Archive for March, 2010

An apropos article on L1 attrition from Times of India—enjoy!


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The Washington Post pinpoints why reading scores haven’t risen (think: NCLB, phonics-based instruction).

And, here’s an interesting read on exclusion rates/accommodations for ELLs (and special education students) for the NAEP.

In light of this, school library funding and staff are still being cut. What would Krashen have to say about this? What will be the impact on our ELLs?

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A number of your presentations touched on the use of visuals to facilitate language/literacy acquisition with ELLs (e.g., Monica mentioned that in her district, visuals are at the ESL teacher’s fingertips; Kellie noted that the Spanish teacher labels items around the classroom; Jamie shared that her adult ELL benefited from the visuals/language presented on a lesson about a visit to the doctor’s). This plus the visual math problem Stacey brought up during her presentation today reminded me of a set of strategies that I’ve just recently been introduced to: Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). Have a look at the organization’s website, and see if you can adapt any of these strategies for your (future) ELLs and/or your current students.

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Your requests for videos of best practices in ESL and/or Bilingual Education classrooms have been heard! Visit the Stanford University English Learner Library of Resources for footage on ESL instruction for teachers and in elementary schools. You’ll need to create an account, which is free. Also see the PBS Becoming Bilingual video series on the Colorín Colorado website (lots of great resources on this site for teachers of ELLs, too). And, Annenberg Media (www.learner.org) has video of teaching reading to diverse learners, K–2 as well as teaching foreign language (the link to the latter I also posted on Blackboard).

If you come across any related multimedia, please share!

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ESL Standards in NJ

We didn’t have time to discuss the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment (WIDA) English Language Proficiency (ELP) Standards, which are the standards applied in NJ (as well as a number of other states) since 2005. I’ve uploaded the standards as well as the WIDA resource guide to Blackboard. Please review and post your comments/questions here.

To learn more about WIDA, visit http://wida.us.

Added 3/16/10: Interested in a free webinar on ELLs and standardized state tests (hosted by the NCELA)? Register here.

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In class last night, a question regarding the Obama administration’s stance on ESL/bilingual education was asked. The blog, Learning the Language (sponsored by Education Week), features a 3/10/10 post that discusses that very topic—and the violation of ELLs’ civil rights in CA.

Added 3/14/10: Also see this editorial on immigration reform in the NYT.

Added 3/21/10: Here’s an interesting article in Education Week on NLCB and its (negative) effects on language study.

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Hope you’re finding this week’s articles by Stephen Krashen (and others) insightful and thought-provoking. Here’s a related article from the January 2009 edition of Language Magazine: A Conversation with Krashen.

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