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Language Link

June 1999

Previous issues

Message from Joy Kreeft Peyton
Director, ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics (ERIC/CLL)

Welcome to the first issue of our electronic newsletter, ERIC/CLL Language Link. We are pleased to offer you this online newsletter four times per year. ERIC/CLL Language Link covers topics of interest to those working in the fields of foreign language, English as a second language, linguistics, and cross cultural education.

Regular features of ERIC/CLL Language Link will include a lead article, reviews of related ERIC journals and documents, publications announcements, and a conference calendar. We will also feature news from the National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education (an adjunct ERIC clearinghouse), our partner organizations, and the ERIC system.

This first issue focuses on implications of the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) for foreign language study and for the education of children learning English. Changes proposed by the Clinton Administration and Congress promise to offer new opportunities, even as they present new challenges.

Joy Kreeft Peyton, Director
ERIC/CLL
4646 40th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20016-1859
Tel: 1-800-276-9834/ Fax: 202-363-7204


Contents

This publication was prepared with funding from the Office of Educational Research and Improvement, U.S. Department of Education, National Library of Education, under contract no. ED-99-CO-0008. The opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of OERI, ED, or NLE.


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Feature Article

Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act: What's New in the Administration's Proposal?

Kathleen Marcos, ERIC Clearinghouse on Languages and Linguistics

Under the programs authorized by the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA), about $12 billion is provided annually to states, districts, and schools to improve teaching and learning and to help all children, especially at-risk children, meet challenging state standards. ESEA is reauthorized every five years; the last reauthorization took place in 1994. While there is no specific timetable for completion of congressional hearings, many in Congress and the Clinton Administration believe that the reauthorization will be completed before the end of 2000.In February 1999, Congress began conducting hearings to evaluate ESEA and consider its re-enactment. On February 11, Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley testified before the House of Representatives' Committee on Education and the Workforce to present the Clinton Administration's thoughts on the future of the legislation. Recognizing that limited English proficient students are the fastest growing population served by ESEA, the Secretary addressed the government's responsibility to help these children "be part of the American success story." He also emphasized the need for America's children to become "much more fluent" in other languages, applauding the two-way bilingual education programs currently in place that teach the core curriculum through English and another language in order to develop students' academic competence and proficiency in both languages.On May 19, 1999, the Department of Education released the Administration's proposal for the next reauthorization of ESEA at its Web site (www.ed.gov). If the Act were to become law as envisioned by the Clinton Administration, it would continue to contain provisions for the education of children with limited English proficiency, for professional development, for the teaching of foreign languages, and for technology. Some structural changes in the Administration's proposal have implications for language education, including movement of the Elementary School Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) from Title VII to Title X and elimination of funding for the Comprehensive Regional Technical Assistance Centers.

Four major themes emerge throughout the proposed Act: (1) high standards of achievement in every classroom; (2) improving the quality of teachers and principals; (3) strengthening accountability; and (4) ensuring safe, disciplined, and drug-free schools that encourage parental involvement. The entire "Overview of the Clinton Administration's Proposal to Reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act" may be read on-line (www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/ESEA/). The following summaries of the "What's New" sections of each Title of the Act provide a useful start to understanding the proposed changes.

Title I: Helping Disadvantaged Children Meet High Standards. The Administration's proposal reaffirms the importance of national goals to provide a national focus for local and state efforts, renaming the National Education Goals, "America's Education Goals." As proposed, Title I requires states to establish content and student performance standards and assessments; holds districts and schools accountable for performance through rigorous accountability systems; provides additional funding for low-performing and high-poverty schools; continues the work of the Comprehensive School Reform Demonstration program (www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/compreform) and the Even Start Family Literacy program (www.ets.uidaho.edu/cdhd/evenstart/evenstarthome.htm) aims to improve the education of "migratory" students; and reinforces the goals of the Reading Excellence Act (http://www.ed.gov/inits/FY99/1-read.html).

