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ETS - Aug 2011

Cutting to the Common Core: Fostering Academic Interaction

Kate Kinsella offers an action plan to encourage second language learners to participate in constructive classroom discussion

A primary goal of English language development and world-language coursework is to ensure that students develop the verbal and written language skills to communicate effectively in social and academic settings. To develop communicative competence, students at all grade levels and proficiency levels need daily supported opportunities using their second languages for diverse purposes. Simply providing provocative questions and exhortations to “share with a neighbor” will not yield impressive linguistic results. In this frequent classroom scenario, students are likely to respond inefficiently and inaudibly, using brief phrases punctuated by everyday vocabulary, without being able to recall their lesson partners’ contributions.

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March 26th, 2015 | Leave your comments

Rapping Bilingualism ’round the Nation

Rapping Bilingualism ’round the Nation

Kristal Bivona interviews GueroLoco — a bilingual rapper, activist, inspirational speaker who’s winning over the country with his words

GueroLoco wears many hats: he’s an award-winning hip-hop en español artist, an activist for immigrant rights and language rights, and an inspirational speaker for students and teachers. He united his passions for music and for bilingualism in his project Bilingual Nation U.S.A., which he started with his high school Spanish teacher. This year, he and Bilingual Nation U.S.A. are in the running for four Chicago Music Awards, and he will be hosting the fifth annual National Spanish Spelling Bee. Language Magazine caught up with GueroLoco to find out what inspired him to pursue bilingualism and to learn about his plans for making the U.S. a bilingual nation.

To read the full story, click here.

March 21st, 2015 | Leave your comments

Stories Bring It Home

Kate Nguyen and Nile Stanley research resilience in language learners and its relationship to storytelling

International students who study a second language abroad may experience more adjustment problems than their domestic peers (Narra-Tumma & Claudius, 2013). The challenges they face can include problems with immigration/visa status, separation from family, limited financial resources, isolation due to difficulty speaking a new language and learning unfamiliar customs, and negotiating a new educational system. Di Maria and Kwai (2014) explored the attitudes toward foreign students of staff members in student-affairs offices at colleges and found that as many as 64% said their offices were not doing anything specifically to accommodate the international student population, and 90% said they wanted more training on how to help such students be successful. The researchers concluded that the conversation for international educators should shift from recruit.

To read the full story, click here.

March 16th, 2015 | Leave your comments

March 2015

March 2015 Cover

Cutting to the Common Core
Fostering Academic Interaction

Kate Kinsella offers an action plan to encourage second language learners to participate in constructive classroom discussion

Stories Bring It Home
Kate Nguyen and Nile Stanley research resilience in language learners and its relationship to storytelling

Ludic Learning
Ted Martin explains why we need games in the classroom and offers some suggestions

The Cradle of Spanish
Daniel Ward visits the birthplace of the Spanish language

Rapping Bilingualism ’round the Nation
Kristal Bivona interviews GueroLoco — a bilingual rapper, activist, inspirational speaker who’s winning over the country with his words

Last Writes Richard Lederer on how Anne Frank’s diary speaks to us across the years

Reviews Jobshop Source and more.

March 1st, 2015 | Leave your comments

Celebrate International Mother Language Day

Inclusive Education through and with Language – Language Matters

Message from the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova:

865118912e.jpg;pv6e39bc7714daa0712015 marks the 15th anniversary of International Mother Language Day – this is also a turning point year for the international community, as the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals, when countries will define a new global sustainable development agenda.

The focus for the post-2015 agenda must fall on the priority of advancing quality education for all — widening access, ensuring equality and inclusiveness, and promoting education for global citizenship and sustainable development. Education in the mother language is an essential part of achieving these goals — to facilitate learning and to bolster skills in reading, writing and mathematics. Taking this forward requires a sharper focus on teaching training, revisions of academic programs and the creation of suitable learning environments.

UNESCO takes forward these goals across the world. In Latin America, with the United Nations Children’s Fund, UNESCO is promoting inclusive education through bilingual intercultural approaches, in order to include both native and non-native cultures. For the same reasons, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Asia and the Pacific, based in Bangkok, Thailand, is working to deepen understandings of multilingual education based on the mother tongue, across the region and further afield. Mother tongue education is force for quality learning – it is also essential to bolster multilingualism and respect for linguistic and cultural diversity in societies that are transforming quickly.

