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News Archive - 2007

Because the direct links to these articles change as news organizations move articles to archives on their Web sites, we have provided links to the home page of the appropriate news outlet for those with inactive links. Many of these Web sites retain archives that can be accessed by visitors, some free and some for a small fee. If you are interested in any of the articles posted in our archive, please visit the appropriate news Web site for more details.

The Republican-American
December 9, 2007
Younger children learning foreign languages
The Francis center, in Kansas City, Mo., began experimenting with bilingual preschool in early October, when it hired [teacher Ana] Gonzalez away from the Christ the King preschool, where she had taught Spanish to toddlers for about a decade.

The Kansas City School District also is at the vanguard of this movement. It incorporates about 60 minutes of Spanish instruction each week into 21 preschools. Soon, three teachers from China are expected to begin introducing Mandarin into six district preschools.

It's a small world after all, and across the country, parents increasingly are clamoring for some sort of foreign-language exposure for toddlers and preschoolers.

Visit the Republican-American Web site.


The Californian
November 24, 2007
Spanish-speakers now have own classes
Temecula Valley Unified School District trustees unanimously approved [Spanish for Spanish speakers] classes last year, but the idea initially surprised board President Stewart Morris.

"I heard 'Spanish for Spanish speakers' and it kind of caught me off guard," he said. "Once they explained to me what it really was ... the light went on."

Supporters say these classes are needed for the same reason that American children who grow up speaking English at home study English in school.

Visit the North County Times Web site.


Post-Bulletin (Rochester, MN)
November 22, 2007
Daniel Hollinger announces expansion of Arabic Immersion at Coeus International School
Austin Public Schools implemented a new foreign language program this year for kindergarten through second grade. Foreign Language in the Elementary Schools is a program funded through integration dollars the district received from the Minnesota Department of Education beginning this school year.

FLES has three certified teachers who devote their time at each of the elementary buildings and Woodson Kindergarten Center teaching students Spanish.

Visit the Post-Bulletin Web site.


Kansas City Star (AP)
November 10, 2007
It's never too early to learn languages
The Francis Child Development Center at Penn Valley Community College began experimenting with bilingual preschool in early October, when it hired [teacher Ana] Gonzalez away from the Christ the King preschool, where she had taught Spanish to toddlers for about a decade.

The Kansas City School District also is at the vanguard of this movement. It incorporates about 60 minutes of Spanish instruction each week into 21 preschools. Soon, three teachers from China are expected to begin introducing Mandarin into six district preschools.

It’s a small world after all, and across the country, parents increasingly are clamoring for some sort of foreign-language exposure for toddlers and preschoolers.

Visit the Kansas City Star Web site. (Salem, OR)
November 9, 2007
Walker's sixth-graders have twice as much to talk about
This year, Walker Middle School launched a dual-language program for sixth-graders. Thirty-five students are enrolled in the program.

The new program makes Walker Middle School the third in the Salem-Keizer School District to use two-way immersion.

The program -- offered in math, science and language-arts classes -- puts English and native Spanish speakers in the same classroom, where they receive ample exposure to both languages.

The program has drawn some controversy, with some critics saying the teaching strategy hinders English acquisition for non-English speakers.

Visit the Statesman Journal Web site.
November 5, 2007
Danbury program teaching new languages to students in lower grades
Students who study foreign languages score higher on standardized tests, according to the College Entrance Examination Board. They will also have more job opportunities in the increasingly global marketplace.

"There is a much greater emphasis to begin earlier, because it's recognized that to be able to communicate effectively in another language you have to start earlier and have a longer sequence of education," said Mary Ann Redmond, an associate professor of education and director of foreign language education for kindergarten through 12th grade at Wake Forest University.

The instruction is more fun and more situational in the early grades, with the goal of teaching students to communicate in a meaningful way. The grammar and structure comes in the higher grades, she said. "It's a very different approach than 30 years ago."

Visit the NewsTimes Web site.


October 29, 2007
New resources available to support teachers of English learners
The Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP) Model Series is based upon the SIOP Model, a scientifically-based, research-driven approach to teaching English learners that uses sheltered instruction, a practical approach to teaching subjects such as math, science or social studies in a way that makes the concepts easier to understand, while at the same time strengthening a student's academic English language development. The SIOP Model is currently used by more than 350,000 educators across the nation, as well as in several countries.

The new SIOP Model Series includes a revised edition of the groundbreaking textbook plus two additional resources for teachers, staff developers and administrators. A fourth resource is expected to be published in January 2008.

Visit the CNN Money Web site.


