Volume XX - November 1, 2005

Welcome to the E-Comp!, a complimentary monthly newsletter for language educators brought to you by Prolinguistica.com. Tell us what you think. Send feedback, comments, submissions and suggestions to Laura Zink de Diaz at : e-comp@prolinguistica.com

Special Announcement
Red de Recursos para Maestros de Español
From: Brittany Armstrong
Hamilton International Middle School
Seattle, Washington
I would like to extend an invitation to all Spanish teachers to join a small network of World Language teachers who would like to share information, classroom resources, and lesson plans. As hardworking teachers, we often work individually, have personal insights, and design excellent lessons that we rarely have the opportunity to share with our colleagues. And we continue to reinvent the proverbial wheel, as countless other teachers do the same. My goal in initiating this network is to promote SHARING our creativity.Please send me an email if you would like me to add your name to the Distribution List I have started. As you receive emails you may simply "Reply to All," or if you'd rather "Delete" the information that is not useful to you.
Brittainy Armstrong
Maestra de Español/Spanish Teacher
Hamilton Int'l Middle School
E-mail: brarmstrong@seattleschools.org


Grant Opportunities, Workshops, Conferences…

International Research and Studies Program
U.S. Department of Education
General deadline: November 16, 2005
Extended deadline: December 1, 2005
Purpose of program: The International Research and Studies Program provides grants to conduct research and studies to improve and strengthen instruction in modern foreign languages, area studies, and other international fields.
Eligible applicants: Public and private agencies, organizations, institutions, and individuals.
Estimated range of awards: $50,000-$200,000 per year
Estimated average size of awards: $122,917
Estimated number of awards: 22
For more information, including application information, visit the Federal Register:

NAME's 15th Annual International Conference
November 9-13, 2005
Atlanta, GA
"Renewing the Dream Through Multicultural Education: Sharing Power, Valuing Culture and Achieving Social Justice." More information at:

Regional Indigenous Bilingual Education Conference
Regional Indigenous Bilingual Education Coalition
Gallup, New Mexico
November 17-18, 2005
The Regional Indigenous Bilingual Education Coalition's Annual Conference will be held in Gallup, New Mexico on November 17-18, 2005. This year's conference will focus on the needs of bilingual teachers working with tribes in New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, and Colorado. Additional components of the conference include "Standing Tall", an all-day workshop for high school students, and "Parent Leadership: A Practical Way of Getting Better Using Baldrige." Attendees have the option of attending up to 10 sessions over the two days.
For more information, visit: http://www.wnmu.org/ribec/conference.html

Illinois TESOL/BE Annual Conference
Illinois Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and Bilingual Education (Illinois TESOL/BE)
Naperville, Illinois
March 3-4, 2006
The Illinois Association of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages and Bilingual Education (Illinois TESOL/BE) will hold its 32nd Annual Convention on March 3-4, 2006, at the Holiday Inn Select in Naperville, Illinois.
For more information, visit http://www.itbe.org

2006 Call for Papers - 2006 SEA Annual Conference
2006 Annual Conference
Sociology of Education Association (SEA)
Pacific Grove, CA
February 24-26, 2006
Submission deadline: October 15, 2005
The Sociology of Education Association (SEA) is holding its 2006 Annual Conference February 24-26, 2006 at the Asilomar Conference Center located on the Monterey Peninsula in Pacific Grove, California. This year's conference theme, "Social Capital and Educational Achievement," focuses on the concept of social capital and its use in explaining and improving educational achievement. The concept of social capital, first developed by Bourdieu and Coleman in the 1980s, represents the actual or potential resources embedded in social networks that may be converted into other manifestations of capital, including material capital, human capital, and civic participation. The Sociology of Education Association (SEA) is interested in theoretical and empirical research papers that examine social capital in families, schools, and communities and the role it plays in contributing to educational outcomes. Papers that examine the limitations of the concept are welcome. Papers are also welcome on other topics in the sociology of education, but priority will be given to papers related to this year's theme. The conference will aim for a balanced presentation of theoretical and empirical research on this broad topic while providing both formal and informal venues for discussion and exchange of views.
Those desiring to present should submit a detailed 2-3 page précis that includes a brief discussion of the topic, research literature, methods, and significance of the paper. The submission deadline is October 15, 2005. Papers will be reviewed by the SEA Board of Directors and authors will be notified by November 15, 2006.
All submissions must be sent via email to:
Russell W. Rumberger
U.C. Linguistic Minority Research Institute
University of California, Santa Barbara
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-3220
Phone: (805) 893-2250
E-mail: russ@lmri.ucsb.edu
Include the following information: Name, affiliation, address, office telephone, home telephone, office fax, and e-mail of contact person.

