Assisting Hispanic Students to Enter US Schools


Erik Halvorson wrote:

Education Connections

For new and returning EL students alike, entering a school environment can be like walking into another world filled with new people, a different culture, and a new set of rules and expectations. This can be incredibly intimidating when students are simultaneously working on developing their English language skills.  Some research has highlighted the fact that EL students, upon entering the school environment and culture, often feel as if they are “caught between two worlds,” (Igoa, 1995, p. 85) and frequently report feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted (Watts-Taffe & Truscott, 2000). Working to provide a classroom and school environment where students feel supported socially and emotionally is essential for helping students continue their academic growth.

For a look at recent research addressing the social and emotional challenges faced by young Latino students, check out this study from the Pew Research Center.

For an examination of the social and emotional needs of students with detained or deported parents, try this article.

Or, finally, for some great resources (including anti-bullying tips) and further discussion about how to make your classroom and school a safe space—one where your EL students feel supported and welcomed—explore this resource page from Colorín Colorado.


Igoa, C. (1995). The inner world of the immigrant child. New York: St. Martin’s Press.

Watts-Taffe, S., & Truscott, D.M. (2000). Focus on Research: Using what we know about language and literacy development for ESL students in the mainstream classroom. Language Arts77(3), 258-265.

Teaching Children With Trauma Background


Relevant article “Childhood trauma leads to lifelong chronic illness — so why isn’t the medical community helping patients?”  here

Pew Research: What Are the Latest Hispanic Trends?


U.S. asylum applications filed by Venezuelans so far in FY16 are up 168% over the same time period last year.
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August 26, 2016

On Immigration Policy, Partisan Differences but Also Some Common Ground

The public is divided over many aspects of U.S. immigration policy. However,our survey found more Americans say better border security and a path to citizenship should be given equal priority than favor either approach individually.
Plus: 5 facts about Trump supporters’ views of immigration

Venezuelan asylum applications to U.S. soar in 2016

As political and economic unrest roils Venezuela, U.S. asylum applications filed by Venezuelans so far in fiscal 2016 have jumped 168% compared with the same time period a year earlier.

A record 60.6 million Americans live in multigenerational households

Multigenerational family living – defined as a household that includes two or more adult generations, or one that includes grandparents and grandchildren –is growing among nearly all U.S. racial groups as well as Hispanics, among all age groups and among both men and women.

Lending Voice to Immigrant Childrens’ Experiences


One of the best readings in a long time “The Very Quiet Foreign Girls poetry group”.  Find it at

NCELA Professional News


NCELA Nexus Banner
August 16, 2016 | nex•us: noun \’nek-ses\ a relationship or connection between people or things
AnnouncementsInstitute of Education Sciences (IES)Announces Research Grant Awards. IES has recently awarded more than $100 million in grants for education research across a wide array of subjects. American Institutes for Research, the University of Delaware, and the University of Maryland received grants for research on ELs. Follow the links on the grants page linked above for details on the research projects.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Announces Expansion of its Central American Minors Program. The Central American Minors program provides children in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras with a safe and orderly alternative to the dangerous, irregular journey that some children are currently undertaking to reach the U.S.

U.S. Department of Education Takes Actions to Address Religious Discrimination. The Department has recently shared a series of actions that confront religious discrimination in schools and promote inclusive school environments.

U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Offers Spanish/English Natural Disaster Alert App. This FEMA app in both Spanish and English provides alerts for families concerning natural disasters. Feel free to share this information with students and their families.

New ResourcesAmerican Institutes for Research
What ESSA really means for students and educators. This collection of articles outlines evidence presented in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on how educators are expected to work with various populations and subgroups.

The Atlantic
The new bilingualism. This article explores the growth of dual language programs across the United States.

Why are third graders afraid of Donald Trump?This article discusses how schoolchildren are becoming engaged in the 2016 election, specifically around the topic of immigrants and immigrant children. It also shows how educators might navigate political discussions while ensuring impartiality.

Education Week
U.S. Secretary of Education: Let’s educate, not incarcerate. This commentary from U.S. Secretary of Education John B. King Jr. argues for a decrease in incarceration spending and an increase in education spending.

