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Could a Teacher With an Accent Be Good for ELLs?

By Mary Ann Zehr — May 06, 2010 1 min read

Over at The Washington Post‘s Answer Sheet, Valerie Strauss points to a study that suggests Arizona education officials might be making a mistake by calling for teachers with accents to be removed from classrooms with English-language learners.

The study, conducted in Israel, showed that students learned English better if taught by a teacher who shared their same accent. Strauss speculates that, for students whose first language is Spanish, as is the case with many ELLs in Arizona, that could mean they would benefit from learning English from a teacher who speaks in Spanish-accented English.

Meanwhile, over at School Law Blog, Mark Walsh has blogged about a ruling by the highest court of Massachusetts this week that the Lowell school district had improperly fired a teacher, a native of Cambodia, after district officials determined she didn’t speak English well enough to be in the classroom.

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