North Jersey Media Group
October 5, 2007
Multilingual Schools Catch On
The new [French] programs [in New York] are part of a national trend to teach American children subjects such as math, social studies and science in a foreign language. This fall, several hundred thousand youngsters across America are headed to taxpayer-funded classes taught in Spanish, Hebrew, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian and other languages.

On Manhattan's Lower East Side, children at the public Shuang Wen Academy spend much of their school day in classes taught in Mandarin Chinese. The school is so popular among parents of non ethnic Chinese children eager to prepare their offspring for a changing world that there's a waiting list for admission.

Visit the North Jersey Media Group Web site.


The Morning Call
September 24, 2007
No hablo español?
In a survey of 22 other countries, 15 of them had compulsory education in foreign languages by age 8 or introduced foreign languages in elementary grades, while in the United States, foreign language instruction typically begins in high school, despite the fact that experts agree there is a window of opportunity for easily acquiring language that closes when children reach puberty. And a report by the College Entrance Examination Board shows students who study a foreign language score higher on standardized tests.

But in the Lehigh Valley, foreign language instruction in the elementary school is the exception rather than the rule.

Nancy Rhodes, director of foreign language education at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C., says a center survey showed the number of districts offering foreign language in elementary school rose from 22 percent in 1987 to 31 percent in 1997. But when broken down between public and private schools, only 24 percent of public schools offer language while 54 percent of private schools do.

Visit The Morning Call Web site.


North Jersey Media Group
September 16, 2007
Teachers train to help students with English
New Jersey has trained 400 teachers so far, in districts such as Glen Rock, Wallington, Passaic and Bergenfield, during summer sessions at Rowan, Kean and New Jersey City universities.

By following a structured method called Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol, or SIOP, teachers learn to incorporate language-learning goals in subjects such as math, science or social studies, often by writing them on the blackboard. They measure whether students have achieved both the academic and language objectives, and incorporate visual cues, hands-on activities and group discussion to promote language development.

"It is a structured approach to help people who aren't really able to draw on a deep understanding of second language acquisition," said Carolyn Adger, director of the language education and academic development division at the Center for Applied Linguistics, which helped develop the program a decade ago.

Visit the North Jersey Media Group Web site.


Long Island News
September 1, 2007
American schools go global - in French, Chinese, Spanish, Creole
Four new dual-language programs are starting in the city this fall for the first time: three in French, including one in Harlem, and one in Chinese.

"It's about time," says Jaumont, the education attache at the French Embassy in Manhattan, the cultural branch of the main embassy in Washington.

"This is a competitive country, and if Americans want to compete globally, they won't be first any more if their language skills are not good," says the energetic young diplomat, whose English is peppered with American jargon.

Visit the Long Island Newsday Web site.


Kansas City Community News
August 16, 2007
NKC schools get $1.5 million for English language project
The University of Missouri-Kansas City and North Kansas City Schools will be getting the money to improve techniques for teaching English Language Learner students.

UMKC will be the fiscal agent of the grant, while the school district will be the actual provider of the program, which is called Project EXCELL.

University and district officials are getting technical assistance for the project from Dr. Betty Smallwood and Judy O'Laughlin, consultants with the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, D.C.

Read the rest of the article online. (MD)
August 15, 2007
Parents say ‘oui’ to teaching toddlers a second language
Jabberu is a children’s language center in Bethesda that teaches foreign languages to children as young as 12 months old. The center is filling a demand by parents who want their children to learn foreign languages at increasingly younger ages.

Becoming bilingual is simply a necessity, especially in the Washington metropolitan area, said Gideon Lachman, of Bethesda, whose son Micah, 3, is a student at the center.

‘‘You can hear people speaking other languages on the street all the time,” he said. ‘‘[Micah] has friends from South America and Germany who are growing up in bilingual households. It’s just a reflection of our changing culture.”

Read the rest of the article online.


North Jersey Media Group
August 14, 2007
Five years of Clifton schools rising
Five years ago, some elementary schools still had no state-mandated world language instruction, no full-time basic skills teacher, no full-time nurse. Today, all Clifton elementary schools have some world language instruction, at least one full-time basic skills teacher, and a full-time nurse.

In the last five years, the Clifton public schools have added a new elementary school, implemented SmartBoards and new computers, completed many capital projects, revised more than 200 curriculum guides, and added professional development in differentiated instruction, mathematics, writing, science, instructional technology, and other areas.

In the last five years, Clifton students have improved their math, science, and language arts state test scores at all levels, high school Advanced Placement course participation has doubled, and we have been recognized at both the state and national levels for our work with English language learners.

Visit the North Jersey Media Group Web site.