Since 2000, there has been tremendous progress to reach the goals of Education for All. Today, we must look ahead – to complete unfinished business and to tackle new challenges. International Mother Language Day is a moment for all of us to raise the flag for the importance of mother tongue to all educational efforts, to enhance the quality of learning and to reach the unreached. Every girl and boy, every woman and man must have the tools to participate fully in the lives of their societies – this is a basic human right and it is a force for the sustainability of all development.

Language education counts

For UNESCO, “appropriate language education” is fundamental to enable learners to benefit from quality education, learn throughout life, and have access to information.  This is possible if there is an approach to language education that promotes the use of at least three languages: one of which should be a mother tongue or first language (c.f.: the standard set by UNESCO in its position paper, Education in a Multilingual World).

Language education can also be seen as a means to ensure that, down the road, learners participate as global citizens, acting for change at both the local and global levels.

The presentations and discussions foreseen on the occasion of IMLD 2015 will seek to demonstrate that quality language education (and multilingual education in particular) is an effective means to ensure inclusion in and through education and build global citizens. If undertaken appropriately, it can equip learners with the language skills they need to contribute proactively to society, creating a more peaceful, inclusive and sustainable world. Language education also offers a framework for transmitting values and knowledge that strengthen a sense of belonging to both local and global communities, which are the starting point of civic engagement.

But much remains to be done to make sure language education does generate such returns. During the celebration of Mother Language Day 2015, we will review the challenges to the implementation of “appropriate language education” and highlight examples of good practices  in this area, which can inspire Member States and partners to support its development and use.

February 21st, 2015 | Leave your comments

Relevance of Rights for All

Ayanna Cooper incorporates social justice into the Common Core for English learners

To date, 43 states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) have adopted the Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2015). Educators at all levels are working to ensure full and thorough implementation of these standards, which offer the opportunity to self-assess and revise initial instructional goals with a focus on improving outcomes for all students but especially those identified as English learners (ELs). The adoption of CCSS has undoubtedly fuelled the conversation as to how to address culturally and linguistically diverse learners in light of the rigorous standards. As a language educator, I am excited that the CCSS bring forth the need for all domains of language — speaking, writing, reading, and listening — to be emphasized and a permanent part of instructional practice; hence, all teachers are language teachers.

To read the full story, click here.

February 12th, 2015 | 2 Comments

February 2015

February 2015 Cover

Cross-Sector Collaboration Promises Progress
Kathy Stein-Smith assesses the role of the Language Enterprise in addressing the U.S. world-language deficit

Relevance of Rights for All
Ayanna Cooper incorporates social justice into the Common Core for English learners

Teaching in Tandem
Myryame Montrose Elder shares the success of co-teaching content and English

Capital Culture
David Tedone shows how all teachers can learn
from the integration of culture in business English programs

Going for a Global High
Report focuses on international students attending U.S. secondary schools

Support for Bilingual Preschoolers
Program offers online tools for educators with bilingual students

TEACH Grants Invest in Educators
Funding for bilingual, ESL, and world-language educators

Last Writes
Richard Lederer brings a Valentine’s Day quiz about classic literary lovers

Reviews Jobshop Source and more.

February 2nd, 2015 | Leave your comments

Making Reading Your Own

Todd Brekhus, president of myON, extols the benefits of students developing their own personal digital libraries

Making literacy more personal to kids, especially to second-language learners, begins with providing learners with their own personal libraries. It’s hard to think about literacy without a library of great content and great books. So, when a student is able to have his or her own personal library — especially one that’s digital, with an array of books at their fingertips for fast access — that’s a strong and positive beginning. Students are able to open up and read books they’re interested in, books at their level. Digital books now have the capability for authentic audio recording, so the students can hear how a word sounds as they are reading.

To read the full story, click here.

January 28th, 2015 | Leave your comments

Managing Diversity

Anne Scatchell argues that administrators need specific training to successfully manage culturally diverse classrooms

“I know that I don’t have a background in working with English language learners, but aren’t you using far too many videos in your class?” said the district level administrator. “You need to make sure that you are teaching the curriculum ‘as is.’ We can’t have you teaching any differently than the other teachers.” The principal stood by silently after admitting unfamiliarity with best practice for ELs but sided with his supervisor. Unfortunately, variations on this conversation are being repeated in schools throughout the country.

