UNESCO is celebrating World Teachers’ Day (WTD) on October 5 by highlighting the importance of empowering teachers to achieve inclusive and sustainable global development.
This year World Teachers’ Day highlights the need to empower all teachers through the provision of decent, safe, and healthy working conditions, trust, professional autonomy, and academic freedom.
Worldwide there is a growing shortage of quality teachers and inadequate professional training. The UNESCO Institute for Statistics estimates that to achieve universal primary education by 2020 countries will need to recruit a total of 10.9 million primary teachers.
All these factors result in equity gaps in access and learning which mostly affect the poorest regions and schools and the earliest grades. This is particularly damaging, as there is clear evidence that the earliest years of a child’s development are the most critical.
October 5th, 2015 | 1 Comment
Technology and the amount of information it provides us is deepening the divide between the haves and the have-nots in terms of education. As we become more dependent on digital tools to live our lives and navigate the world, parents and teachers also find themselves at a crossroads, sometimes banning seemingly mind-numbing tech like TV and video games while embracing the education trend of technology in the classroom. “We argue for a modern, “third way” approach to technology that gives young children of all backgrounds more opportunities to learn to read and succeed in the 21st century. We need to get past the tired nagging of “no screen time” and the overheated enthusiasm over apps as the holy grail of early education. Instead, let’s take a more mindful approach and combine the power of parents, educators and high-quality media (print and digital) to make literacy opportunities available to all kids and families, regardless of income,” Lisa Guernsey, co-author of Tap, Click, Read: Growing Readers in a World of Screens and director of the Early Education Initiative and the Learning Technologies Project at New America, explained to NPR.
The Common Core State Standards require that kindergarteners have the ability to read emergent texts with purpose and understanding. Kindergarten literacy standards are controversial as educators are split over what will best set up small children for success: play and creativity or academic rigor?
In response to the proliferation of short-term TESOL certificate programs around the world, TESOL International Association has developed a set of standards for entry-level short-term certificate programs. The standards are intended to provide a framework for organizations to use in developing, implementing, and evaluating programs that prepare candidates to teach English as a second or foreign language. The new standards require 120-180 hours of study and are structured around three main areas: organization and program management standards, curriculum and instructor standards, and candidate standards.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan delivered a stirring speech at the National Press Club that was particularly relevant for minority and English learner students
“I agree with Secretary Duncan. Prison is not a solution to inequitable educational funding. All children deserve an education, not punitive incarceration, which only exacerbates divisions in our society,” commented Language Magazine editor, Daniel Ward.
“Secretary Duncan offers a wise prescription for ending the school-to-prison pipeline and investing in the future of our students and nation. The relationship between America’s failure to provide equal educational opportunities for children of color and the over-representation of people of color in our prisons is clear and tragic. Diverting funding from incarceration to education and tackling bias in school discipline will help break this chain once and for all,” said Dennis Parker, director of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Racial Justice Program.
Read on for the full transcript of Duncan’s speech.
September 30th, 2015 | 2 Comments
The 2014 California Language Census found that over 22% of California public school students are English language learners (ELLs) and over 43% speak a language other than English at home. The California Department of Education provides assistance for schools to achieve the following goals: (1) Ensure that English learners acquire full proficiency in English as rapidly and effectively as possible and attain parity with native speakers of English. (2) Ensure that English learners, within a reasonable period of time, achieve the same rigorous grade-level academic standards that are expected of all students.
Californians Together, in collaboration with the California Association for Bilingual Education (CABE) invites mid-career leaders in English Learner education and advocacy to apply for a three-year fellowship. Fellows will be part of an initial cohort of 15, and will be immersed in research, as well as mentorship and skill development to inspire and prepare advocates to work at multiple levels (state, district, community) to establish strategic action agendas, move policy and practice, develop and leverage research, work with media, and build and mobilize coalitions championing the right to quality education for English Learners.
Full details and a link to the online application can be found here.
Applications are due no later than September 25, 2015.
Study Finds English Learners in Seattle-Area Elementary Schools Successfully Reach Language and Literacy Targets in Nearly Four Years
A new Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Northwest study, prepared in partnership with seven Washington school districts, found that English language learners (ELLs) took 3.8 years on average to gain English proficiency. The study included nearly 18,000 students who attended district elementary schools between 2000 and 2013. The seven districts (Auburn, Federal Way, Highline, Kent, Renton, Seattle, and Tukwila) make up the Road Map Project, an initiative aimed at doubling the proportion of students who are college and career ready by 2020.
“Knowing the time that it takes students to develop English proficiency provides educators with a measure of how quickly they can expect students to progress and helps schools identify specific programs and practices that are successful in developing students’ language and literacy skills,” said REL Northwest’s Jason Greenberg Motamedi, author of the study. continue reading
New research from Northwestern University has found a quick way to detect future literacy challenges in children who have not yet learned to read or write. The study, entitled Auditory Processing in Noise: A Preschool Biomarker for Literacy, found that preliterate children who were unable to successfully decipher speech in a noisy environment were more likely to have future trouble with reading and language development. “There are excellent interventions we can give to struggling readers during crucial preschool years, but the earlier the better,” said Nina Kraus, director of Northwestern’s Auditory Neuroscience Laboratory and professor of communication sciences, neurobiology, and physiology. “The challenge has been to identify which children are candidates for these interventions, and now we have discovered a way.”
Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval has signed the Read by Three Act (SB 391) designed to improve early literacy and student achievement. The law includes early identification and parental notification of reading deficiencies, intensive reading interventions for students in need of additional support and, as a last resort, retention at the end of third grade with more intensive interventions.
The law also requires progress monitoring plans for struggling readers, which prescribe the interventions that their schools will provide, learning support and professional development, and that school districts and charter schools report the number of students retained each year in third grade. continue reading
Parents of English languages learners (ELLs) often place their children in English language based classroom in hopes that they will pick up the language, but bilingual education may be the better decision. A recent study by the Houston Education Research Consortium found that students learning English as a second language are more successful when they are continually taught in their native tongue. The study is one of the first solid results from the Houston International School District’s (HISD) two-way dual language program.
#duallanguage #bilingualeducation #ELL