K-2 students at a Maine elementary school speak in their native languages with peers in a play area that also helps them acquire English-language skills. The space features bilingual books, posters, toys and games for students to play with, practice English and use their first languages, such as French, Portuguese and Spanish.
Some schools in Uganda have started teaching Chinese-language skills to secondary students to prepare them for jobs with Chinese government-backed infrastructure projects in the country. Uganda and China also have signed an agreement to train more than 100 Ugandan educators to teach the Chinese language.
Matthew Meyer, a fifth-grade teacher at Collins Elementary School in Schaumburg, Ill., has become recognized among his students and colleagues for his ability to use technology as a tool for nurturing critical thinking and creativity. Meyer shares his teaching practices as a member of the Schaumburg Township Elementary District 54 Innovate 54 team.
Enrolling in high-quality preschool programs can improve outcomes for a student's siblings and their future children, according to studies from University of Chicago professor James Heckman. Findings show that enrollment in preschool was tied to successful education and employment as well as reduced involvement in crime.
Many teachers lack adequate training to serve the needs of students with disabilities and English-language learners who spend time in general-education classrooms, researchers say. Experts suggest several methods for addressing this, including professional development that emphasizes reading and vocabulary-development skills and ensures that all teachers can understand individualized education programs.
Many teachers stop reading aloud to students once they reach middle school, but research shows the practice continues to have benefits for students, including improved comprehension and reduced stress. Kasey Short, a middle-school language arts and social studies teacher, shares how she integrates this strategy with her students, including using the last five minutes of class to read aloud.
To help address the critical shortage of language teachers reported in 44 states and the District of Columbia, ACTFL has launched the Lead with Languages Teacher Scholarship Program as the inaugural initiative of the Lead with Languages Scholarship Fund. This award provides merit-based scholarships to graduating high school seniors committed to pursuing the language teaching profession in languages other than English. The program provides recipients with an award of $1,500 per academic year. Scholarships may be renewed three times for a cumulative total of $6,000 per recipient. Upon entry into the teaching field, Lead with Languages Teacher Scholars also receive one-year complimentary ACTFL memberships, which includes access to the ACTFL Mentorship Program aimed at early-career language teachers. Learn more and apply by May 31.
ACTFL Summer Institute
What's next in ACTFL's Center for Assessment, Research, and Development (CARD) Summer Institute workshop series? We're coming to San Francisco with the 4-day OPI Assessment Workshop at the Chinese American International School on July 30 to Aug. 2. This four-day workshop introduces the ACTFL rating scale, the structure of the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and techniques of administering and rating the OPI, including its applications in the language classroom. Register by May 30 for the early-bird registration rate.