Volume XXII - January 1, 2006

Happy New Year!

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


Grant Opportunities, Workshops, Conferences…

Toyota International Teacher Program
Professional Development in Japan for High School Teachers
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

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

Whole Language Umbrella Literacies for All Summer Institute
Call for Proposals
The National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE)
Charlotte, NC
July 13-16, 2006
Proposal deadline: January 20, 2006
Send a completed proposal form to:
WLU 2006 Literacies for All Summer Institute - Call for Proposals
1111 West Kenyon Road
Urbana, IL 61801-109
Proposals should reflect research perspectives that support holistic practice, innovative instructional strategies, and/or avenues for advocacy and activism. Download proposal form at: http://www.ncte.org/profdev/conv/wlu

American Councils 2006 Summer Russian Language Teachers Program
Applications are due by March 1, 2006
ACTR/ACCELS is currently accepting applications for the 2006 Summer Russian Language Teacher Program at Moscow State University. Approximately 15 to 20 participants will be fully funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Fulbright-Hays. Applicants must be either graduate students preparing for a career in Russian language education or current teachers of Russian at the university, secondary school or elementary school level, and must be US citizens or permanent residents. Applications from K-12 teachers of Russian are especially encouraged.Approximate program dates: June 13, 2006 to August 1, 2006. (Contact American Councils for exact dates.) For more information and an application contact:
Outbound Programs
American Councils for International Education: ACTR/ACCELS
1776 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Suite 700
Washington, DC 20036
(202) 833-7522

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

U.S.-China Teachers Exchange
Program Seeking Applicants
Application deadline for the 2006-2007 school year is March 15, 2006.
The National Committee on United States-China Relations is now seeking applications for an exchange program for teachers in American and Chinese schools. The American K-12 teachers in China teach English as a foreign language. The Chinese teachers, all of whom speak English, teach Chinese history, language, and culture, and/or English as a second language, in participating American schools. For more information about the Teachers Exchange Program, please write to the Teachers Exchange Program at the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations, 71 West 23rd Street, 19th Floor, New York, NY 10010-4102. Interested teachers may also learn more about the program at: www.ncuscr.org/TeachersExchange/
and should write or call Margot Landman (mlandman@ncuscr.org) or Anna Bautista (abautista@ncuscr.org) to request
application packets.

American Indian Language Development Institute
The University of Arizona
Tucson, AZ
June 5 - June 30, 2006
AILDI is a four-week residential summer program, offering six credit hours at the graduate and undergraduate level that can be applicable toward ESL and other state endorsements or any other university program. This year's theme is, "Gathering Talk: Documenting, Describing and Revitalizing Our Languages."
To receive an application, contact:
American Indian Language Development Institute
The University of Arizona
Department of Language, Reading, and Culture
College of Education, Room 517
P.O. Box 210069
Tucson, AZ 85721-0069
Phone: (520) 621-1068
Fax: (520) 621-8174
Email: aildi@u.arizona.edu

Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition
University of Minnesota
Minneapolis, MN
June - August, 2006
The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) at the University of Minnesota will host a summer institute program for second language teachers from June - August, 2006. The program focuses on the linking research and theory with practical applications for the classroom.
For more information about the Summer Institites, visit the CARLA Web site: http://www.carla.umn.edu/institutes/
Applications are due by April 14, 2006.
For more information and application materials, visit the CARLA Web site or contact Klaas van der Sanden by E-mail at esc@umn.edu.

Summer Seminars in Guatemala for Ohio Spanish Teachers
July 26 - Aug. 11, 2006 (tentative).
The Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese at The Ohio State University announce this year's intensive Summer Seminars Abroad, a two-week workshop in language and linguistics in Antigua, Guatemala. The purpose of the program is to provide selected students with an opportunity to analyze and practice the Spanish language in a natural linguistic and cultural context, and to receive university credit for that experience. The program is intended primarily for Spanish teachers. Application is open, however, to undergraduate and graduate students from Spanish and other disciplines who have a demonstrated ability in the use of the Spanish language and a need for this type of course. Both native and non-native speakers of Spanish are invited to apply. Applications will be available soon! More
information is available at: http://oia.osu.edu/ssast/.
Contact Jenny at spolnik.1@osu.edu or 614-292-6053 for more information..


Looking for a Teacher of Chinese in Ohio?
Marie N. Hu
1242 Waycross Road
Cincinnati, OH 45240
Tel: (513) 742-2286
Email: mariehu99@yahoo.com.

