The Changing Face of the USA: Spanish Truly a Main Language


Read “U.S. now home to more Spanish speakers than Spain, second only to Mexico” at

How Many Expressions are There for English Language Learners in the USA?


Check out this publication, attempting to create a glossary of terms used in the profession:

NCELA Newsletter: One Stop Shopping for ESL-Professionals



July 2, 2015
U.S. Department of Education Releases Fourth Chapter of English Learner Tool Kit for State and Local Agencies
Tools and Resources for Providing English Learners Equal Access to Core Curricular and Extracurricular Programs, the fourth chapter of the English Learner (EL) Tool Kit, has been published online by the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Department of Education (the Department). The Tool Kit is intended to help state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) in meeting their obligations to ELs. It should be read in conjunction with the joint Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) on “English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents” from the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the Department of Justice (DOJ), published in January 2015, which outlines SEAs’ and LEAs’ legal obligations to ELs under civil rights laws and other federal requirements. More Tool Kit chapters will be made available in the coming months on the OELA English Learner Tool Kit web page, and will be announced in Nexus and on the NCELA website.

Upcoming Events
2015 SIOP® National Conference, July 9–10, 2015, Chicago, IL. Join SIOP authors Jana Echevarria, Mary Ellen Vogt, and Deborah Short, as well as implementation experts, for the 2015 SIOP National Conference on the theme “Getting to the Core of Success for English Language Learners.” This two-day event will include sessions on best practices and research-proven strategies to help SIOP users further their implementation results. The conference will also offer two separate full-day pre-conference workshops on July 8th. Learn more about this event.

AFT Together Educating America’s Children (TEACH) Conference, July 13–15, 2015, Washington, D.C. The AFT TEACH (Together Educating America’s Children) conference, July 13–15 in Washington, D.C., will celebrate the work educators do and provide inspiration for the work ahead. Participants will leave the conference armed with practical tools and professional knowledge you can use every day in the classroom. This year’s conference includes topics such as family outreach for ELs and evaluating teachers of ELs, as well as other timely topics related to mindfulness for educators and building partnerships with community organizations. Registration is now open.

La Cosecha 2015, 20th Annual Dual Language Conference, November 4–7, 2015, Albuquerque, NM. Dual Language Education of New Mexico’s 20th Annual Dual Language conference will bring together over 2,000 educators, researchers, parents, and dual language supporters from across the country and around the world. Register early and save; the early registration deadline is July 15, 2015.

New Resources
From WIDA: Video contest winners announced. WIDA recently released the titles of the top three winners of their recent video contest:
First Place–Academic Vocabulary Development
Second Place–Fostering Active Comprehension: Asking And Answering Questions
Third Place–ENL New Arrival High School Students: Encouraging Communication in a New Language

From the National Center for Education Statistics: The condition of education 2015. This reportsummarizes important developments and trends in education using the latest available data. It presents 42 indicators on the status and condition of education that represent a consensus of professional judgment on the most significant national measures of the condition and progress of education for which accurate data are available. In addition, three indicators are featured that describe issues of particular interest for current policy.

From WestEd: Assessment design toolkit. This kit includes videos and supplemental material to help teachers write and select well-designed assessments. Principals and district and state leaders can also use this package to design professional development opportunities.

From Pew Research Center Fact Tank: Five facts about Latinos and education. This article by Jens Manuel Krogstad looks at the changes that have occurred to the U.S. Latino population in regards to education over the past few decades.

From Education Week:

New glossary aims to offer clarity on language-learner terms. This blog post by Corey Mitchell discusses a glossary released by the New America Foundation that aims to offer clarity on the terms used by educators to describe dual language learners, English language learners, and other student groups.

Seattle schools to expand ELL services after critical state audit. In this blog post, Corey Mitchell explores the Seattle school system’s plan to expand their EL services in light of a recent state audit that claimed the district failed to meet directives for working with EL students and families.

More states seek flexibility in accountability for ELLs. Last year, Florida pushed the U.S. Department of Education for flexibility in the No Child Left Behind Act rule to include ELs’ reading test results in school ratings, if the ELs have been in the country for at least a year. Florida managed to get that timeline extended to two years, and now, according to this blog post, at least seven other states–Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Masschusetts, New York, Ohio, and Rhode Island–are asking for similar flexibility.

