Over at the Migration Policy Institute, some researchers have been examining how other countries are educating children from immigrant families. I'm not familiar with the work of the researchers who produced these studies, and I learned about the studies a couple of months after they were released. (Find the press release here.) But I didn't want to miss the chance to report a bit on what's happening with second-language learners outside of the United States. The findings of a survey of school language policies and practices in 14 immigrant-receiving countries, not including the United States, are particularly interesting. Gayle Christensen, ...


California is poised to be the first state to adopt a set of standards, which state officials call "learning foundations," for English-language development devoted to preschool ELLs, according to officials of the California Department of Education. The California standards spell out what preschool ELLs should know at the "beginning," "middle," and "later" stages of learning English for the areas of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Find a link to them here. In trying to figure out what kind of ground California is breaking, I found out that Maryland is set to adopt standards for English-language development that include the prekindergarten ...


What's really unusual about Learning a New Land: Immigrant Students in American Society, a book based on a five-year study of several hundred immigrant students, is the in-depth profiles of 16* immigrants in U.S. schools. Anyone with any heart reading those portraits of foreign-born students, I believe, will likely conclude that it isn't easy being an immigrant. The authors categorize the participants in their study as "declining achievers," "low achievers," "improvers," or "high achievers." Even the profiles of high achievers have an underlying sense of loss as some students become distant from their parents in pursuing their American dream. ...


I've been reading so many stories lately in my morning newspaper, The Washington Post, about people who would like to stop the flow of immigrants—undocumented immigrants in particular— to their communities that I was surprised to see a front-page article in today's Post with this headline: "Immigrants Haven't Worn Out The Welcome Mat in Arlington." The article tells how educators in Arlington, Va., have really tried to figure out how to best teach immigrant students English and academic content over the years, and how the public schools are doing well. The article also notes that Arlington County received...


The Institute for Language and Education Policy—which says its mission is to educate the public on research-based strategies for English-language learners—has posted a 10-page critique of a 13-page document that an Arizona task force is using to justify changes in programs for ELLs. Also, the Washington-based Center on Education Policy released a report, "Caught in the Middle: Arizona's English Language Learners and the High School Exit Exam," today that includes the following recommendation: "The state's structured English-immersion models should be rethought to require school districts to implement instructional models that are truly research-based." That report quotes a task force...


Students in about 35 school districts in North Carolina have the option of taking a course called Spanish for Native Speakers, according to an article published yesterday in the Winston-Salem Journal. The students who enroll in the classes have been speaking Spanish all their lives, but many of them don't know the proper grammar for the language, according to the article. Many also have been speaking English all their lives, and one point of the classes is to help them become truly bilingual. These kinds of courses have been around for a long time, but there's been surprisingly little support ...


The Urban Institute followed up the release of its report, "Paying the Price: The Impact of Immigration Raids on America's Children," commissioned by the National Council of La Raza, with a panel discussion on the topic of how children have been affected by workplace immigration raids. You can listen to the two-hour discussion held Nov. 8, co-sponsored by the Chapin Hall Center for Children at the University of Chicago, online. I dipped in and out of the audio recordings of the panel presentations and didn't hear anything pertaining particularly to schools. The report, however, recommends that schools create plans to ...


If a child has the name Juan Carlos Hernandez Gonzalez, how should a school record that student's name in its databases? What if the name is Abdul Rahman bin Tariq bin Khalid Al-Alawi? A report prepared by the Regional Educational Laboratory Appalachia for the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences gives some answers to these questions. It's called "Registering Students From Language Backgrounds Other than English." The report makes a point that I had never thought of, that if schools don't develop consistent rules for how students' names from various cultures are recorded, a child's academic history ...


As a follow-up to a couple of blog entries I've written lately (here and here) about how schools have gotten caught up in law-enforcement actions by federal immigration authorities, I'll point you to an article in November's issue of The School Administrator, published by the American Association of School Administrators. In "Fighting for Immigrant Children's Rights," several school superintendents recall how they responded to immigration raids in their communities to make sure children were safe and cared for. (I wrote about this topic for Education Week in September). New to me was an anecdote about how educators at the Board ...


I mention in this week's Education Week how bilingual education got a lot of attention at last week's summit on English-language learners, sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education, in Washington. The educational method received very little attention at the previous five annual conferences on this group of students. I worry a bit about sounding like a broken record in continually reporting on whether the various entities of the federal government are giving credence to bilingual education, but the debate over whether it's better to teach English-language learners through bilingual education or English-only methods is highly political, and I'll ...


Follow This Blog

Advertisement

Most Viewed on Education Week

Categories

Archives

Recent Comments