Richard Carranza selected as new Houston schools superintendent. The Houston school board announced San Francisco Unified Superintendent Richard Carranza, a former English learner himself, as their pick to lead their district.

Dual language programs could get boost with initiative on November ballot. A new ballot initiative in California, Proposition 58, seeks to overturn key parts of the two-decade-old Proposition 227—which emphasized English-only education for ELs—to make it easier to create dual language programs.

The Hechinger Report
When it comes to wiping out the achievement gap for Hispanic students, rigor is only part of the battle. This article discusses ways to make more resources available for Spanish-speaking families.

Pulling reservation schools back from the brink. This article discusses a program to improve American Indian high schools in Montana, and increase the college- and career-readiness of Native Americans.

Alliance for Excellent Education
Every Student Succeeds Act primer: American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students. This report outlines provisions in the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) specific to the American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian populations.

Arizona State University
Closing the education gap for migrant children. This report illustrates how Conexiones, a program at Arizona State University, works to assist school districts working with migrant students.

The Philadelphia Inquirer
Learning English on the job, in school. This article provides examples of some of the success stories of EL programs in Philadelphia.

New America
A turning tide: Massachusetts’ new bill and the growing demand for bi-lingual education. This report outlines Massachusetts’ new Language Opportunities for Our Kids (LOOK) bill, which promotes bilingual education.

Helping every English learner student succeed…by leaving 40% out. This article highlights the fact that EL accountability systems in ESSA are only necessary for grades 3–12, as opposed to K–12.

The importance of ‘n-sizes’. This article discusses accountability measures for subgroups, such as minority students and ELs, according to ESSA.

Social Science Research Network
Every dollar counts: In defense of the Education Department’s “supplement not supplant” proposal. This paper outlines the Department’s proposal to regulate Title I funds to ensure that low-income schools are funded equitably. The authors support the Department’s proposal, and argue against legal objections raised by the Congressional Research Service.

Upcoming EventsTransACT Communication, OCR/DOJ Joint EL Guidance Webinar Series, August 31, 2016, 3:00–4:00 p.m. PT. This is the next open session in a monthly, year-long series that focuses on the issues addressed in the Dear Colleague Letter on ELs published in January 2015 by the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, and the U.S. Department of Justice. The series will also cover material provided in the EL Tool Kit published by OELA, and has been updated to include ESSA requirements. [Register now for open sessions in coming months; slots are filling up!]

Colorado Association for Bilingual Education (CABE), CABE 2016: Multilingual Voices por un mundo mejor!, September 14–15, 2016, Westminster, Colorado. This year’s conference includes state and national experts leading meaningful professional development sessions that focus on equity and achievement, science-technology-engineering-arts-mathematics, and “simultaneous bilinguals, the new American reality.”

Excelencia in Education, Accelerating Latino Student Success (ALASS) Workshop, September 22, 2016, Washington, DC. Register for interactive sessions with innovative professionals from across the country sharing effective institutional strategies, powerful analysis, and new resources. Early bird registration ends July 31.

Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents (ALAS), 13th Annual ALAS Education Summit: Leading and Learning in a Digital Era, October 12–15, 2016, Philadelphia, PA. The conference will focus on how technology can help support and advance instruction to promote Latino student and EL achievement. Each session will emphasize student-centered, data-driven approaches.

WIDA 2016 National Conference. Drawing on Life’s Experiences: Designing Bright Futures,October 12–15, 2016, Philadelphia, PA. Administrators and educators of pre-K through grade 12 ELs will find opportunities for professional learning, idea sharing, relationship building, and strategic collaboration.

The Division for Early Childhood (DEC), 32nd Annual International DEC Conference, October 16–20, 2016, Louisville, KY. This year’s conference—with the theme “A Winning Trifecta: Knowledge, Implementation, and Evaluation of DEC Recommended Practices”—features leading experts from around the world in early intervention, early childhood special education, and related disciplines.

University of Minnesota, Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA),Sixth International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education, October 20–22, 2016, Minneapolis, MN. The conference will focus on connecting research and practice, and engaging in research-informed dialogue and professional exchanges, across languages and contexts.

La Cosecha, 21st Annual Dual Language Conference, November 9–12, 2016, Santa Fe, NM. La Cosecha 2016 will bring together educators, parents, researchers, and practitioners supporting dual language enrichment programs from across the country.

