Big changes are in the works for how the Metro Nashville Public Schools District's students learning English are assigned to schools. The district is in the process of a shift from emphasizing placement of students at English Language Learner (ELL) Centers to kids into ELL Program Schools closer to home. This coming school year, because of the changes, about 600 kids will receive ELL services in their regularly zoned schools. Kids being transported to ELL Centers often have to ride buses up to one hour each way, according to LaWanna Shelton, executive director of ELL for MNPS.
The small classroom where John Kuhlman teaches English to immigrants is a far cry from the large lecture halls and auditoriums where he used to lead 1,000 students in lessons on economics. He no longer teaches on a platform, but sits just inches from his students, intensely concentrating to understand what they are saying. Thirty-five years ago, while a professor at the University of Missouri, Kuhlman lost his hearing. A cochlear implant, lip reading and sheer dedication now allow him to spend five days and 21 hours a week teaching 15 immigrants how to read, write and speak in English.
It was a small but heartfelt graduation ceremony at Jones Avenue Adult Centre. The hard work of the ones who didn't make it was praised as highly as the success of those who did. Ana Hernandez made it. From barely being able to speak English last September, the doctor from Mexico zoomed to ESL Level 4 by June and will begin the summer semester next week in Level 5.
Some of Arizona's greatest education dilemmas deal with the languages that are heard — or not heard — in its classrooms and homes. Now, Arizona State University is hoping to create a body of doctoral-level scholars, and research, to tackle those issues. A new Applied Linguistics Ph.D. program, which is seeing its first five candidates enroll this fall, aims to prepare linguists to find solutions to challenges dealing with issues of language and literacy.
Most students with limited English-speaking skills are concentrated in low-performing public schools. Many of them don't do well on standardized tests, but neither do black or white students who attend the same schools. S study released Thursday by the Pew Hispanic Center analyzed standardized testing data for public schools in Texas, Arizona, California, Florida and New York. The findings, however, have less to do with who the students are and more with what their schools are like.
People who speak another language beyond English know if you don't use it, you will lose it. With that premise in mind, the local school system offers a month-long literacy enrichment camp each summer for English language learners who are students in homes where English is not the primary language.
The mountain man really impressed Miguel Hernandez. The normally boisterous third-grader sat in quiet fascination as "Iron Thumb," portrayed by Jan Manning, talked about life in the mountains. Miguel is one of 78 students taking part in a Thompson School District summer camp for English-language learners from kindergarten through eighth grade.
Fewer than a third of children who identify themselves as American Indian or Alaska Native say that they know "a lot" about their tribe or group, according to a study on the teaching of Native American culture and language released today by a branch of the U.S. Department of Education.
When Carlos de Mestral came from Paraguay as a high school sophomore, the total of his English vocabulary was: "My name is Carlos." By his senior year, while he worked carpentry and car wash jobs to help his family pay the rent, he was taking Advanced Placement English. Not only did he get into college, he got into Harvard. Not only that, he received a full scholarship. De Mestral and his 18-year-old sister, Celia, are among the latest students to be awarded a small scholarship by El Centro Hispano, a community agency in White Plains. The program, designed to help young Latino students go to college, began humbly in 1980.
A lack of good quality children's books in Arabic means that parents are reading to their children from English books, said a publisher. Isobel Abul Houl, publisher for Jeroboam books that publishes children's books in both English and Arabic, said: "There's a lack of good children's books in terms of illustration, quality and imagination, so the majority of children's books in Arabic are often translated or they're poor quality."