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,...


For the second time, Arizona Gov. Janet Napolitano has permitted a bill to become law without her signature addressing a federal court mandate to provide adequate funding for English-language learners in that state, according to an April 15 article in the Arizona Republic. The first time that she let this happen, she contended the legislation wouldn't pass muster with the court. And she was right. This time, she also expressed her view that the matter of funding for ELLs hasn't been resolved with the new piece of legislation. We'll see what happens in the courts with this new law, which ...


I've got to admire the stamina of Foch "Tut" Pensis, the superintendent of the Coachella Valley Unified School District in California, in pointing out aspects of the No Child Left Behind Act that he perceives to be unfair for English-language learners. You may remember that Coachella Valley is one of the California school districts that sued the state in 2005, contending that California didn't test ELLs in a reliable way. (To learn more about the details of that lawsuit, see "Another Take on Coachella Valley Unified School District v. California.") An article published this week, "Coachella Valley superintendent fights having ...


A team of researchers at the Migration Policy Institute argue that primary and secondary schools are perhaps the most important institutions for integrating immigrant families into American society. In a report released today, "Los Angeles on the Leading Edge: Immigrant Integration Indicators and their Policy Implications," they use data about English-language learners from Los Angeles—and also some national data—to document a couple of troubling trends. (Los Angeles refers to the Los Angeles-Long Beach metro area. The Los Angeles Unified School District alone has 330,000 ELLs, who make up 43 percent of the system's students.) The first disturbing...


English-language learners frequently move back and forth between the Pawtucket and Central Falls school districts in Rhode Island. So it makes sense that teachers in both districts worked together to write a curriculum for English-language learners that is now being used in both school districts. Read the article I wrote about this cooperative effort, which was guided by Nancy Cloud, a teacher-educator at Rhode Island College, at www.edweek.org....


At the start of this school year, the Montezuma-Cortez School District in Colorado had 855 English-language learners. By January, the number of ELLs had dropped to 320. I read this bit of news in the Cortez Journal (via Colorin Colorado) last month and wondered: How could this be? I chatted by telephone with Donetta Dehart, the English-language-acquisition coordinator for the Montezuma-Cortez school system, and a couple of officials from the Colorado department of education. They told me a demographic shift hadn't occurred. Rather, the 2,800-student district, after being audited by state officials, merely revamped how it identified English-language learners. ...


Children from migrant families are vulnerable in this country to having their human rights violated, according to a report released last month by the United Nations. (Click here for the link to download the 27-page report, which is at the top of the list. Choose "E" for English.) About a year ago, Jorge Bustamante, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants for the United Nations, visited the United States to investigate the effects of U.S. immigration policy and procedures on migrants, including children. (See my earlier posts, "New Yorker Reporter Writes about Hutto, From the Outside," and "U.N....


I know that I've been making too many posts about immigration lately rather than the education of English-language learners, which is the true subject of this blog. But I can't resist pointing you to this fascinating story published April 4 in the Los Angeles Times about the man who created the image of a family on the run posted on road signs near the U.S.-Mexico border. It's become a visual symbol of illegal immigration in this country. (I came across the story on ImmigrationProf Blog.) What's the school angle on this blog entry? I think it's the kind ...


Some immigrant children have to grow up fast when they come to the United States. Dorina Arapi, who moved to the United States from Albania as a child, writes how the two hours she cared for her younger brother each day while her mother worked seemed like 200 hours. Also, she says in a student essay featured by an Eduwonk post yesterday that she was looking up words in a dictionary and otherwise perfecting her English while other 8-year-olds rode their bikes and went to the park. "I felt I was an adult before I was a kid," she writes. ...


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