To help language learners, extend aid to their families, too, new study argues. This blog post by Corey Mitchell discusses a new study from the Center for American Progress which argues that communities attempting to improve EL education should offer services to the families of ELs.

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of Arizona in Decades-Old ELL Case. Corey Mitchell discusses a recent ruling by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in favor of the state of Arizona in a 23-year-old lawsuit challenging the state’s requirement that ELs spend more than half of their day learning English in this blog post for Education Week.

In strategy to help English-learners, New York expands dual-language programs. This articlehighlights the challenged New York City district faces as they forge ahead to add or expand dual-language programs at 40 schools this coming fall. Education leaders continue to grapple with issues that have hobbled their ability to provide required services to an ever-increasing number of ELs.

From Phys Org: Minorities underrepresented in US special education classrooms. According to this article, compared to their white English-speaking peers, Hispanic students are 27 percent less likely to be identified as having a learning disability, 33 percent less likely to be identified as having speech of language impairments, and 73 percent less likely to be identified as having health impairment. As disabilities would be expected to be appear in similar proportions in the different populations, these numbers suggest that there are many Hispanic students’ whose special needs are not being met.

From EdCentral:

Language, identity, and community in Hawaiian immersion schools. This post addresses federal assessment requirements and accountability, and the impact of students’ linguistic diversity. Hawaiian immersion schools have been pushing for more policy flexibility to support the project of revitalizing the Hawaiian language and community.

The art of implementation—California’s LCAPs fall short for ELs. This post summarizes Californians Together’s review of California’s Local Control and Accountability Plans (LCAP). Findings show the several shortfalls in the district including not specifying the actual amount of funding devoted to EL services, lacking attention to the implementation of the state’s new English Language Development standards, and not including ‘specific and disaggregated benchmarks monitoring [ELs] for academic growth or academic achievement’.

From SmartBlog on Education: Teachers as leaders—Building capacity to serve ELs. In thisblog post, advocate and author Ayanna Cooper explores professional development models for teachers of ELs.

From the Migration Policy Institute:

Top languages spoken by English language learners nationally and by state. This fact sheet and data set, drawing data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey (ACS) and the U.S. Department of Education, describes the home languages spoken by EL students at national and state levels. Spanish is the most common first or home language spoken (71 percent) followed by Chinese (4 percent), Vietnamese (3 percent), and French/Haitian Creole (2 percent).

States and districts with the highest number and share of English language learners. This fact sheet, drawing from data from the U.S. Department of Education, examines the states and districts with the highest shares and populations of EL students and offers a breakdown of key statistics.

From NPR:

Unaccompanied child migrants from Central America—Where are they now? This segment looks at the ongoing migration of children from Central America and the tension between protection and prevention. By October 2014, nearly 70,000 unaccompanied child migrants had arrived seeking entry to the United States. This year, the numbers have dropped by about 40 percent, due in large part to stepped-up enforcement by Mexico. However, that still means tens of thousands of kids will be taken into custody by the U.S. immigration system, even as the government struggles to process last year’s arrivals.

New U.S. poet laureate hopes to invite all communities to express themselves. NPR’s Audie Cornish interviews Juan Felipe Herrera, the new U.S. poet laureate, and discusses his upbringing in California as the son of migrant workers. Herrera is the first Latino appointed by the post and has an extensive body of literary works in English and Spanish for both children and adults.

From Corwin Press: Evaluating all teachers of ELs and students with disabilities. This book aims to help in the evaluation of the teaching of diverse learners. The authors detail four principles for inclusive teacher evaluation of diverse learners, specialized ‘look-fors’ for evaluators to use and adapt to recognize effective teaching, and strategies for coaching teachers who need more support reaching diverse learners.

From the Institute for Education Sciences: The correlates of academic performance for English language learners in a New England district. This study examined student and program characteristics that are related to English proficiency and content area achievement for ELs in one urban district in New England. The study found that ELs with individualized education programs had English proficiency scores significantly lower than the mean for all ELs in all grades, and that students’ English proficiency scores were associated with both math and reading performance in all grades. Results also showed that there were no clear patterns in the relationship between the type of EL program attended and students’ English proficiency, math, or reading scores.

