Literacy is being promoted in different languages in New York. The Sunset Park branch of the Brooklyn Public Library is now offering parent workshops in Spanish and English in order to create lifelong readers among the children and empower parents to become part of their child's education. Officials say the library's budget has been increased to accommodate more multi-lingual programs.
Mai Vang Lee and her family arrived in Minnesota in May 2005 from a refugee camp in Thailand. She was part of a group of more than 1,500 Hmong refugees who enrolled in St. Paul schools over a span of about two years from 2004 through 2006. In 2 1/2 years she has gone from entry-level English literacy to the stage just below fluency, reading at a fifth-grade level. Last month, she was part of a five-member team from Randolph Heights that placed third in the regional Math Masters competition. According to one of her teachers, "She's one of the rare examples of a kid who beats the averages."
Dyslexia affects different parts of children's brains depending on whether they are raised reading English or Chinese. That finding, reported in Monday's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, means that therapists may need to seek different methods of assisting dyslexic children from different cultures.
As Texas' Hispanic population grows, public schools are rethinking the ways they communicate with Spanish-speaking parents. They are offering English and citizenship courses, translating school documents, dubbing audio recordings of board meetings in Spanish, and hiring interpreters in an attempt to reach parents who historically have not been deeply involved in their children's education.
An Oregon first-grade teacher's habit of incorporating comic books into classroom reading lessons was found by a researcher to improve reading and writing in English-language learners. The teacher used, for example, a Spider-Man story to illustrate how problem-solution scenarios make a story interesting, a technique students then put to use in generating their own stories.
This Week in Education and Detentionslip.org have picked up on a recent story reporting that school cafeteria workers in Seminole County, FL, were told they can't speak Spanish on the job.
"The worst time in your life to immigrate is 17 years old." Canadian school district administrator Tony Carrigan has worked with new immigrants for years and seen up close how frustrating it is for newly arrived teens to catch up to their peers when they get a late start. "In many cases you haven't completed your high school at home and you don't have enough English to be able to go on to post-secondary education," he says.
Oregon's Eugene School District has been plotting the launch of a Mandarin Chinese immersion program for nearly two years, but, as became clear recently, it's no slam-dunk — much to the frustration of parents and community members who can't fathom why there would be any hesitation.
For school district superintendents and teachers, the need to integrate the county's growing Hispanic population is, literally, academic. It stems from the federal No Child Left Behind law, which requires all public school students in third through eighth grades and 11th grade to score "proficient" or better on standardized reading and math tests by 2014. To make sure no students slip through the cracks, the law requires those same goals be met by all students in a school or district, and by students in four subgroups that statistically perform more poorly on standardized tests: low-income, special education, English as Second Language, and minorities. The Hispanic sub-group is one of the minorities in that mix, and in Northeastern Pennsylvania, the double whammy of more grades being tested and more Hispanics in those grades has made Hispanic test results much more important today than five years ago.
Martha Calle, a baby sitter from Colombia, wants to own her own day care. Daniel Esgralo, a landscaper from Mexico, wants to be able to express himself. Thousands of adults use free English as a Second Language classes throughout North Carolina so they can teach their children and advance at work. Calle and Esgralo study through a N.C. Community College System program that is funded by taxpayer money and does not check the legal status of its students.