Posts tagged "bilingual education"
March 4, 2013
For many parents who graduated from Scholastic’s “Rise and Read” program this month, the experience was bittersweet: They had learned new ways to support their children’s education, but they had also been reminded about how their own education had fallen short.
“I want to prepare my children so they don’t have to go through what we went through,” said Rafael Encarnacion, who participated in the program with his wife Nikiesha. “So they have a basic foundation. We want to show them the basics of doing well in school, keeping up and staying focused.”
Scholastic’s six-session Rise and Read workshop series aims to give parents tools to practice reading with their children — by handing out new books, but also by talking about everyday ways to introduce reading, whether through sounding out signs or reading along to lyrics of a favorite song. (more…)
July 9, 2010
With eight weeks to go before the 2010-2011 school year begins, the city is letting principals hire more teachers from outside the school system.
An update to the city’s year-old teacher hiring freeze means that principals are now free to hire people who are licensed to teach earth science, middle school general science, English as a second language for grades 7-12, Chinese, and Latin, even if they aren’t already working in the school system. There are more open positions in these areas than there are teachers whose jobs have been eliminated, according to Department of Education spokeswoman Ann Forte.
Principals were already permitted to look outside the city for special education, speech, and some Spanish bilingual subject teachers. New schools are also allowed to bring on new teachers for up to 40 percent of their hires.
The most recent change suggests that the city might be starting to get a handle on how principals decided to staff up for the coming school year. (more…)
June 16, 2009
The rise of small high schools has decimated programs for students whose native language is not English, making the students more likely to drop out.
That’s the conclusion of a report released today by two watchdog groups that look out for immigrant students, Advocates for Children of New York and the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. The groups studied two large, low-performing high schools that the city decided to replace with small, themed schools and found that students who are classified as English language learners enrolled in smaller numbers in the new schools. Students who did enroll often did not receive the services they needed, the groups found.
What’s more, according to the report, most of the new schools are too small to offer a range of language services:
State law mandates that schools create bilingual programs if they enroll more than 20 students in the same grade who speak the same native language. The DOE has interpreted this mandate to mean that parents of 20 students in the same grade who speak the same language must “opt-in” to select a bilingual program – and that merely meeting the numerical enrollment threshold is insufficient. (more…)
April 20, 2009
Spanish has been making more and more appearances at the highest levels of city government as Mayor Bloomberg hits the campaign trail, so I wasn’t surprised last night when I boarded a subway car and saw one of the by-now-familiar Keep it Going NYC ads boasting about the city’s escuelas.
When translated, the ad, which is pictured above, reads, “Because we think that the opinion of each person counts, the New York City Department of Education asked all parents, students, and teachers what they think about their schools — 800,000 of them responded.” (Our resident Spanish expert offers one correction: The first words after Ciudad de Nueva York should be les preguntó, she notes, lest native speakers think the ad copy is in the first-person.)
The ad is part of an ongoing campaign by the Fund for Public Schools, the nonprofit fundraising organization associated with the Department of Education, to promote developments in the city schools since Bloomberg became mayor. The organization purchased subway ads for the first time last fall, and the colorful ads are also at bus stops and on taxi marquees. Below the jump is a (bad) picture I took of the ad atop the taxi that brought Elizabeth and me home from the airport on Friday night. (more…)
September 30, 2008
Bruce Fuller, a professor of education and public policy at UC Berkeley, argues that research backs up bilingual programs, which provide instruction in both English and the child’s native language:
Even a Bush administration review of controlled classroom experiments — seeking to identify what works in language teaching — found stronger achievement gains for students enrolled in quality bilingual programs, compared with English-immersion classrooms. Yet a skilled bilingual teacher is crucial, one who understands the knowledge and social norms that children acquire at home, and how to build from the first language to advance rich oral language and then written literacy. It’s a no-brainer for students attending schools in Europe and East Asia.
Fuller notes that Barack Obama favors transitional bilingual programs, which aim to move children to English-only instruction as quickly as possible, but provide support in the native language along the way. This is different from dual language programs, which promote written and oral fluency in both languages. Of course, as commenters at the Campaign Stops blog point out, the quality and language background of the teacher matters immensely if either type of bilingual program is to work, and in schools with a wide range of native languages spoken, bilingual instruction may not be realistic.
Fuller adds that other Obama proposals, like quality preschool programs and recruitment of excellent teachers, can also help close the achievement gap for these students. He emphasizes the importance of education for Hispanic voters in a number of swing states, and writes that John McCain has had “little to say to Hispanic parents” about education.
In response, Lance T. Izumi, senior director of education studies at the Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy, uses Sixth Street Prep, a high-achieving southern California charter school, as anecdotal evidence that English immersion is better for students: (more…)
September 9, 2008
After a two-year hiatus, the New York Times this week revived its Lesson Plans blog, featuring the voices of six teachers from different grade levels, subject areas, and regions of the country. Joseph Santini, an English teacher at JHS 47 in Manhattan, kicks things off with a captivating post about creating a bilingual English-American Sign (more…)