The Cincinnati Enquirer
August 7, 2007
Learn another way to speak
Despite the increasing demand, foreign language instruction before seventh or eighth grade remains sparse, available in less than one-third of U.S. elementary schools, according to the Center for Applied Linguistics.

However, there are plenty of options outside of schools. There are old standbys, such as the Berlitz Language Center in Montgomery, which primarily targets adult students but has an after-school program in French and Spanish.

Read the rest of the article online.


Education Week (
July 24, 2007
Learning the Language (blog)
Resource: Refugee Backgrounders
I'm in danger of doing nothing in the next hour but reading a profile of Meskhetian Turks published by the Cultural Orientation Resource Center of the Center for Applied Linguistics. That profile and other shorter "Refugee Backgrounders" contain fascinating information about the history and culture of selected groups of people--such as Banyamulenge Tutsi from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, who have been resettled in the United States this year and who I've never heard of. The profiles are a great resource for educators who are receiving these children in schools. I just learned about the reports through the Center for Applied Linguistics' newsletter.

Read the rest of the article online.


Omaha World Herald
July 10, 2007
Dual-language options put OPS in vanguard
The Omaha Public Schools first offered lessons in both Spanish and English at one elementary school, Marrs, in the fall of 2000. When Marrs became a middle school, the elementary program continued at Gomez-Heritage Elementary. Omaha South High School added dual-language courses in core subjects for ninth-graders in the fall of 2002.

This fall, classes for eighth-graders will be added at Marrs, and two new schools — Crestridge Elementary Magnet and Beveridge Magnet Middle School — will participate in the program.

For the first time this fall, OPS students will be studying in dual languages in all 13 grades.

VRead the rest of the article online. (Union-Tribune)
July 5, 2007
Dual-language classes double the learning
Advocates of dual-language programs say they benefit both English-and Spanish-speakers. Native English speakers more easily learn another language at a young age and become truly bilingual, advocates say, and Spanish speakers learn academics in their native language, ensuring that they understand the material, then transition to English.

Although participants overall test lower in English-language skills in first and second grades, they ultimately do as well as or better than their peers in academic achievement by the fifth grade, plus they become bilingual, said Judy Lambert, education consultant for the California Department of Education, Language Policy and Leadership Office.

Read the rest of the article online.


Lancaster (Lancaster, PA)
June 20, 2007
All Spanish...All The Time
In Manheim Township, Spanish immersion has a high retention rate. On average, about two to three of the 25 students who start out together will quit for various reasons, district spokeswoman Marcie Brody says. A few also move out of the district.

The immersion program runs from kindergarten through sixth grade.

From the start of kindergarten, the children receive all of their instruction in Spanish, except for music, art, library and physical education.

In McKenna's Spanish kindergarten class, children learn to recognize the alphabet and what each letter sounds like and to make syllables and pair syllables to create words. The words are all in Spanish.

Visit the Lancaster Online Web site.


The Cincinnati Enquirer
June 12, 2007
Speaking the Language of Globalization
Though educators have long understood the value of learning a foreign language, for most of us, studying one in school was an "extra." Taking Spanish, French, or German was a pleasant diversion from English and math, and we thought we might use what we learned one day when we traveled.

Times - and the world - have changed. Globalization has blurred our borders and expanded our horizons. In today's global economy, foreign language skills have become vital to our children's future as members of the workforce and to our nation's future success in the world.

Visit the Cincinnati Enquirer Web site.


Education Week (
June 8, 2007
Learning the Language (blog)
June 14 Webcast: Diane August Reviews Findings on ELLs
Here's something else to try--Webcasts about research on English-language learners co-sponsored by CREATE and SchoolsMovingUp, an initiative of WestEd. (CREATE stands for the Center for Research on the Educational Achievement and Teaching of English Language Learners.)

On June 14 at noon, Diane August, a senior research scientist at the Center for Applied Linguistics, will review findings about ELLs from the National Literacy Panel on Language-Minority Children and Youth. I'm thinking the Webcast could be an agreeable alternative to reading the 669-page volume--or at least a big help in knowing what to focus on in reading the actual study. (A 15-page executive summary is also available.)

Read the rest of the article online.


San Jose Mercury News
June 7, 2007
Two milestones for Mandarin immersion class
Two Santa Clara County schools are marking milestones this month - the middle school graduation of the first class of Mandarin immersion students in Cupertino, and the painful birth late Tuesday of a similar program in Palo Alto.

It's not just parents of the Mandarin students who are celebrating. Proponents of school choice, business leaders and advocates of foreign-language education see the growing number of immersion programs as an educational advancement and economic necessity. They argue that more Americans need to become proficient in multiple languages as the world effectively shrinks.