From Colorín Colorado:

Meet the Experts–Dr. R. Joseph Rodríguez. In this interview with Colorín Colorado, Dr. R. Joseph Rodríguez, an assistant professor of literacy and English education at the University of Texas at El Paso, discusses different kinds of literacies as well as the impact of Día (El día de los niños/El día de los libros) and the importance of access to diverse books. You can also link to a full transcript of his interview.

Summer slide, ELLs, and the Common Core. This blog post highlights how the summer slide phenomenon tends to play out for ELs and shares some resources for combating summer slide for ELs. It ends with a case study about how the threat of summer slide looms for a nine-year-old Haitian student in Brooklyn, NY, who is learning to meet the Common Core State Standards.

Summer learning resources. The following resources offer summer learning ideas for educators and parents: Tips for Teaching ELs in Summer School; Summer Reading and ELs at the Library; Summer Learning Resources for Parents; Parent Tips–The Resources at Your Library

From the Washington Post: Victory–My son asked me to read to him in Spanish. In this article, Susana Sanchez expresses the importance of maintaining the Spanish language in her household. The author also provides six tips to keep language skills in check and a suggested reading list of Spanish and English books for children.

From Edutopia: Debunking the myths of English language learners. This article identifies and explains five myths of English language education that are all too often found in practice in the classroom.

Professional Learning Opportunities
Intercultural Development Research Association (IDRA): Call for Applications for José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellows Program. IDRA is inviting research applications for the IDRAJosé A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellows Program. This will be the second round of this new fellows program to support research that will inform efforts to secure equitable funding of public schools across the country. IDRA will select one or more fellows who will dedicate themselves to a period of intense study and writing in school finance. The School Finance Fellow will be selected for a defined period beginning in early 2016. Fellows will receive a stipend of up to $20,000 to include cost of release time, travel and IDRA one-month residency. IDRA will provide office space during the residency. Applications, available at link above, are due September 21, 2015.

TESOL: Upcoming Offerings:

Online Courses/Seminars: ESL for the Secondary Science Teacher, July 6–August 2, 2015;Separating Difference From Disability with Students Learning English as an Additional Language, July 6–August 2, 2015; Training of Trainers, July 8–August 18, 2015; Grammar 1: Phrasal Structure, July 13–August 9, 2015; Grammar 2: Multiclause Structures, July 13–August 9, 2015. Phonological Awareness: Sound Instructional Techniques for Speaking, Listening, and Vocabulary Development, July 22, 2015.

Innovations and Breakthroughs in English Language Teaching, November 4, 2015, Cancún, Mexico. Join TESOL International Association in examining how English language teaching and learning have changed since the beginning of the 21st century. Explore current breakthroughs and innovations that have shaped the classroom of today through practice-oriented, interactive sessions. More information is available on the TESOL website.

Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL) Institutes:

What’s Different about Teaching Reading to Students Learning English, July 13-15, 2015, Courtyard Marriott, Chevy Chase, Maryland. This training will provide participants with an understanding of the methodology and strategies for teaching ELs how to read. This research-based curriculum incorporates key findings from the National Literacy Panel (2006) on teaching reading comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, phonemic awareness, and phonics to ELs. Connections will be made to college- and career-readiness standards (CCSS) including reading and writing in the content areas.

Research-Based Vocabulary, August 6, 2015, Center for Applied Linguistics, Washington, DC.Building on CAL’s federally-funded multi-year vocabulary research, this engaging one-day workshop focuses on research-based strategies and classroom-tested techniques for improving the vocabulary skills of ELs. Participants will learn how to select vocabulary and learn research-based techniques to introduce words and foster classroom interaction with the terms. Participants will also receive a set of CAL’s vocabulary visual word wall cards.

Newcomers in Your School—Cultural Connections and Instructional Strategies, August 11–12, 2015, Washington, DC. This two-day institute focuses on two key components for optimizing success for newcomer students in the classroom: 1) cultural perspectives, influences, and key resources; and 2) content Instruction for newcomers.

Check out CAL’s institute page for more information on these and other CAL Institutes.