For Your Reading Pleasure

Another gift from Mr. Unz...
Plucked From Africa, but Still Isolated in Their Classes
By Michael Winerip
IDIRIS MAOW, 14, an eighth grader at Forest Park Middle School, is a refugee from Somalia who arrived here with his family in 2003. He is in his second year in an English language immersion class, yet can barely speak or understand English and cannot read it. Asked in English how long he had been at Forest Park, he could not answer. His teacher, Andrew Soucie, works hard with Idiris, but without a Somali translator to clarify lessons, he said, there is little progress. "It's a disaster," Mr. Soucie said. "Idiris should be getting clarification every day in his native tongue. I try to help him, but we can't communicate, and I'm never sure what he's thinking." Mr. Soucie said he asked his supervisors for translation help but "can't get a straight answer." "If Idiris were my child, I'd be furious," Mr. Soucie said.
At the 21 schools Somali children attend there are plenty of translators to help clarify instruction for Spanish speaking students, but only 2 part time Somali translators. A mix of insufficient funds, an anti-bilingual ed. law, and slow administrative reflexes leave Somali refugee children behind.
Read the rest of this sad article at:


Audio books growing as tool for kids
By Karen Macpherson
Toledo Blade _December 27, 2005
For years, educators have sung the praises of audio books for students with reading challenges or those whose first language isn't English. These days, however, experts say that audio books are a great tool to get any kid to read more books. The audio format attracts kids because it's a different -- and cool -- way to read, especially now that they can download a book right into their MP3 players. And audio "reading" can be combined with another activity, such as running or cooking, which is an important consideration for today's multi-tasking kids.
Read more about audio books at:
(free registration required) Long URL Alert! You may have to copy and paste this one!

Anybody surprised?

Voices from the Classroom: A Statewide Survey of Experienced Third-Grade English Language Learner Teachers on the Impact of Language and High-Stakes Testing Policies in Arizona
by Wayne E. Wright and Daniel Choi
Education Policy Studies Laboratory
Arizona State University
The Education Policy Studies Laboratory at Arizona State University recently released the above survey which questioned a representative sample of 40 third-grade English Language Learner (ELL) teachers in urban, rural, and reservation schools in different school districts across the state about the education programs implemented since the passing of the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 (NCLB), Arizona LEARNS (the state school accountability program), and Proposition 203 (a voter-initiated policy that restricts bilingual education and requires Sheltered English Immersion, or SEI). Authors Wayne E. Wright, from University of Texas, San Antonio, and Daniel Choi, from Arizona State University, concluded that Proposition 203 and the state's high-stakes testing policy have not improved education for English Language Learners.
You can read the key findings in the complete report which can be downloaded here:

Wapato parents worry about change from bilingual teaching
By Pat Muir, Yakima Herald
WAPATO, WA — Facing a crowd of more than 200 people, school officials on Wednesday defended a new focus on teaching migrant students in English while promising to examine the issue further. "We're not trying to take away culture," Superintendent Art Edgerly said. "We're not trying to take away language." The school district is in the process of changing from bilingual education to education in English with Spanish supplements when needed. That plan, in the works since last year, became the focus of public debate when school officials tried to explain the changes to parents at a meeting earlier this month. The intensity of the parents' reaction led the district's bilingual program director, David Juarez, to cut the meeting short. "Why are we going to get rid of a program that's working?" parent Servando Duran Nieves asked through an interpreter.
Read more about this at:

Foreign classes leave their marks
Districts face hard issue of how to translate immigrants' transcripts
By Karen Ayres -The Dallas Morning News
When Jessica's family moved from South Korea to Frisco last April, the teenager came with a transcript full of A's. But once the counselor translated her record into the American system, the former top student fell in rank. She is now 31st among 403 seniors – not good enough for Jessica. Schools throughout the Dallas area, particularly in the suburbs, are seeing students from a wider swath of international systems that school officials know virtually nothing about. The decisions about how to place these students shape class rankings for all students. The rankings have particular importance in Texas, where the top 10 percent of every graduating high school class is guaranteed entrance to state public universities. While counselors have long determined how to measure grades from Mexico or other common homelands, transcripts from places such as Angola, Guinea or Ghana are proving more difficult. Read more about this at:
(Free registration required) Long URL Alert - prepare to copy and paste!)