Visit the San Jose Mercury News Web site.
May 21, 2007
Woman views ways refugees prepare for new life in U.S.
Louisa Saratora, the coordinator of the Refugee Resettlement Program at Catholic Charities of Tennessee, is one of six people in the United States selected to participate in the 2007 Cultural Orientation Trainers Exchange Program.

The purpose of the Cultural Orientation Trainers Exchange Program is to allow U.S. refugee resettlement professionals to observe the cultural orientation workshops that are conducted in refugee camps to prepare refugees for departure to the U.S.

Visit The Tennessean Web site.


Education Week (
May 16, 2007
Learning the Language (blog)
Two-Way Vision: How Four Schools Promote Bilingualism
Motivating English-language learners to use their Spanish is a bigger challenge than getting them to improve their English in some two-way immersion programs, according to a book published recently by the Center for Applied Linguistics. The book, Realizing the Vision of Two-Way Immersion: Fostering Effective Programs and Classrooms, profiles four schools with two-way immersion programs, also known as dual-language programs. These are programs in which children who are dominant in English and children who are dominant in Spanish learn both languages in the same classrooms. In many school districts, such programs have become the favored model of bilingual education.

Read the rest of the article online.


The Chronicle of Higher Education
April 26, 2007
A failure to communicate
Five and a half years after the 2001 terrorist attacks, colleges are still struggling to respond to demands from the government, businesses, and students for more teaching of the languages believed to be critical to America's security and economic future. Arabic is considered essential for representing America's interests in the Middle East, but according to the recent report of the congressionally appointed Iraq Study Group, only six of the 1,000 U.S. embassy employees in Baghdad speak the language fluently. Mandarin is vital for representing American companies in China, one of the world's largest markets. But in the 2003-4 academic year, the latest for which the U.S. Education Department has figures, American institutions awarded only 15 master's degrees in Chinese, and five Ph.D.'s. While progress has been made, many experts say America's colleges and universities are still graduating far too few people capable of working in what have become known as the critical languages.

Visit The Chronicle of Higher Education Web site.
(Reading this article requires a subscription or online pass to The Chronicle of Higher Education.)


Herald Tribune (SW Florida)
April 16, 2007
Florida's dialect remains in flux
Newcomers washing over the state have eroded the dialect of old Florida, leaving pockets in the Panhandle, areas of Central Florida and the farm country around Lake Okeechobee.

It has been eradicated along much of the state's east coast and in the Orlando area. In places such as Tampa, its survival is mixed.

The Florida dialect of author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings likely won't vanish, linguists say. But it likely won't remain the same, either.

Visit the Herald Tribune Web site. (Ontario, CA)
April 5, 2007
School district could extend dual immersion practice into junior high
Parents whose children are taking part in Corona-Norco Unified School District's Dual Immersion program fear their children's language skills will be forgotten without the program being implemented in junior high.

As students from the initial Dual Immersion kindergarten class near the end of elementary school their parents are pushing to bring Dual Immersion to the intermediate level.

"These parents committed their children to seven years of language instruction and they don't want that to be wasted in a two to three year lapse," Board of Education member Bill Hedrick said. "A lot of that will be lost."

Visit the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin Web site.


Education Week
April 3, 2007
NRC Sees Deficit in Federal Approach to Foreign Languages
The U.S. Department of Education should have a more visible presence in directing efforts for international education and the teaching of foreign languages, particularly in K-12 education, concludes a report sent to Congress last week by the National Research Council.

The report characterizes the Education Department’s programs for the teaching of foreign languages and cultures as “fragmented.” It says that “there is no apparent department master plan or unifying strategic vision.”

Visit the Education Week Web site.


Boston Globe (AP Article)
March 16, 2007
As China's power grows, so do Chinese programs in public schools
Chinese, it seems, is becoming the new Latin in public schools.

At least 27 states offer Chinese language classes in either elementary, middle or high schools. And according to the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington D.C., there are 12 public and private immersion schools across the country where most subjects are taught exclusively in Mandarin Chinese.

"It's about jobs and a world economy," said Richard Alcorn, who spearheaded the first Chinese immersion charter school in Massachusetts with his wife, Kathleen Wang. "There are unbelievable opportunities to do business in China, so there's a need for Americans to learn the language so we're not left out."

Visit the Boston Globe Web site.