Funding Opportunities
Institute of Education Sciences (IES) announces new funding opportunity for Minority Serving Institutions (MSI) (CFDA Number: 84.305B). The goal of the new Pathways to the Education Sciences Research Training Program (Pathways Training Program) is to provide undergraduate, post-baccalaureate, and masters students with an introduction to education research and scientific methods, meaningful opportunities to participate in education research studies, and professional development and mentoring that lead to doctoral study. For FY16, the IES intends to award up to four Pathway Training grants to MSIs or other institutions of higher education in partnership with MSIs. The deadline is August 20, 2015, at 4:30 p.m. EDT. More information is available online.

TOEFL Grants. The Educational Testing Service (ETS) and the TOEFL® Board sponsor a number of TOEFL grants and awards each year for work in foreign or second language research, teaching, or assessment, as well as some in international higher education. Go to the TOEFL website for more information on various grant opportunities.

Job Opportunities
Barbieri Elementary School, Framingham, MA, seeks an assistant principal and a number of bilingual teachers for their Two-Way Spanish immersion program. The mission of Barbieri School is to prepare students to become successful global citizens. The school challenges them to reach their academic potential and teach them the value of cultural, economic, and learning differences, with an emphasis on bilingualism and biliteracy. Apply via School Spring.

Math, Engineering, and Science Academy (MESA) Charter High School, Brooklyn, NY, is looking for a passionate and talented Instructor for English language learners (ELLs). Qualifications include at least a bachelor’s degree in the teaching subject area, master’s degree preferred, experience in an urban public high school or charter school setting, and fluency in Spanish. Valid New York State Certification is also preferred. E-mail your resume and cover letter to Arthur Samuels, Executive Director. More information is available on the charter school website.

Fairfax County Public Schools, VA, is seeking qualified applicants for ESOL teaching positions at the Elementary, Middle, and High School level for the 2015–2016 school year. All applicants must meet the certification requirements of the commonwealth of Virginia.

Bellevue School District, WA, is looking for school administrators and ELL instructors for several schools. Further, the district continues to recruit Elementary Dual Language positions for 2015 in its Balanced Dual Language Spanish and Mandarin programs. The district requires Elementary Education Teacher certification and native-like fluency in Spanish or Mandarin. The job links can be found on theBSD website.

Kent School District, WA, is looking to fill Elementary Dual Language positions for 2015 in its 50/50 Spanish Dual Language Program. The district requires Elementary Education Teacher certification and native like fluency in Spanish. These positions will begin August 26, 2015. The job links can be found on the KSD Website.

US Department of Education ESL Tool Kit for Schools: 10 Chapters


English Learner Tool Kit resources can be accessed here:

The chapters are:

There are ten chapters of the EL Toolkit; each chapter aligned to reflect one section of the DCL.  Each EL Tool Kit chapter contains an overview, sample tools, and resources relevant to the topic of the chapter. Each individual chapter will be released over the next few months as it is completed.  Chapter 1 of the EL Tool Kit: Tools and Resources for Identifying all English Learners was released in January alongside the DCL.

Chapter 1: Tools and Resources for Identifying all English Learner Students (PDF, 1.5MB)

Chapter 2: Tools and Resources for Providing English Learners with a Language Assistance Program (PDF, 800KB)

Chapter 3: Tools and Resources for Staffing and Supporting an English Learner Program (PDF, 921KB)

Chapter 4: Tools and Resources for Providing English Learners Meaningful Access to  Core Curricular and Extra Curricular Programs(PDF, 1.75MB)

Chapter 5: Tools and Resources for Avoiding Unnecessary Segregation of English Learners

Chapter 6: Tools and Resources for Addressing English Learners with Disabilities

Chapter 7: Tools and Resources when English Learners Opt Out of EL Programs and Services

Chapter 8: Tools and Resources for Monitoring and Exiting English Learners from EL Programs and Services

Chapter 9: Tools and Resources for Evaluating the Effectiveness of a District’s English Learner Program

Chapter 10: Tools and Resources for Ensuring Meaningful Communication with Limited English Proficient Parents



download here or below:


WIDA Update


Welcome, Idaho!

Idaho is the latest member of the WIDA Consortium. Idaho previously adopted the English Language Development Standards and will participate in ACCESS for ELLs testing for the first time in the 2015-2016 school year. We welcome Idaho educators and further extending the mission of promoting educational equity for all language learners.

Dual-language elementary students performed as well as AP high schoolers in Mandarin, study says


Read more about this study here:


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