February 2012

Learn about the history of language policy in the U.S. and browse new materials related to content-language instruction and the process of writing language objectives for ELLs.

Type of Newsletter: TELLEGRAM
Date: February, 2012

Dear Subscribers:

We are pleased to present some new resources this month about the history of language policy in the U.S. We also have some new materials related to content-language instruction and the process of writing language objectives for ELLs.

In addition, we'd like to congratulate all of the winners of the 2012 Pura Belpré Award, highlighted below. Happy reading!

All the best,

The Colorín Colorado Team

New on Colorín Colorado

ELL Policy: History & Background

As we have gathered resources related to ELL policy for the web, we have found it helpful to delve a little bit deeper into the history of U.S. language policy. We are fortunate to have found two excellent titles from Caslon Publishing that offer a user-friendly overview and have reprinted key excerpts on the following topics:

Foundations for Multilingualism in Education by Ester de Jong (Caslon, 2011)

Foundations for Teaching English Language Learners by Wayne Wright (Caslon, 2010)

Recommended Resources

February is a busy month in the field! Take a look at the following surveys, projects, and webinars coming up in the next few weeks:

ELL Webinars from WestEd and NCLEA

  • Graphic Organizers that Build Good Literacy Habits for Native American ELs: This NCELA webinar will feature a Title III Native American Children in Schools Program in Welling, Oklahoma. Presenters will provide information regarding appropriate reading strategies for ELs, specifically Native Americans. Additionally, "best-practices" will be discussed and attendees will learn instructional strategies that compliment the learning styles of Native American students, how to create engaged learners, and be presented with comprehension strategies and graphic organizers that are effective. Date: February 13, 2012.
  • Webinars: Implementing a Seal of Biliteracy: Join WestEd for a free webinar about the Seal of Biliteracy, a powerful approach to validating and encouraging mastery of two or more languages. Over 60 school districts have already established a Seal of Biliteracy, and now California is the first state in the nation to take steps to award a Seal of Biliteracy to high school graduates. Presenters will discuss approaches to recognizing the skills of biliteracy and motivating students to pursue mastery of several languages; qualifications students need to meet to earn a Seal of Biliteracy; and ideas for adapting the Seal of Biliteracy for your own schools and community. Date: February 15, 2012.

WIDA Consortium Announcement: SALSA Research Survey

WIDA is conducting a research study called "Exploratory study of expressive language domains in academic Spanish" as part of the SALSA grant project. As part of this research, we invite all educators who are familiar with students receiving content instruction in Spanish to participate in an online survey to provide feedback on speaking and writing prompts related to the areas of language arts and mathematics.

This voluntary survey is available online until February 17, 2012 to all educators in the United States that meet the following criteria:

  • Are bilingual (Spanish/English)
  • Have Spanish literacy skills
  • Have K-12 teaching experience in the U.S.
  • Have experience working with Spanish language learners

Call for Papers: The Benefits of Bilingualism

The Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, in collaboration with the Educational Testing Service (ETS), is pleased to issue a call for papers under the general topic of "The Benefits of Bilingualism." The Project is especially interested in research that demonstrates whether there are labor market benefits to bilingualism in the United States, particularly for individuals who are proficient in one or more languages in addition to English. Interested authors should submit their proposal to the Project by February 15, 2012.

Research and Reports

Promoting science among English language learners: Professional development for today's culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms

In this report supported by the National Science Foundation, the authors describe a model of professional development intervention for supporting third through fifth grade teachers' science instruction in urban elementary schools with high numbers of ELLs. The intervention consists of curriculum materials for students and teachers, as well as teacher workshops throughout the school year. The curriculum materials and workshops are designed to complement and reinforce each other in improving teachers' knowledge, beliefs, and practices in science instruction and English language development for ELL students.

Buxton, C., Lee, O., & Santau, A. (in press). Promoting science among English language learners: Professional development for today's culturally and linguistically diverse classrooms. Journal of Science Teacher Education.