Title II: High Standards in the Classroom. Title II creates a new standards-based reform grant program, "Teaching to High Standards," to support state and local efforts to help all students achieve challenging academic standards. It also assures funding for professional development in mathematics and science. Most of the funding under this Title would be distributed to state education agencies and local education agencies to prepare teachers in core content areas. This Title redirects resources from the Comprehensive Regional Technical Assistance Centers to states and to 100 school districts with the largest numbers of children in poverty to enable them to purchase technical assistance services. Two technical assistance centers would be established focused specifically on the needs of linguistically and culturally diverse students.

Title III: Technology. Title III stimulates the development and use of innovative technologies, supports distance education, increases the ability of teachers to use technology, and increases access to technology through development or expansion of community technology centers to serve disadvantaged residents of high-poverty communities. The proposal creates the "Next Generation Grants" program, resulting from the consolidation of the Technology Innovation Challenge Grants and the Star Schools program. This Title also encourages a focus on high quality professional development to improve teachers' skills in using technology.

Title IV: Safe and Drug Free Schools. This Title continues the Administration's efforts to prevent youth drug use and school violence.

Title V: Promoting Equity, Excellence, and Public School Choice. Title V provides grants for the Magnet Schools Assistance Program (MSAP) and the Public Charter Schools Program and establishes OPTIONS (Opportunities to Improve our Nation's Schools) grants to encourage public school choice. Magnet and charter schools with a foreign language focus may be eligible for funding under this title. (In the current ESEA, these schools have received federal monies under Title IV.)

Title VI: Class Size Reduction. This Title allocates block grants to the states to encourage smaller classes in the early grades and to hire more teachers.

Title VII: Bilingual Education. This Title requires schools to administer assessments of student progress in English proficiency and provides grants to assist teachers who work with limited English proficient students. It also gives funding priority to grantees who have demonstrated effectiveness in helping students learn English and reach high standards. Provisions for program accountability for the achievement of limited English proficient students have been strengthened by (1) requiring annual evaluations to measure progress and determine grant continuation and (2) requiring more specific data in grant applications. Annual assessments of students' English language proficiency are mandated, as is distribution of program descriptions to families. School districts with rapidly expanding numbers of English language learners will be given funding priority. "Bilingual Education Teachers and Personnel Grants" and a "Training for All Teachers" program are proposed to improve professional development of English as a second language teachers. The goal of promoting second language learning for all students is reiterated here, although the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) has been moved to Title X.

Title VIII: Impact Aid. This Title provides support for areas affected by the need to provide educational services to children of federal employees (mostly military dependents). This section is not likely to produce funding for language education.

Title IX: Indian Education. This Title concerns the improvement of education for Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian children, with provisions for supporting culturally appropriate educational services and teacher development.

Title X: Programs of National Significance. This Title authorizes a set of distinct programs. Several may have specific relevance for language education and are mentioned here, including the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP). Part A supports the Fund for the Improvement of Education (FIE) to encourage innovative educational approaches in character education, as well as in mathematics, the arts, and other areas. Other sections of Title X authorize civic education and gifted and talented programs. Part G continues the work of the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (www.ed.gov/offices/OERI/21stCCLC); Part H promotes high school reform.

Part I, the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP), promotes the goal that all students will develop proficiency in more than one language; emphasizes the importance of early language learning; aims to increase the number of elementary school foreign language teachers; and encourages new technologies to bring foreign language instruction to students in effective ways. FLAP encourages programs that emphasize foreign language fluency rather than cultural exposure. FLAP's goal is for 25% of all public elementary schools to offer high-quality, standards-based foreign language programs by 2005. Articulation between elementary and secondary school programs is also supported.

Title XI: Educational Accountability Act and General Provisions. This Title contains general provisions that govern ESEA programs.


