Parent Academy Assists Non-English Speakers

HELPING NEW ARRIVALS HELP THEIR CHILDREN

New Meadowlawn Elementary School Principal Tim Hargis recognizes the traits of dedication and perseverance in his English-language learner families, and sees how hard parents work to help their children be successful.

The school is home to the district’s elementary Newcomer Center Program for students who are brand new to the United States. There are currently 20 children in the program. Many other students schoolwide are ELL, with varying levels of English.

$20 million in grants to support educators of English learner students.

U.S. Department of Education Awards $20 Million to Support Educators of English Learner Students

 

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA) announced today the awarding of $20 million in grants under the National Professional Development Program (NPD), to support educators of English learner students.

The NPD program provides grants to eligible institutions of higher education and public or private entities with relevant experience and capacity, in consortia with states or districts, to implement professional development activities that will improve instruction for English Learners (ELs). Professional development may include preservice or in-service activities for educators of ELs including teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals or other educators working with ELs. Professional development activities may include teacher education programs and training for other education professionals that lead to certification, licensing, or endorsement for providing instruction to English learners.

“Our English learner students represent an incredible asset for our country, yet they also face unique challenges. We need to keep shining the spotlight on them and building our capacity to better serve and teach them.” said OELA Assistant Deputy Secretary, José A.Viana. “With this funding, we continue to deliver on our promise of equity, excellence and opportunity in supporting educators, students and families across the country. They are counting on us to help them soar!”

The Department projects this new cohort of 42 grants will serve approximately 1,796 pre-service and 9,731 in-service teachers.

New American Economy – Refugee Edition

Rhetoric about refugees in the United States is often dominated by discussions about humanitarian obligations on the one hand and public safety concerns on the other. While both are clearly relevant, this narrow focus misses what many American communities see as the most enduring legacy of these newcomers: the positive economic impact they have on the cities and towns that they ultimately come to call home. Refugees have entrepreneurship and home ownership rates that far exceed that of other immigrants. Many aging and once declining communities—from Utica, New York to Bevo Mill in St. Louis—have credited young, entrepreneurial refugees with reinvigorating their local economy and commercial main streets.1

Advanced Placement English classes

Manhattan teacher helps immigrant students excel in Advanced Placement English classes

None of the students at the Manhattan Academy for Arts and Language can speak English when they enter the school.

In fact, many start without any significant formal education or literacy skills.

But tireless English teacher Lauren McCoy has figured out how to meet the needs of all her students, and quickly build their literacy and language ability.

McCoy is now teaching one of the school’s first-ever Advanced Placement classes. She’s taking students who just learned English to the next level, where they’re writing strong rhetorical analysis essays and taking the AP exam.

Mark Oronzio suggests concept-mapping strategies for language learners

Drawing on Ideas for Language Learners

For more than 40 years, education researchers have advocated the use of concept mapping as an effective approach to fostering higher-order thinking skills, moving students from mere knowledge acquisition to knowledge utilization and creation (Novak and Cañas, 2008). By specifying and linking concepts in a concept map, students and language learners create a visible structure of their understanding in a given domain that can be modified over time to assimilate new concepts and reflect new understanding.

In short, concept mapping can move learners toward more in-depth learning, i.e., more meaningful learning, by facilitating the process of linking new concepts with existing knowledge and experience. Concept mapping is an effective strategy for educators to use to support English language learners (ELLs) and prepare them for success in school and beyond.