NABE 2006 Conference
Connecting Worlds with Bilingual Education
NABE 2006, January 18-21, in Phoenix, AZ.

Toyota International Teacher Program
Professional Development in Japan for High School Teachers
The Toyota International Teacher Program is a unique study abroad opportunity for US educators. It provides a first-hand professional development experience in an international setting, and its benefits extend to the classroom and community through specially devised impact plans proposed by each participating teacher. Applications are available to participate in a fully funded 10-day, study tour of Japan for Twenty (20) full-time secondary school; classroom teachers (grades 9-12) from Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Tennessee. The participants will travel to Japan to explore the country's education, culture, environment and technology, and how these affect industry and society in Japan today.
Full-time classroom teachers in grades 9-12, in the ten program states are encouraged to submit applications for the Toyota International Teacher Program by January 9, 2006.
Apply online at http://www.iie.org/programs/toyota
Materials and informational poster may also be requested by visiting the Toyota International Teacher Program website or by calling the Institute of International Education at 1-877-TEACH-JP (877-832-2457).
Application deadline: January 09, 2006

For Your Reading Pleasure

Education Should Be Bilingual
South African Press Association
At the International Language and Development Conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, held on October 26-28, 2005, opening speaker John Clegg, consultant with the University of Bristol and the London Institute of Education, argued that educating children in sub-Saharan Africa through European languages was likely to inhibit their development. He contended that children who were educated through both a local language and a foreign language were likely to perform better in school and develop higher second language ability than those taught only through a European language. Clegg said bilingual education also prompted greater community involvement in education. He said until now, teacher education in Africa had largely avoided the question of the medium of instruction, calling for bilingual education initiatives to be implemented "urgently" with help from development agencies. Read more at:

Boys unwilling to learn languages
By Sean Coughlan - BBC NEWS
Teenage boys can barely be encouraged to speak English let alone learn another language, says the Chief Inspector of Schools, David Bell. The voice of language learning in England's schools is in danger of becoming almost entirely middle class and female, he said. Mr Bell said it might be better to teach the subject in single-sex classes to make boys less self-conscious.
Read more of this at:

Tongue Tied
by Michael Erard, The New Republic
Last fall, the College Board asked 14,000 high schools in the United States how many of them planned to offer Advanced Placement (AP) courses in Chinese in the fall of 2006, in preparation for the first Chinese language AP exam in 2007. The Board expected a few hundred to say yes, but jaws hit the floor when 2,347 schools said they were interested in Chinese. For those who believe that American children should learn more languages, especially those of economic competitors like China, this is good news. But there's one problem: We don't have enough qualified teachers. The system would need an estimated 2,000 more officially certified Chinese language teachers before all the interested schools could offer AP Chinese. A 2004 report by the Chinese Language Association of Secondary- Elementary Schools counted only 110 high school-level teachers. Erard makes the case for a "national language czar" at:

'Mother tongue teaching is more beneficial'
By A'eysha Kassiem
Mother tongue education is crucial to a learner's success, especially in subjects such as maths and science, says a Human Sciences Research Council report. The report, compiled by chief research specialist in the assessment, technology and education evaluation research programme, Kathleen Heugh, is based on a draft report on bilingual education and the use of local languages. It was compiled by organisations such as the Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) Institute for Education. Read more about this at:

More kids may get to learn in 2 languages
By Sanjay Bhatt
More Seattle students soon may have a chance to learn the core subjects in both English and a second language. That approach, known as "dual-language" immersion, is the hallmark of the popular John Stanford International School in Wallingford, which instructs students in English and either Spanish or Japanese. The school, home to the Seattle School District's only dual-language immersion program, last week was named the nation's best elementary school overall in the Schools of Distinction Awards competition sponsored by Intel Corp. and Scholastic Corp. With high parent interest and research backing the effectiveness of dual-language programs, the Seattle School district is supporting efforts to expand their availability across the city, said Caroline Tamayo, the district's bilingual-program manager.
Read the rest at:

Resources you might be interested in...


