The ESL (English as a Second Language) program in Cannon Falls, MN is having a ripple effect from one student enrolled in the program. Eager to learn English, student Mari Mendivil's mother is acquiring a few new words in her vocabulary as her daughter practices her reading skills at home. Mari enjoys reading children's books to her mother, then identifies pictures with the corresponding words to help her learn.
Testing experts are creating a pool of science test items they hope that some states eventually will use to assess English-language learners in science to comply with the No Child Left Behind Act. The challenge, the researchers say, will be to show through research studies that their science items are comparable with those on states' regular science tests required by the No Child Left Behind Act.
Literacy is being promoted in different languages in New York. The Sunset Park branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is now offering parent workshops in Spanish and English in order to create lifelong readers among the children and empower parents to become part of their child's education. Officials say the library's budget has been increased to accommodate more multi-lingual programs.
Mai Vang Lee and her family arrived in Minnesota in May 2005 from a refugee camp in Thailand. She was part of a group of more than 1,500 Hmong refugees who enrolled in St. Paul schools over a span of about two years from 2004 through 2006. In 2 1/2 years she has gone from entry-level English literacy to the stage just below fluency, reading at a fifth-grade level. Last month, she was part of a five-member team from Randolph Heights that placed third in the regional Math Masters competition. According to one of her teachers, "She's one of the rare examples of a kid who beats the averages."
Dyslexia affects different parts of children's brains depending on whether they are raised reading English or Chinese. That finding, reported in Monday's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, means that therapists may need to seek different methods of assisting dyslexic children from different cultures.
As Texas' Hispanic population grows, public schools are rethinking the ways they communicate with Spanish-speaking parents. They are offering English and citizenship courses, translating school documents, dubbing audio recordings of board meetings in Spanish, and hiring interpreters in an attempt to reach parents who historically have not been deeply involved in their children's education.
An Oregon first-grade teacher's habit of incorporating comic books into classroom reading lessons was found by a researcher to improve reading and writing in English-language learners. The teacher used, for example, a Spider-Man story to illustrate how problem-solution scenarios make a story interesting, a technique students then put to use in generating their own stories.
This Week in Education and Detentionslip.org have picked up on a recent story reporting that school cafeteria workers in Seminole County, FL, were told they can't speak Spanish on the job.
"The worst time in your life to immigrate is 17 years old." Canadian school district administrator Tony Carrigan has worked with new immigrants for years and seen up close how frustrating it is for newly arrived teens to catch up to their peers when they get a late start. "In many cases you haven't completed your high school at home and you don't have enough English to be able to go on to post-secondary education," he says.
Oregon's Eugene School District has been plotting the launch of a Mandarin Chinese immersion program for nearly two years, but, as became clear recently, it's no slam-dunk — much to the frustration of parents and community members who can't fathom why there would be any hesitation.