In the Classroom

Content Instruction for ELLs

Take a look at our educator section on content instruction for ELLs, with information on comprehension and vocabulary, as well as subject-specific strategies for math, science, and social studies.

Language Objectives for English Language Learners

In this article written for Colorín Colorado, Jennifer Himmel of the Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) provides an overview of what language objectives are, how to use them to support the development of ELLs' academic language in content-area classes, and how they can be used to create lessons aligned to content and language proficiency standards. The article also features a video clip from expert Dr. Cynthia Lundgren about strategies for writing language objectives.

Books and Authors

Book of the Month

Diego Rivera: His World and Ours
By Duncan Tonatiuh

Duncan Tonatiuh introduces young readers to muralist Diego Rivera and his many sources of inspiration, such as the Cubism movement that he discovered in Paris, the ruins of ancient Mexican civilizations, and the daily lives of the Mexican people. He concludes by asking what Diego Rivera would paint today — the way we live and play? Luchadores in their colorful costumes? Creatures from outer space? These intriguing reflections are brought to life by Tonatiuh's compelling, playful illustrations which evoke some of Diego's best known scenes and murals. 2012 Pura Belpré Illustrator Award.

Q & A with Duncan Tonatiuh

Duncan Tonatiuh has graciously agreed to answer some question from our audience about his work, which also includes the picture book Dear Primo. If you or your students have a question for Duncan, please send it in an e-mail (either in English or Spanish) by February 29, 2012 with the subject "Author Q & A." We will select a handful of questions to share with the author and illustrator for response!

New Booklist: Diego & Frida

These books celebrate the work of two of Mexico's most beloved artists, Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. The selections cover a wide range of topics and time periods; some focus on the artists' childhoods; some focus on their complicated marriage and time spent in the U.S.; still others focus on their unique styles and sources of inspiration, including a title written by Diego Rivera's daughter. Whether young readers are looking for biographical information or simply want to learn more about painting, these recommendations offer a great place to start!

Congratulations to the 2012 Pura Belpré Award Winners!

The winners of the 2012 Pura Belpré Award were recently announced by the Association for Library Services to Children and REFORMA. Congratulations to all of the authors and illustrators — some of whom are featured in our Meet the Author section!

Author Award

  • Guadalupe Garcia McCall, Under the Mesquite (Lee and Low Books)

Illustrator Award

  • Duncan Tonatiuh, Diego Rivera: His World and Ours (Abrams)

Author Honor Books

  • Margarita Engle, Hurricane Dancers: The First Caribbean Pirate Shipwreck (Henry Holt and Company)
  • Xavier Garza, Maximilian and the Mystery of the Guardian Angel: A Bilingual Lucha Libre Thriller (Cinco Puntos Press)

Author Illustrator Books

  • Rafael López, The Cazuela that the Farm Maiden Stirred, written by Samantha R. Vamos (Charlesbridge)
  • Monica Brown, Marisol McDonald Doesn't Match/Marisol McDonald no combina (Children's Book Press, an imprint of Lee and Low Books)

For more information about Pura Belpré, take a look at our resource section devoted to the legendary Puerto Rican librarian and the children's literature award that was established in her honor.

Diego & Frida Book Giveaway!

Enter our raffle for one of the following titles:

  • Diego by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
  • Frida by Carmen T. Bernier-Grand
  • My Papa Diego and Me/Mi papá Diego y yo by Guadalupe Rivera Marin (Rivera's daughter)
  • Diego Rivera: His World and Ours by Duncan Tonatiuh

To enter, please send us an e-mail (either in English or Spanish) by 11:59 p.m. on February 29, 2012 and indicate your title of choice!

[One entry per family. Winners of any previous Book Giveaways are ineligible to win any other Book Giveaways for a period of one (1) year from the date of the Book Giveaway. See complete contest rules here.]

Interview with Newbery-Award Winner Jack Gantos

Jack Gantos was recently awarded the 2012 Newbery Medal for his novel Dead End in Norvelt, featuring a 12-year-old character named — you guessed it! Jack Gantos. Jack's interesting life has provided the raw material for many of his books, which he discusses in this video interview with Reading Rockets.