An on-line source for quizes and activities. You can join and contribute, but there's a "Shared" area that's free.

Crawford on NCLB
If you scroll to bottom of page, on the right, you will see a link to 'NCLB Resources' where you'll find James Crawford's analysis of the effects of NCLB. Click to download it to your computer as as PDF document and read it at your leisure.

Proposition 227 and Skyrocketing Test Scores: An Urban Legend from California
From S. D. Krashen
"The Skyrocket Legend was interpreted by many as a demonstration of the superiority of immersion over bilingual education, and encouraged anti-bilingual education advocates to eliminate bilingual education in other states. I will argue here that dropping bilingual education did not contribute to the increase in test scores, that there are more reasonable explanations for the test score increase and I will review evidence showing that bilingual education is a very helpful idea."
Read it all at: http://www.sdkrashen.com/articles/prop227/index.html


As promised last month, a few words about Quito Ecuador. I flew there in late August to do a dyslexia correction program with a young man. His family emigrated from Germany. When he was a child he attended a Spanish/German bilingual school for a couple of years. But early in his elementary grades he transferred to a school with a Spanish/English bilingual program. At home he and his parents speak Spanish and German, but at 21 he also speaks English very well. His dyslexia is unrelated to his multi-lingual background, but I expect that once he completes his correction program, he will discover that he's even better grounded in those three languages than he realizes!

I read before the trip that Quito is considered the most beautiful city in South America. From what I saw of it, that statement may well be true. It's at 9,250 feet, and it took several days to adjust to the altitude, but once I'd caught my breath and ventured out, what I saw was fascinating. Ecuador has a "dollarized" economy, which means you don't need to exchange any currency when you get there - they're using ours! (Prices are lower than they are here though...!) I was surprised at how clean the city is. You expect a huge metropolis to have a certain amount of trash on the streets, in the darker corners. But Quito looks like a city inhabited by 1.8 million very orderly people! There's a hill in the middle of the city called El Panecillo, from which you can look out over the valley, completely filled by the city - and it appears as shining and clean as could be. From atop Panecillo you can also see, to the south, the snow-capped peak of Mount Cotopaxi, the tallest active volcano in the world. In the Centro Historico, the old quarter of the city, as much as possible from the colonial period has been preserved. When you walk through plazas, passing ancient churches and government buildings, or drive along the brick and cobblestone streets you really do feel as if you just stepped back a couple of centuries .

I count myself very fortunate to have had an opportunity to travel out of the city for a quick drive through three small cities a little to the north, as well as a trip to the Equator. Moving into the countryside you see many people who still use traditional garb: men with long black hair tied back in a pony or pig tail reaching the middle of the back, women in long black dresses, white embroidered blouses, a "manta" of a single, rich color, usually folded neatly and worn on the head as a sort of layered cloth hat. About 20 kilometers north of Quito there's a large monument to "La Mitad del Mundo" - the Center of the World -- not actually ON the equator. To experience the equator itself, you must go about two blocks away to a small museum called Inti-Ñan. There you can see for yourself that water poured through a drain on the "actual" equator flows straight down the pipe, no swirling, while the liquid swirls vigorously clockwise or counter clockwise, when you move the drain only a couple of feet to the north or south. You can also balance an egg on the head of a nail pretty easily if you're on latitude 00 00 00.

Secondary education in Ecuador is very similar to its counterpart in Colombia. Students take MANY more subjects each year than they do in the U.S., and yes, Calculus is a required course. Dictation, and lots of it, is also still a very common practice in schools. Also required routinely at the secondary level are extensive written exams and projects, followed by oral exams before a panel of teachers.

I've posted a few photos of Quito and some nearby towns at the following URL:


There's a link on the page for "view slideshow" that will allow you to easily flip through all of the images.

I spent part of October in Puerto Rico, doing dyslexia correction, and I'll be spending part of November there as well. It's a bit hotter and more humid there than I usually like - but it will be nice to get away from the cold and rain for a few days!
Have a lovely Thanksgiving holiday!

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