Responses from the Field

Representatives of the English as a second language, bilingual education, and foreign language education communities have expressed viewpoints on what the Act should contain, based on the points Secretary Riley raised in his February 1999 testimony. Reaction to the testimony, which previewed some of the Department's plans for ESEA, is outlined below.ESL/Bilingual Education Community. Following Secretary Riley's February testimony, TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) offered recommendations to the Department of Education for consideration in Title VII. These recommendations dealt with multilingualism, accountability, professional development, and parent involvement. Specifically, TESOL made the following recommendations; (1) Federal education programs should encourage and support multilingualism for all children; (2) Title II and Title VII accountability measures should be focused on the individual child rather than on groups of students; (3) Professional development for bilingual education teachers should include training in language development; (4) Schools should involve parents in their children's educational activities by providing assessment results and other information to allow them to make informed choices. The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE), the National Education Association (NEA), the National Council of La Raza, and other organizations also made recommendations to the Department prior the May 19 release of the proposed legislation.Foreign Language Community. At its May 1999 Delegate Assembly meeting, members of the Joint National Committee for Languages (JNCL) and the National Council for Languages and International Studies (NCLIS) heard from Department of Education representatives about the provisions of the Administration's draft legislation and about ESEA priority areas in professional development and school choice. Following these presentations, delegates met in small groups to consider next steps. Results of the discussions are summarized here:Delegates believe that Title II must address language-specific professional development, curricular goals, student and teacher standards, and technology. The group also recommended (1) that student and teacher standards reflect the five goal areas of the Standards for Foreign Language Learning (www.actfl.org/htdocs/standards/standards.htm) and (2) that accountability plans use classroom research results and models from the federally funded Language Resource Centers. Delegates also suggested that Title VII include the requirement that all teachers be prepared to provide optimal instruction to children learning English and that student progress be measured in languages other than English as well as in English.Delegates generally agreed that moving the Foreign Language Assistance Program (FLAP) to Title X would provide more visibility for foreign languages, particularly if the legislation lists FLAP among its primary programs. Finally, delegates agreed that the 21st Century Learning Centers should include foreign languages in their after-school programs, and that foreign languages should be included in any mention of core content areas throughout Title X and ESEA.

More information about JNCL-NCLIS reactions and updates on the reauthorization may be found at the JNCL Web site(www.languagepolicy.org/jncl.html).


Additional Web sites of interest

Public comment on the Reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act is requested by the Department of Education at its Web site (www.ed.gov/offices/OESE/ESEA/). Readers may also contact the Department at the following address:

U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Telephone: 1-800-USA-LEARN
TTY: 1-800-437-0833
Fax: 202-401-0689

ERIC/CLL Language Link will bring you information and updates throughout the course of the reauthorization process.



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Journal Review: Language Policy and Language Planning

One service provided by the Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC) is to abstract and index education-related journals for inclusion in the ERIC database. These abstracts are also published in the montly journal Current Index to Journals in Education (CIJE).In this issue, our journal review features Language Problems and Language Planning, a journal that publishes articles on language planning from a worldwide perspective.Language Problems and Language Planning (ISSN 0272-2690) publishes articles primarily on political, sociological, and economic aspects of language and language use. It is especially concerned with relationships between and among language communities, particularly in international contexts, and in the adaptations, manipulation, and standardization of language for international use. Recent articles have included "A Political Sociology of the World Language System"; "The Unequal Exchange of Texts"; "Multilingualism and Education Policy in Post-Apartheid South Africa"; "Language Policies and Independence Politics in Quebec"; and "Language-Spread Policy." Each issue includes reviews of publications in the language policy arena.LPLP is published four times a year and is available from the John Benjamins Publishing Company, PO Box 75577, 1070 AN Amsterdam, Holland. Subscription information is available at the John Benjamins Web site (www.benjamins.nl/jbp).You can recognize journal abstracts in the ERIC database by their "EJ" prefix followed by a six-digit number. ERIC abstracts can be read at ERIC centers in libraries across the country and around the world, and on the World Wide Web (www.eric.ed.gov/searchdb/searchdb.html). Subscriptions to the journals can be obtained from the publishers; individual articles from many journals are available through the following reprint services:

You may also wish to contact your local university or research library or the journal publishers.



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News Corner

News from NCLE

The National Clearinghouse for ESL Literacy Education (NCLE) (www.cal.org/ncle) recently added a new feature to its Web page. "Worth a Visit" provides links to Web sites offering the latest information on adult ESL literacy and instruction (www.cal.org/caela/links.htm).Links are organized into the following categories, making it easy for visitors to find information.

Visitors will find "Worth a Visit" in the "What's New" section of NCLE's Web site, along with the latest ERIC Digests, Q&A's, and other ESL materials.