To read the full story, click here.

January 19th, 2015 | Leave your comments

Digital Guide on the Side

Tanya Roscorla predicts the digital trends that will continue to grow in K–12 education in 2015 as learning becomes more student centered

Throughout these trends, you’ll find several common threads. The first is a focus on the student, and that’s especially evident in personalized learning and adaptive technology. The second is both a mark of progress and a clue that we still have a ways to go: students have access to more digital learning options than they had before, but their education options are still determined largely by where they live.

To read the full story, click here.

January 14th, 2015 | Leave your comments

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The World As We Speak

Texas Introduces House Bill to adopt Seal of Bilingualism and Biliteracy
If approved, seal could appear on diplomas as early as the 2013-2014 school year

Brazilian Literature Goes Global
Reading Brazil Digitally and in Translation.

NY Becomes 2nd State to Recognize Biliterate Grads

Feds Face Foreign Language Crisis
Senate hearing discussed how the lack of adequately trained language specialists compromises national security.

State Dept Chooses Kindle for Worldwide English
In an effort to promote English literacy around the world, the U.S. Department of State is planning to purchase up to 35,000 Kindle e-readers as well as selected content. The Kindles would be distributed to U.S.-friendly educational centers around the world so as to be available to those looking to study English and learn about America.

Need for Bilingual Preschools
A new report from the Center for American Progress that urges policymakers to maximize on the investments being made in public preschool programs to serve disadvantaged children. Specifically, the report calls for "more federal, state, and local capacity to meet the increasing demand for culturally and linguistically appropriate services for children who are dual-language learners."

Tensions in Kyrgyzstan over Exams in Uzbek
Nationalists protest the availability of university entrance exams in the Uzbek language.

Linguistic Diversity Linked to Biodiversity
Linguistic and cultural preservation may be the key to protecting biodiversity.

English Proficiency Biggest Hurdle for Brazilian Scholars
At a time when Brazilians have more resources and opportunities to study abroad than ever, lacking language skills a hinderance.

Cajoling All Teachers to Consider ELLs
New report examines how to prepare teachers for the fastest growing student population in the U.S.

Language Education Cuts Compromise National Security
New Council on Foreign Relations report calls education a national security issue

Canada Instates Language Tests for Some Immigrants
Exams on proficiency in either English or French will be stated for certain immigrants in June

San Jose School Hosts Spanish Spelling Bee
First Spanish spelling bee in northern California held at a dual language academy

English is Number One Language Test in Georgia
Students in final year of school aim to take English instead of Russian in foreign language exam

Promotion of French Language is Hot Topic
The separatist opposition party in Quebec rallys for French

U.S. Demand for Portuguese Increasing
Universities scramble to keep up with influx of learners

Urdu Gets Official Status Around India
Urdu to become a language of instruction in Muslim communities

Norwegian Language Camp to be Launched
Camp will focus on Norwegian language and cultural immersion activities

National Center for Family Literacy Ruminates on Education Policy at Conference
Conference of educators, advocates, and policy makers highlights family literacy

New Arabic Center Symbolizes Chinese-Emirati Exchange
Beijing's University of Foreign Studies unveils remodeled center for Arabic language and Islamic studies.

Promoting French in Pakistan
After an exodus of native French teachers, France pushes its language and culture in Pakistan.

Columbia’s Teacher College Addresses International Education with TEDx
Inaugural TEDx conference on international education takes places

Irish Language on the Rise, but not in Ireland
Could heritage learners abroad save Irish?

Santorum: Puerto Ricans Should Learn English
While visiting Puerto Rico, Santorum turns off Boricua voters.

International Summit on Teaching Profession Takes Place in New York
Delegations from 23 countries and regions discuss education issues at the second annual summit

Journey to Find Indigenous Languages in Trip of the Tongue
New book by Elizabeth Little covers indigenous languages throughout the United States


International Portuguese educators come together to teach Timorese teachers

Read Across America Kicks Off March 2
Students all over the U.S. will celebrate literacy on Dr. Seuss's birthday

Equatorial Guinea Strengthens Connection to Portuguese
Portuguese linguists to document archaic dialect from the Annobón province.

To read from The World As We Speak Archive, click here.

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