Tired parents collapsed on couches resting after a hard day of work are a couple of the images that some immigrant teens from Catalina Magnet High School in Tucson, Ariz., have captured to show what life is like for their families in the United States. Julie Kasper, a teacher at Catalina Magnet High School, organized students in her English-as-a-second-language classes to work with a local documentary photographer, Josh Schachter, to create a photo gallery to tell about their lives outside of school. A June 7 article in Tucson Weekly, "Free but Isolated," tells about the project. The photos were hung ...


I thought it was a no-brainer that teachers of English-language learners should align their instruction and materials with their students' culture, until I investigated what research is available to back this assumption for a Jan. 9 Education Week article. I didn't find any researchers who thought culture-based instruction is a bad idea, but I did talk with some who say the claims of its effectiveness are not YET backed up with empirical evidence from research studies. Those folks are arguing for more research that carefully looks at the impact of culture-based instruction on reading test scores and other student achievement ...


How can a child who speaks only English make friends with a girl in her school who speaks only Spanish? Jacqueline Jules, a librarian at Timber Lane Elementary School in Fairfax County, Va., has written a children's book that provides some ideas. Not surprisingly, since it is a librarian who has written the story, called No English, one of the ways Diane, the girl who speaks only English, and Blanca, the girl who speaks only Spanish, become friends is by reading a book together in the library that has English and Spanish text side by side. I like how the ...


A new resource is being developed that could be useful for schools with bilingual programs in Navajo and English—the first software system to teach the Navajo language. The software will be owned by the Cornville, Ariz.-based organization, Navajo Language Renaissance, and is being created with assistance from Rosetta Stone, a Harrisonburg, Va.-based company, according to a Jan. 6 Associated Press article. A Dec. 6 Navajo Times article gives additional details, such as that the project is endorsed by the Navajo Nation Board of Education. I wrote about a bilingual Navajo-English school on the Navajo Nation in Window...


What do Angelina Jolie and I have in common? We've both visited an immigration detention center in the United States for unaccompanied minors. These centers house children who are picked up by federal immigration authorities without their parents. Often, the children are trying to reunite with their parents in the United States. Last school year, I visited the Boystown shelter for unaccompanied minors in Miami and wrote about the school there run by the Miami-Dade public school district. Ms. Jolie, well-known for her off-screen involvement in humanitarian causes, has visited a shelter for unaccompanied minors in Phoenix run by Southwest ...


Under the No Child Left Behind Act, English-language learners must be tested in how well they are acquiring English. If they are enrolled in dual-language programs—which in this country most commonly teach Spanish and English—the federal law doesn't require schools to measure students' progress in Spanish as well. But for those educators who would like to keep track of how their students in dual-language programs are progressing in Spanish, the Center for Applied Linguistics provides a free guide about Spanish-language assessments. The guide doesn't recommend one test over another. But it provides a lot of information unlikely...


Larry Ferlazzo, who teaches English-language learners at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif., regularly reports on the Web sites he considers to be most useful for teachers of English as a second language. See his resource-sharing blog for a list of "The Best Internet Sites for English-Language Learners—2007" and "The Best Web 2.0 Applications for ESL/EFL Learners—2007."...


My next post on Learning the Language will be early in the new year. Have a lovely holiday season and happy new year....


California will be the last state to fully comply with requirements in the No Child Left Behind Act that a state's English-language learners must be tested in English proficiency each year in grades K-12. I reported recently that all states and the District of Columbia had cleared an initial hurdle in putting such tests in place. (A blog entry on the same subject is here.) But my article didn't mention one nuance. California is still lacking one small piece of the English-language-proficiency testing system required by the federal government. The state is testing English-learners in kindergarten and 1st grade only ...


About 2 million of the nation's 53.3 million school-age children, or 4 percent, are living in the country illegally, says a report released by the Congressional Budget Office this month. And an additional 3 million school-age children are U.S. citizens born to parents who are undocumented. Those figures were first reported by the Urban Institute. The congressional report, "The Impact of Unauthorized Immigrants on the Budgets of State and Local Governments," is the first national report I've seen in several years released by the U.S. government that gives some clues about how much it costs state and ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments