kansas legislature of second- and third-year teachers in that state, 60 percent of teachers who have taught ELLs in their first few years of teaching (and responded to a survey) said they didn't feel adequately prepared to do so. The Kansas survey also found that teachers who graduated from academic programs that stress hands-on experience in creating lesson ...


Timothy Hogan, the lawyer for plaintiffs in the long-running Flores v. Arizona court case concerning ELLs, filed a motion in the U.S. District Court in Tucson last Friday, asking the federal court to stop implementation of the state's mandates for school districts to establish a new kind of program for ELLs this coming school year because the mandates aren't adequately funded, according to a May 2 Associated Press article. Meanwhile, Tom Horne, the state's superintendent of public instruction, is quoted as saying that Mr. Hogan doesn't care about ELLs because he's trying to halt implementation of the new programs ...


Friday's Federal Register contains a proposed "interpretation" of the No Child Left Behind Act that, if put into effect, will require states to make some big changes in their policies regarding English-language learners. One of the biggest changes that I see is that states will have to use the same criteria for deciding when English-language learners exit from programs as they use to determine if students have attained proficiency in English for reporting purposes under accountability provisions of the No Child Left Behind Act. Now, states set criteria for what it means for students to attain proficiency in the language ...


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 ...


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