Lawrence

Literacy/ESL

Nevada Imposes Literacy by Third Grade

Nevada GoThinkstockPhotos-474969416vernor 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

July 1st, 2015 | 1 Comment

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Dual Language Programs Benefit ELLs

ThinkstockPhotos-78773937Parents 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

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June 15th, 2015 | Leave your comments

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English on the Upswing Among Latinos

ThinkstockPhotos-79074000According to a new report out by the Pew Research Center, English proficiency has hit all-time highs among Latinos, while Spanish is spoken less and less in Latino homes. The report, “English Proficiency on the Rise Among Latinos: U.S. Born Driving Language Change,” by Jens Manuel Krogstad, Renee Stepler and Mark Hugo Lopez, examines language use trends since 1980 among U.S. Latino populations based on U.S. Census data and American Community Surveys.

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June 11th, 2015 | Leave your comments

Call to Increase Federal School Library Funding

sb10069478bh-001In a move supported by Language Magazine, a coalition of more than 20 education businesses, associations, and media groups has called on the U.S. Congress to support dedicated school library funding in the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA).

The coalition is specifically asking Congress to incorporate the Strengthening Kids’ Interest in Learning and Libraries (SKILLS) Act in ESEA reauthorization, which would expand federal investment in school libraries. Coalition leaders sent the joint letter to U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Chairman Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and HELP Committee Ranking Member Patty Murray (D-WA).

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March 19th, 2015 | 1 Comment

For Millennials, Reading Looks Good on Paper

GettyImages_78754703As eBooks continue to dominate the literary market and tablets take over our nightstands, new research pours in on the superiority of paper books: in December, Language Magazine reported on the detrimental effects of eReaders on sleep quality (see “Paper Books are Better in Bed”) and now researchers are analyzing the effects of eReading on our waking hours.

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February 25th, 2015 | Leave your comments

New Tablet-Based Interactive ELL Test

This fall, Pearson is launching TELL (Test of English Language Learning), a tablet-based assessment developed to help schools assess progress of English Language Learners (ELLs). TELL will employ one of the most tried and tested automated scoring technologies to give teachers quick access to the information they need to inform instruction, while providing district leaders with the data they need to meet state and federal reporting requirements.

“English language learners are the fastest growing student population in the U.S. and 60% of those students are in elementary school. When we talked to school and district assessment directors as well as English language teaching specialists from around the country, they emphasized the critical need for a new and engaging approach to measuring English language proficiency that accurately diagnoses students’ needs and monitors their progress,” said Alistair Van Moere, Ph.D., head of Pearson’s Assessment Product Solutions.

TELL is an interactive assessment. Students watch video clips and interact with pictures and words, then answer questions out loud. They listen, write, read, and speak — all with no mark-ups or grading by teachers. TELL screens, diagnoses, and monitors each ELL student’s progress throughout the school year.

Student responses — written and spoken — are automatically scored by Pearson’s automated scoring technologies, providing teachers with access to results within minutes. Over the past 15 years, Pearson’s spoken and written language assessment technologies have scored millions of responses and are supported by research studies that demonstrate that they score as accurately as an expert human grader.

Pearson senior product manager Paula Hidalgo, Ph.D., said, “We leveraged the power of our research-based automated scoring technologies combined with the interactivity of the tablet environment to develop a tool to measure students’ English language proficiency at key points during the school year in a flexible, reliable, and consistent way.”

The test can be used with just one student at a time, a small to large group, or for whole-class administration at the school or district level. The assessment is aligned to today’s rigorous standards.

www.PearsonAssessments.com/TELL

 

February 20th, 2015 | 2 Comments

Free Understanding Language MOOC

78726889Stanford University Graduate School of Education and University of California Davis are offering a free, new MOOC: “Seven Essential Practices for Developing Academic Oral Language and Literacy in Every Subject” is now open for registration.

“Seven Essential Practices for Developing Academic Oral Language and Literacy in Every Subject” is a collaborative course offered by the Academic Language Development Network (ALDN). It will be co-taught by Language Magazine contributors Susan O’Hara (REEd), Jeff Zwiers (Stanford University), and Robert Pritchard (Sacramento State University).

This course facilitates the practical exploration and expertise-building of seven essential ALD (academic language development) practices that have been identified as being powerful for developing school language and literacy across grade levels and content areas and for supporting the implementation of new standards. The course focuses on three “high-impact” practices: Using complex texts; Fortifying complex output (written and oral); and Fostering academic interactions. These are supported by four essential practices: Clarifying; Modeling; Guiding; and Designing instruction. This course looks closely at the development of “language for content and content for language.” It organizes a massive collaboration of educators who wish to support students, particularly English Language Learners, in developing their abilities to use complex language.

The overall goal is for participating educators to better understand and develop the academic uses of language in school-based learning and apply what they learn in the future. The MOOC will begin on January 14 and end on June 14, and is open to educators in all states of the USA.

Click here for more information

December 22nd, 2014 | Leave your comments

Newspapers, Childhood Reading Key to Strong Vocabulary

178731073Researchers at London’s Institute of Education have found that children who are avid readers reap the rewards well into adulthood. The participants of the study who were avid readers as children scored significantly higher on vocabulary tests as adults.

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November 14th, 2014 | Leave your comments

Oklahoma Legislature Votes to Repeal Common Core Standards

Lawmakers in Oklahoma have voted to repeal Common Core Standards for English and Mathematics, despite their introduction in over 40 other states.

The house voted 71-18 on Friday to reject the Common Core standards, replacing them with specific standards developed by the Oklahoma state Board of Education.

The bill was then passed by the Senate at a 31-10 vote and is now awaiting the signature of Gov. Mary Fallin to complete the state’s withdrawal.

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May 28th, 2014 | Leave your comments

Cell Phones Promote Literacy in Developing Countries

UNESCO has published a report explaining how mobile technology is used to facilitate reading and improve literacy in developing countries.

The report, Reading in the Mobile Era, highlights that hundreds of thousands of people currently use mobile technology as a portal to text. Findings show that in countries where illiteracy rates are high and physical text is scarce, large numbers of people read full-length books and stories on rudimentary small screen devices.

The report, the first-ever study of mobile readers in developing countries, provides valuable information about how mobile reading is practiced today and by whom.

Worldwide 774 million people, including 123 million youth, cannot read or write and illiteracy can often be traced to the lack of books. Most people in Sub-Saharan Africa do not own a single book, and schools in this region rarely provide textbooks to learners.

Yet the report cites data showing that where books are scarce, mobile technology is increasingly common, even in areas of extreme poverty. The International Telecommunication Union estimates that of the 7 billion people on Earth, 6 billion have access to a working mobile phone.

UNESCO’s study of mobile reading was conducted in seven developing countries, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Nigeria, Pakistan, Uganda, and Zimbabwe. Drawing on the analysis of over 4,000 surveys and corresponding qualitative interviews, the study found that:

  • large numbers of people (one third of study participants) read stories to children from mobile phones;
  • females read far more on mobile devices than males (almost six times as much according to the study);
  • both men and women read more cumulatively when they start reading on a mobile device;
  • many neo- and semi-literate people use their mobile phones to search for text that is appropriate to their reading ability.

The study is intended as a roadmap for governments, organizations, and individuals who wish to use mobile technology to help spread reading and literacy. The report recommends improving the diversity of mobile reading content to appeal to specific target groups such as parents and teachers; initiating outreach and trainings to help people transform mobile phones into portals to reading material; and lowering costs and technology barriers to mobile reading.

Download the full report here

May 25th, 2014 | 8 Comments

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