Nika and Salome Salamadze vividly remember coming to Canada two years ago from the former Soviet republic of Georgia. Now their memories won't just be their own. The brother and sister, 11 and 12 respectively, have made them into a book, which they're writing in English and Georgian and illustrating. They're part of a club of students aged seven to 14 who are spending 10 days writing dual-language books at their local library, which will then be available for the public to check out.
Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama is proposing a laundry list of educational benefits that would reach from birth to college. His rival, Republican John McCain, plans to focus on enabling local educational initiatives and expanding virtual learning.
More than 72,000 students in public schools in Connecticut in the 2007-08 school year had a dominant language other than English. Thirty thousand of them, who speak 129 different languages, fall into what state and area educators consider one of the most pressing challenges for schools in the future.
José Martí Child Development Center in Seattle is a unique school on the cutting edge of early childhood education. Its bilingual and multicultural programs are now considered a model for other schools across the nation. Although José Martí CDC has been offering bilingual childcare since the early 1970s, it is with the recent re-accreditation by the National Association for the Education of Young Children that it has received such high recognition for its programs. The school was the first accredited bilingual early-learning program on the West Coast.
Texas will probably appeal a court ruling mandating a new language program for an estimated 140,000 junior high and high school students who don't have command of the English language, state officials said Monday. Legislative leaders said curriculum improvements for that group of mostly Hispanic students are probably on the way regardless of the appeal.
Advancing efforts to improve the educational achievement of the fastest-growing student population in the nation's schools was the focus of a symposium co-sponsored by ETS and the National Council of La Raza in January, according to Michael T. Nettles, ETS senior vice president of policy evaluation and research, and Delia Pompa, vice president of education for the National Council of La Raza.
When the Yonkers, New York, public schools sought to hire a Chinese-language teacher, Superintendent Bernard Pierorazio expected to fill the job within weeks. He was off by two years. Schools in the U.S. face a shortage of instructors in Chinese, stymieing efforts to prepare pupils for careers tied to China, the world's fastest-growing economy.
17-year-old Milton Quinteros credits the advice of a teacher last school year for why he and his sister are taking summer English classes. "The teacher said: 'You need to learn more English. You need summer school. You need to speak English,'" he said. Though neither Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) in Alexandria, VA, nor the National Council for Teachers of English, in Urbana, IL, keeps statistics on summer programs, numerous school district Web sites around the country tout summer programs tailored for ELLS.
In her "Learning the Language" blog on <em>Education Week</em>, Mary Ann Zehr recently noted the following press release released by Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton's office: "Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) and Representative Mike Honda (D-CA) today announced that they are introducing legislation that will help newcomers integrate into America's social and economic fabric through English language education, civics instruction, incentives for businesses that invest in the education of their non-English speaking employees, and federal support for state and local plans to integrate new immigrants."
Community leaders, teachers, and parents agree that Rochester, NY's school district needs to re-evaluate its bilingual-education program to determine whether its teaching methods play a role in the low graduation rates and high drop-out rates plaguing Latino students. "We, as a community, need to come together and continue to push for equity for our kids," said Hilda Rosario Escher, president and chief executive officer of the Ibero-American Action League, at a forum held to discuss the issue.