Posts tagged "language acquisition"
October 23, 2012
As the neighborhood around her school transformed into a cultural melting pot, Principal Irma Medina sensed that the city education department’s translation services wouldn’t be adequate to break through language barriers for new parents.
By 2010, over 40 languages were represented at P.S. 111 in Hell’s Kitchen, Medina said. So to improve communication with parents at the school, Medina turned to an increasingly popular option: donated services.
Through the help of PENCIL, a nonprofit that forges school-business leader partnerships, Medina’s translation needs were matched to VOCES, the Latino Heritage Network of The New York Times Company, headquartered about a half mile down the road near Times Square.
The public-private partnership is now one of 395 that PENCIL manages in 377 schools in New York City. With the support from cash-strapped city education officials, PENCIL hopes to nearly double that number in coming years.
As part of the P.S. 111 partnership, VOCES has donated resources as well as its professional expertise in translation services to support Medina’s growing need for translations, which include information for parent association meetings and weekly school-issued material. (more…)
September 7, 2011
Huddled around tables in their school library, three dozen teachers at P.S. 124 in Sunset Park got a taste for how new standards being rolled out across the city would reshape their work in the classroom this fall.
Principal Annabelle Martinez handed out photocopies of student writing samples and asked the teachers to evaluate the work according to the new standards.
For a team of third-grade teachers, that meant looking at a short essay about weather and determining whether the author used “informative and explanatory text to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.”
At first, the teachers found strengths in the essay’s display of mechanics. One teacher pointed out that the student had used capitalization correctly.
“He knows his paragraphs,” another teacher said. “And he knows sentence structure too.”
Later, the teachers used a projector to present their notes to their colleagues. Under Martinez’s guidance, the teachers revised how they discussed the student’s strengths. Now, they called the essay “informative” and said it was organized well by topic and included a “clear introduction” and a “clear conclusion” — language that was more in line with the new standards.