Houston Chronicle
March 13, 2007
Little sponges
administrators grasp the importance of bilingualism. HISD schools offer a total of 12 foreign languages, and Bellaire High School teaches Arabic. But like most other U.S. school systems, according to the nonprofit Center for Applied Linguistics, Houston falls short on teaching language so it can be used practically. As anyone who dabbled in high school Spanish or French already knows, it takes far more than a year or two to reach proficiency. To truly master a language, most students need to start early — in grade school.

"There really is no 'too soon,' " Marty Abbot of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign languages told the Chronicle in December. "Because they are young and are able to duplicate the sounds of another language, they are more likely to have native-like pronunciations and intonations. Around puberty, you start to lose the ability to do that."

Visit the Houston Chronicle Web site.


New York Times
February 21, 2007
State high schools boast: Arabic is taught here
Over the last three years, Connecticut has emerged as a national leader in the small but growing push to introduce Arabic to the country’s classrooms after the Sept. 11 attacks.

National data on Arabic education in kindergarten through 12th grade is spotty. But the Center for Applied Linguistics, a research group in Washington, estimates that there are roughly 25 full-credit programs in public and non-Islamic private schools nationwide. And Connecticut can claim at least five.

Visit the New York Times Web site.


The Gazette (Cedar Rapids, IA)
January 31, 2007
Versed in Arabic: Program at C.R. Washington broadens horizons
Washington is the first high school in Iowa to offer classes in Arabic, and only about 25 public high schools in the United States offer the language, according to Dora Johnson, director of the kindergarten through 12th grade Arabic network at the National Capital Language Resource Center in Washington, D.C.

This is the second year that Arabic has been offered at Washington. And like many other high school teachers of Arabic, Ikram Easton had to develop her curriculum from scratch.

Visit the Cedar Rapids Gazette Web site. (Denver,CO)
January 31, 2007
Second language is key for children's future
For individuals who do not grow up in a bilingual home, the best time to teach them a second language is before the age of seven. When exposed at this early age, children acquire native-like pronunciation and are more comfortable engaging in conversation in a second language.

There are several research studies that show that children who are exposed to a second language or raised bilingually can perform certain cognitive tasks more accurately than monolinguals. These students also tend to achieve better scores in verbal intelligence (English and second language), conceptualization, global thinking and original approaches to problem solving.

In fact, learning a second language can also improve a child's understanding of his or her native language. As a child acquires language structures in the second language, he or she is continuously scaffolding, connecting and comparing these new structures to what is already known.

Visit the Web site.


CANOE.CA Travel News
January 29, 2007
To learn a new language, get on a plane, leave English behind
Language immersion programs can be found worldwide, for all types of learning and goals. A friend of mine is in Tehran, Iran, right now learning Farsi, and has excelled in just a matter of weeks.

Some programs are tailored specifically to certain fields, like medical Spanish for professionals in the health care industry. Others combine adventure travel: You can ski while learning French in the Alps or surf before classes in Ecuador. If you have to achieve a level of proficiency for your job, schools often have a special track for that.

Visit the Canoe.CA Travel News Web site.


North Jersey Media Group
January 21, 2007
Englewood program creates bilingual kids
[At Englewood public schools] special classes of native English- and native Spanish-speaking students are mixed together starting in kindergarten and receive instruction in both languages. The classes stay together through sixth grade, during which time Spanish-speaking students acquire English, and the English students pick up fluency or near-fluency in a foreign language.

About 10 percent of Englewood's approximately 2,800 students are enrolled in the program, which by many indications is a success. Demand is so high the school must hold a lottery to determine which English-speaking children can enroll.

Visit the North New Jersey Media Group Web site.


Summit Daily News (Frisco, CO)
January 17, 2007
Bilingual by fifth grade, bicultural for life
In the El Valle dual language program at Dillon Valley Elementary School, many first graders have already mastered pronunciation, are conjugating verbs and are well past giving blank stares to the teachers who speak to them in their non-native language. The split population of native English and Spanish speakers are becoming bilingual, biliterate and bicultural.

Research shows that the more grounded a child is in their native language, the more easily they acquire a second language. Also, learning at a young age makes proficiency more likely.

Visit the Summit Daily News Web site.


Beaver County & Allegheny Times Online (PA)
January 15, 2007
Students put new emphasis on second languages
Wythe Keever, a spokesman for the Pennsylvania State Education Association, said it appears that rather than adding to their language curriculums, most Pennsylvania schools are only trying to hold onto whatever offerings they have.

"The problem with foreign languages in Pennsylvania and other states across the nation is that many school districts, because of increasing pressure of funding of school budgets and test preparation, are cutting back on foreign language as far as total offerings," Keever said.

Visit the Beaver County & Allegheny Times Web site.

Return to the news archive page.