"Should we sell the house, or walk away from the mortgage?" Those are questions that thousands of young immigrants are now asking themselves after they received permission to stay in the U.S. under an Obama-era program. For people like Cristian Mendoza, answers are not easy to come by. "Honestly, I don't know," says Mendoza, 30, in the living room of a home he bought for his parents in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. "Our last resort is try to sell it." Cristian, a dietitian, bought the three-bedroom home two years ago with his younger sister, Laura. They paid just under $400,000 and made a $20,000 down payment. Cristian had been saving up to buy a home since high school.
In the United States today, one child out of every four under the age of 18 is of Latinx descent. While a large proportion of these children are proficient English speakers, there remain many who are not. Yet a lack of English proficiency is not a reason for children to be left behind academically. It is gratifying to see publishers stepping up to the plate and meeting the needs of these children. All the series reviewed below are for lower elementary grades and cover a variety of topics that complement or supplement classroom learning.
Many Puerto Ricans who survived hurricane Maria have been working frantically to restore their lives in a new home. Many are teachers, and they've come to Orlando to find jobs. They may never go back.
Florianne Jimenez is a Ph.D. student in rhetoric and composition at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also the Multilingual Specialist at the UMass Amherst Writing Center. She writes, “While it’s certainly easy to assume that multilingual students will just 'pick up' college-level English as they go, the truth is, a university classroom is a linguistically complex and challenging place. A student's language background can influence how well they’re doing in your class, as well as how included a student feels in your classroom community. As teachers, we can do a lot to make our classrooms more open to linguistic diversity. Instead of penalizing how students' language backgrounds differ from Standard English, we need to ensure that multilingual students don't fall behind."
As politicians in Washington try and figure out what to do with the DACA program — Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals — across the country, DACA recipients are working on their own plans ... trying to stay in the country if Congress doesn't act in time.
Across the country, demand for immersion programs is growing and states and districts are trying to keep up. Plutus Yang, Assistant Director at Hudson Way Immersion School, shares some best practices to keep in mind. He writes, "The popularity of language immersion programs is growing rapidly, but many schools are still struggling to establish strong, rigorous, and effective immersion programs. As both a Chinese immersion teacher and an administrator of a Chinese and Spanish immersion school, I have seen firsthand what holds many immersion programs back, and what allows others to flourish and take full advantage of this unique approach to language education."
In recent years, an increasing number of U.S.-born students have enrolled in Mexican schools. About half a million now attend classes south of the border, and educators on both sides are pushing for greater collaboration to help meet those students’ unique needs — among them, gaining language skills, adjusting to different education levels, and adapting to new school cultures and structures.
Demand for LA Unified's dual language programs is so high that the district plans to expand from 16 schools offering the programs to as many as 35 schools next year. Meanwhile, the nation's second-largest school district — where students speak 94 languages — is closing in on meeting its goals for improving test scores for English learners and getting more of them to graduation.
The day-to-day experiences of a Puerto Rican family who moved from the island to New York City in the 1950s-1970s is part of a fascinating new exhibit in a museum that examines our country's evolving waves of migration. The New York City Tenement Museum’s exhibit, titled "Under One Roof," sheds light on the lives of three different families who all lived in the Lower East Side of Manhattan, a neighborhood that has been for centuries a destination for immigrant families.
Designating early elementary students who are close to being proficient in English as English-language learners can have "significant and positive effects on the academic achievement" of the students, new research concludes. The study concludes that additional support that students receive as English-learners helps foster higher achievement in language arts and mathematics than students who were on the cusp but were identified as initial English-proficient students—and, as a result, did not receive the extra services.