ELLs, What Does Effective Instruction Look Like?
summer issue of the American Educator, from the American
Federation of Teachers, is focused on English learners.
It explores what the research tells us so far about what
works and what doesn't in effective instruction, and identifies
the questions that still haven't been adequately examined.
The lineup of articles includes an overview of current research
that lays out what is known to be good instruction for helping
ELLs acquire academic content. Another piece presents more
than a dozen guidelines meant to help teachers better understand
what makes for effective English language development instruction.
And another looks at how early-childhood educators can build
on home languages to develop bilingual, biliterate children.
are bound to arise as the vast majority of states strive
to help English learners meet the Common Core State Standards.
In calling for students to read complex texts, these new
standards place an even greater emphasis on content knowledge
and literacy skills than prior state standards. This review
of available research will help educators bolster the efforts
of English learners to understand more-demanding academic
content as they also learn English.
American Educator, Summer 2013
Paradox Less Consistent in Young Children, Study Finds
new study that takes a fresh look at the educational outcomes
for children of immigrants presents a different take on
the so-called immigrant paradox in education.
older children of immigrants (high school students) tend
to perform better in school than might be expected, or even
outperform their U.S.-born peers, younger children of immigrants
display much more uneven patterns of academic success, a
new study from the Migration Policy Institute concludes.
The skills that students need to succeed in kindergarten
and to get off to a solid academic start often lag in the
children of immigrants, especially those whose parents migrated
from Mexico and other parts of Latin America.
Research: Latino Kids Lack Access to Safe "Active Spaces"
kids often have limited access to safe gyms, fields, and
playgrounds, but shared use agreements and street-level
improvements can improve access to these "active spaces"
in underserved communities and may help young Latinos become
more physically active and maintain a healthy weight, according
to a new package of research materials from Salud America!
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Research Network
to Prevent Obesity Among Latino Children.
A study shows that 81 percent of Latino neighborhoods did
not have a recreational facility, compared with 38 percent
of White neighborhoods.
new Salud America! "Active Spaces for Latino Kids"
has a research review of the latest science, an original
animated video, and an infographic.
How To Speak Like A Native
The surprising truth about learning a foreign
language: accent isn't the most important thing
research suggests that we would make better progress, and
be understood more easily by our conversational partners,
if we abandoned a perfect accent as our goal in the language
decades, traditional language instruction held up native-like
pronunciation as the ideal, enforced by doses of "fear,
embarrassment and conformity," in the words of Murray
J. Munro, a professor of linguistics at Simon Fraser University
in Canada. Munro and colleague Tracy
Derwing, University of Alberta linguist, argue
that this ideal is "clearly unrealistic," leading
to disappointment and frustration on the part of most adult
guided by the intelligibility principle focus less attention
on individual vowels and consonants, and more attention
to the "macro" aspects of language, such as general
speaking habits, volume, stress, and rhythm. A study by
Derwing and colleagues showed that this approach can work.
primary objectives of the Center
for Applied Linguistics are to improve the teaching
of English as a second or foreign language, to promote
the teaching of the less commonly taught languages,
and to conduct research that will enhance the educational
The CAL website provides a series of "CALdigests,"
free short reports that synthesize current research andhighlight
topics of interest covering a variety of subjects. One of
the newest digests looks at using singable books as a simple,
cost-effective way to combine the benefits of reading childrens
literature aloud and singing. Singable books, picture books
that use a song as the text, are inherently interactive
and appealing to children. The digest includes a list of
recommended books and activities for students in grades
pre-K - 12.