Post-Spring Break ELL News Roundup

By Mary Ann Zehr — March 26, 2009 1 min read
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While I was on spring break, English-language learners kept making the news. Here’s some news I found browsing blog posts and my e-mail messages from when I was out.

GothamSchools noted that a new report by the New York City Department of Education indicates that ELLs are doing well in the city, but some say the results aren’t as positive as the report implies. Immigrant parents, meanwhile, release their own report calling on schools to be more receptive to them.

—Rochelle Cisneros, a former ELL teacher and teacher educator, writes a commentary for a blog at the Orlando Sentinel about how the Florida Department of Education is wrong in wanting to reduce ELL training hours for reading teachers.

—The National Center for Education Statistics publishes an issue brief about the literacy level of foreign-born adults living in the United States. Foreign-born adults who had spent only one to five years in the country scored much lower in literacy skills than those who had spent many years in the country.

—Frederick County schools in Maryland apparently wanted to count the number of students in their schools who were undocumented, and the Maryland State Board of Education responded that it’s not legal to do so, according to the Baltimore Sun.

—Several Arizona lawmakers introduced legislation that would officially exclude Native American students from the state’s English-immersion classes, according to the Cherokee Phoenix online publication. The lawmakers argue that the way the state interprets ELL programs in Arizona hurts efforts by tribes to maintain tribal languages.

—Language software company Rosetta Stone announces an essay contest for graduating seniors who are English-as-a-second-language students. The deadline for submissions is May 15.

—A group of researchers, including Diane August of the Center for Applied Linguistics and Kenji Hakuta of Stanford University, have released detailed recommendations for how states and school districts can tap money from the stimulus package to improve schooling for ELLs. Find more on that here.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.