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.
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:
- New Booklist! A World Filled with Wonder
- Teaching About the Environment: Lesson Plans and Websites
- From KQED: Eco-Literacy for ESL Students
- The EPA's ESL Environmental Curriculum: Teach English, Teach About the Environment
New on Colorín Colorado
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!
In the Classroom
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!
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.
Books and authors
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.
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.
About the Colorín Colorado T·ELL·E-GRAM and ColorinColorado.org
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