Professional LearningTESOL, Virtual Seminar: Flipping the ELT Classroom With Technology, August 24, 2016, 10:30 am-12:00 pm ET. Register by 21 August.

Pearson, SIOP® Institute II, October 20–21, 2016, St Louis, MO. Learn successful coaching and implementation practices at this two-day workshop designed for educators who are currently using the SIOP® Model in their schools or classrooms.

Bank Street College of Education, The Language Series: 2016, November 18–19, 2016, New York, NY. The Language Series supports educators in understanding the critical role that language plays in the social and academic success of all students. The focus of the fall event is using the social language of our students for academic language development.

Pearson SIOP® Institute I, December 8–10, 2016, San Diego, CA. Learn how to effectively implement the SIOP® Model to teach academic language and content knowledge at the same time.

TESOL, Fundamentals of TESOL, Self-Study. This is a self-paced, individualized learning experience. Additional self-study classes and scheduled online courses can be found on TESOL’s website.

Job OpportunitiesThe Madison Metropolitan School District (MMSD), Madison, WI, is currently taking applications for a variety of positions, including Bilingual Educators (Hmong/English and Spanish/English) and a Bilingual Library Media Technology Specialist. Visit, then ‘View Jobs’ for open positions.

Prince William County Schools, Prince William County, VA, is seeking teachers of ELs. The district provides extensive professional learning, opportunities to benefit from instructional coaching, and an environment that utilizes collaboration to provide integrated language development and academic learning experiences for our ELs. Candidates must be eligible for licensure in ESOL K-12 in Virginia.

Next Step Public Charter School, Washington, DC, seeks an English-Spanish Bilingual Case Manager.

The Bridgeton Public School District, NJ, is seeking a Bilingual Teacher and an ESL Teacher.

Pew Research Center: Hispanic Trends


July 29, 2016

5 facts about Latinos and education

Educational attainment among U.S. Latinos has been changing rapidly in recent years. Over the past decade, the Hispanic high school dropout rate has declinedand college enrollment has increased, even as Hispanics trail other groups in earning a bachelor’s degree.

Hispanic voters and the 2016 election

Top campaign issues include the economy and immigration, but Latinos are following election news less closely than other voters.
Plus: The economy is a top issue for Latinos, and they’re more upbeat about it

Digital Divide Narrows for Latinos as More Spanish Speakers and Immigrants Go Online

The long-standing divide in internet use between U.S. Hispanics and whites isnow at its narrowest point since 2009, as immigrant and Spanish-dominant Latinos make big strides in going online.

Biggest share of whites in U.S. are Boomers, but for minority groups it’s Millennials or younger

There were more 24-year-olds in the U.S. than people of any other age in 2015. But for white Americans, 55 was the most common age. Hispanics are a notably youthful group, with a median age of 29. In addition, the most common age for Hispanics was 8.

Evangelicals Rally to Trump, Religious ‘Nones’ Back Clinton

Evangelicals strongly favor Donald Trump, while religious “nones,” Hispanic Catholics and black Protestants firmly back Hillary Clinton. Support for Clinton among black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics mirror the preference for the Democratic candidate among blacks and Hispanics overall.

More minority federal judges have been appointed under Democratic than Republican presidents

Since 1945, Democrats have appointed three times as many blacks judges to the federal bench than their Republican counterparts. They have also namedmore Hispanic and Asian judges. Seven-in-ten minority judges who have served on the federal bench were appointed in the last 25 years.

Is treatment of minorities a key election issue? Views differ by race, party

Hillary Clinton backers are nearly twice as likely as those who support Donald Trump to say the treatment of minorities is very important to their 2016 decision (79% vs. 42%). Fully 82% of blacks and 72% of Hispanics say this issue is very important, compared with 56% of whites.

Digital Divide Narrows for Latinos as More Spanish Speakers and Immigrants Go Online


Did you know?  Excerpt:  The long-standing digital divide in internet use between Latinos and whites is now at its narrowest point since 2009 as immigrant Latinos and Spanish-dominant Latinos make big strides in going online, according to a Pew Research Center survey of Latino adults.


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