April 2010

We are pleased to present some great new resources, including a webcast on preschool and ELLs, more themed booklists, and new topics in our web resource sections!

Type of Newsletter: TELLEGRAM
Date: April, 2010

Dear Subscribers,

This month, we are excited to present some great new resources for you, including a webcast on preschool and ELLs, more themed booklists, and new topics in our web resource sections!

Many thanks to all of you who responded to our user feedback request — it was wonderful to learn more about Colorín Colorado's positive impact in schools around the country, as well as to gather ideas about new resources we can work on for the future.

All the best,

The Colorín Colorado Team

This month's highlights

If you have questions about assessment and English language learners, take a look at our assessment and placement section, which provides background information, assessment tools for educators, and our new state resources map.

Monthly Celebrations

April is a busy month! These resources related to April celebrations offer many ideas and strategies that can be used now and all year round:

National Poetry Month

Día de los niños / Día de los libros (Children's Day/Book Day)

National Autism Awareness Month

Earth Day

Back to Top

New on Colorín Colorado

New Webcast! Preschool for English Language Learners

This webcast features Dr. Rebecca Palacios and offers information on the following components of a PreK ELL program: language instruction, curriculum, professional development, and family outreach. Be sure to also take a look at our other resources on our new ELLs in Preschool page!

Back to Top

In the Classroom

8 Strategies for Preschool ELLs' Language and Literacy Development

This article by Dr. Karen Ford of the University of Virginia outlines effective strategies for ELLs' language and literacy development in preschool programs. Dr. Ford highlights areas where ELLs may need extra practice and offers many specific examples of classroom and parent activities. The article is adapted from a chapter Dr. Ford wrote for a new book, Promoting Early Reading, available from the Guilford Press in early May.

Let us know some of your favorite strategies for ELLs in preschool on the Ning!

Back to Top

News from the Field

ELLs and the ESEA Reauthorization

The Working Group on ELL Policy has released a set of recommendations for how the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) can best foster improved educational outcomes for English Language Learners. Read the recommendations on their website, and then let us know what you think about the recommendations on our Ning!

ELLs and the Language of Instruction

Researchers from the Center for Research and Reform in Education at Johns Hopkins University have recently released a new study focused on the language of instruction and reading outcomes for ELLs. The report, Reading and Language Outcomes of a Five-Year Randomized Evaluation of Transitional Bilingual Education, is garnering quite a bit of attention as it is the first randomized study of its kind to suggest that Spanish-dominant students learn to read equally well whether they are taught to read in English or Spanish. For more background on the study, take a look at Mary Ann Zehr's related article in Education Week.

Along the same lines, Dr. Claude Goldenberg (an advisor to Colorín Colorado), called the above study highly important. He also has been working on this issue, writing a commentary on language of instruction for UK's Guardian. He writes that because the focus in ELL circles has been dominated the question of bilingual vs. English-immersion instruction, research is lacking on other topics. He notes, however, that the research base is evolving, and suggests that some areas of converging evidence are emerging that show promise for developments in the field, such as pedagogical tools and language modifications.

He closes his commentary with the reminder that, "As educators who care about the future of ELLs, the question we face is whether we can somehow hold the ideology at bay and let other factors — such as data about effectiveness of alternative approaches — play a significant role in determining policies and practices. As appealing as simple answers are — bilingual education, English-only instruction, etc — they are certainly not sufficient."

To learn more about Dr. Goldenberg's review of ELL research, take a look at Teaching English Language Learners: What the Research Does — and Does Not — Say, published by the American Federation of Teachers in 2008.

Back to Top

Books and authors

Library Booklist

The stories on our new bilingual booklist celebrate libraries, librarians, and everyone who loves to visit the library! Whether it's little Lola, the library lion, or children who get their library books by way of an elephant, these bilingual and multicultural stories will remind you of the why our libraries are such special places. Also available in Spanish.

Book of the Month

Book Fiesta
By: Pat Mora

Every day is a good day to celebrate children and books! Vibrant illustrations show a wide range of children and animals playing and reading in all kinds of wonderful places. Bilingual text.

Back to Top

About the Colorín Colorado T·ELL·E-GRAM and ColorinColorado.org

The ¡Colorín Colorado T·ELL·E-GRAM is a free monthly electronic newsletter from ColorinColorado.org, created and sustained thanks to support from the American Federation of Teachers.

If you received this message from a friend, you too can subscribe to the Colorín Colorado T·ELL·E-GRAM.

Want to share this information with someone else? Tell a friend about the ¡Colorín Colorado T·ELL·E-GRAM.

We've made a few changes to ColorinColorado.org and this newsletter. What do you think? Do you have comments, questions, suggestions, or contributions? Contact us and let us know.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Back to Top