An Open Letter to All Elected Officials, Legislators, Policy Makers and Voters
Tragedy Strikes. Parents are Powerless to Protect

As elected officials prepared for the special legislative session, my elementary school principal notified our faculty that the father of two of our students, one in 2nd. grade and one in 3rd grade, was shot and killed in a drive-by shooting in Orlando. Many of the staff visited the family. We attended the funeral on Saturday. We will do all that we can to help these children, their older sibling and their mother. We grieve for them all. We also ask ourselves what the odds are that these children will make much more academic progress this year. What are the odds our third grader will pass the FCAT this year? Would most students pass under these circumstances? Would anyone? Is a portfolio assessment or alternative assessment going to make any difference now? You can read this passionate letter from Barbara Barry at:
(Barbara Barry is Orange County Counselors Association Florida Elementary Counselor of the Year and the American School Counselor Association’s Elementary Counselor of the Year, 2002 .)

Spanish At School Translates to Suspension
By T.R. Reid
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 9, 2005; A03
KANSAS CITY, Kan., Dec. 8 -- Most of the time, 16-year-old Zach Rubio converses in clear, unaccented American teen-speak, a form of English in which the three most common words are "like," "whatever" and "totally." But Zach is also fluent in his dad's native language, Spanish -- and that's what got him suspended from school. "It was, like, totally not in the classroom," the high school junior said, recalling the infraction. "We were in the, like, hall or whatever, on restroom break. This kid I know, he's like, 'Me prestas un dolar?' ['Will you lend me a dollar?'] Well, he asked in Spanish; it just seemed natural to answer that way. So I'm like, 'No problema.' " Read the rest at:
(I believe I read another article about this that confirms that the parents have filed suit for a civil rights violation.)

Resources you might be interested in...

English Job Maze Web Site

The English Job Maze Web site is a British-Australian venture designed to facilitate the job search process for ESL/EFL teachers around the world, assist ESL/EFL institutions in their search for teachers, and provide free industry-related information for ESL/EFL teachers and employers. The Web site allows users to post CV/resumes, view a database containing CV/resumes for over 20,000 ESL/EFL teachers seeking jobs, and search for ESL/EFL jobs worldwide.

Las Voces de las Mujeres de Xelaju
National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC)
University of Hawaii at Manoa
The National Foreign Language Resource Center (NFLRC) offers a new DVD designed to improve students' intermediate to advanced Spanish language listening comprehension. "Las Voces de las Mujeres de Xelaju" depicts twenty Guatemalan women each answering the same seven questions in Spanish, helping students develop critical thinking and writing skills while working independently, in groups, or as a class.

And let's not ever forget...
Dave's ESL Café
Dave Sperling's ESL Café, one of the most popular ESL and EFL education Web sites on the Internet, contains hundreds of resources for ESL/EFL teachers and students. The site hosts numerous discusion forums designed to connect teachers and students from all over the world on a variety of subjects. The site also has a question/answer service conducted by a team of volunteers - all teachers from around the world - to answer the questions which are largely about English grammar. Dave's ESL Café's most popular feature is its job discussion forum, including one focusing on international jobs and one specifically for Korean language schools.

Hmmm...did you know?
Although nearly 90% of American students do at least some foreign language study, only ten percent of the population can hold a conversation in another language. By comparison, about half of European citizens can take part in a conversation in a language other than their own. The least linguistically impressive European countries are the UK and Portugal, where about a third can speak another language, far ahead of the US.

From a letter to the editor of TCPalm.com (Florida) on Dec 28, 2005 by Dr. Stephen Krashen.

From the "Fair Warning" Department
I'm in the process of moving the business to South America. (Yeah, I know, how crazy is THAT idea...!). This is a process that will probably take several trips back and forth over about six months. As a result, for the next few months issues of E-Comp! may be a bit sporadic as I search for an office and dependable internet access. Rest assured, you'll stay on the mailing list unless you ask me to remove your information, and as soon as I'm able to get out another newsletter you'll receive it. At this time I'm assuming that the February issue will be out on time, but just in case it isn't, you now know why...

Speaking of the mailing list, many school districts appear to be tightening their spam filters and as a result, last month a disappointing number of newsletters were undeliverable. I have few remedies for this. For those of you whom this has affected, you can submit a home email address to replace your school address. Or, you can tell your tech people that messages from prolinguistica.com are not spam, so they can create an exception for the newsletter. Or, you can check the website monthly and read E-Comp! there ( http://www.prolinguistica.com/pubarchive.html ).

Happy New Year, and may 2006 bring you many pleasant experiences and surprises!

Best Wishes,
Prolinguistica - Teaching for Comprehension

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