News from ERIC and the U.S. Department of Education

New ERIC Search Tutorial

Have you ever had difficulty searching the ERIC database on the Internet? Not quite sure how "descriptors" differ from "keywords"? An excellent ERIC search tutorial on the ERIC Clearinghouse on Higher Education (ERIC/HE) Web site is a free, easy-to-use way to learn how to make the most of the ERIC database. Explore the new ERIC search tutorial (www.eriche.org/workshops/searching.html).


The item above appeared in ERICNews, a bimonthly electronic newsletter published by ACCESS ERIC. To subscribe, send the command:

SUBSCRIBE ERICNEWS FIRSTNAME LASTNAME
(for example, SUBSCRIBE ERICNEWS JOHN SMITH)
to listproc@aspensys.com.


More information about ERIC is reported in the ERIC Users' Interchange, also published by ACCESS ERIC. Issues can be read at their website (www.eric.ed.gov/resources/inter), or you can call 1-800-LET-ERIC (538-3742) for a subscription. Recent articles in ERIC Users' Interchange reported on the following items:


News from Our Colleagues

Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) is accepting applications for its grants and awards program. Interested applicants should contact TESOL at 703-836-0774 or visit the grants and awards page (www.tesol.org/assoc/other/grants).The National Foreign Language Center at Johns Hopkins University is a national language education and policy organization. Dr. Richard D. Brecht, former Deputy Director, has recently been appointed Director. NFLC has also announced its 1999-2000 Mellon Fellowship Winners (www.nflc.org).

The March/April issue of ESL Magazine is available from Bridge Press. This bimonthly magazine serves English language educators and other professionals. Visit the ESL Magazine Web site (www.eslmag.com).



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Calendar of Events

June 1999. The National Capital Language Resource Center (NCLRC) will be holding a series of Summer Institutes on Effective Teaching Strategies at the end of June. (www.nclrc.org/suinst.htm#BM1).June 25-27. 1999 Baltimore TESOL Academy in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University. For more information, visit TESOL's Web site (www.tesol.org), or e-mail the organizers (academy@tesol.org).July 11-14. American Association of Teachers of French Annual Convention. St. Louis, MO. (aatf.utsa.edu)July 12-16. International Symposium on Bilingualism and Biliteracy Through Schooling. Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. (www.brooklyn.liunet.edu/cwis/bklyn/edusymp/edusymp.html)July 30-August 3. American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese (AATSP) Annual Meeting. Denver, CO. (www.aatsp.org)October 14-16. Heritage Languages in America Conference. The Center for Applied Linguistics, the National Foreign Language Center, and California State University Long Beach are co-sponsoring this conference to be held in Long Beach, CA, as part of a national effort to develop the languages of our heritage communities by strengthening the educational institutions that work with them. Information on the conference is available (www.cal.org/heritage).November 19-21. American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL) 1999 annual conference in Dallas, Texas. For more information, contact ACTFL (www.actfl.org).

October-November. The U.S. Department of Education will hold a series of regional conferences on Equity Excellence Partnerships entitled The Dawning of the Education Millennium: Education Excellence for All Children. The conferences will be held in Tampa, FL, October 6-8; Salt Lake City, UT, November 8-10; and Chicago, IL, December 15-17. Information is available at the Web site of the National Clearinghouse for Bilingual Education (www.ncela.gwu.edu/iasconferences).


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New ERIC/CLL Publications

Foreign Language Instruction in the United States: A National Survey of Elementary and Secondary Schools by Nancy C. Rhodes and Lucinda E. Branaman reports results of a nationwide survey conducted by the Center for Applied Linguistics. The book, published by ERIC/CLL, will be available from Delta Systems in September 1999 for $17.95. More information about this publication is available from ERIC/CLL at 1-800-276-9834. To order, contact Delta at 1-800-323-8270.Making the Connection: Language and Academic Achievement Among African American Students by Carolyn Temple Adger, Donna Christian, and Orlando Taylor is now available from Delta Systems for $20.95. Read more about the book by choosing the "Search" option at Delta's Web site (www.delta-systems.com), or order it by calling 1-800-323-8270.

The National Directory of Early Foreign Language Programs is a searchable database available at our Web site (www.cal.org/resources/earlyfl). The Directory provides information on non-immersion early foreign language programs across the country.


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