NCELA Newsletter Header
November 8, 2022
Honoring Native American Heritage Month
OELA is celebrating National Native American Heritage Month! As teachers, scientists, artists, leaders, heroes in uniform, and so much more, Native Americans have made incredible contributions to our country’s progress. We pay tribute to the rich ancestry and traditions of Native people. Learn more about Native American ELs through the resources below:
Infographic: Heritage Language Learners and American Indian and Alaska Native Students – A student’s heritage language enhances English language development, academic achievement, and social and emotional well-being. This infographic highlights the importance of promoting the heritage languages of American Indian and Alaska Native multilingual learners (MLs).
Fact Sheet: English Learners Who Are American Indian/Alaska Native – Did you know that Navajo, Yupik, North American Indian, Cherokee, and Zuni are among the languages most commonly spoken by ELs? Check out this fact sheet to learn more about American Indian and Alaska Native ELs.
New What Works Clearinghouse Webinar on Supporting Students in Literacy
The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC), in collaboration with the Regional Educational Laboratory Southeast, released a prerecorded webinar for educators on evidence-based recommendations to help students improve their literacy skills. This webinar is available now on the WWC website.
In this webinar, educators and literacy experts discuss resources and recommendations from the following six WWC practice guides:
  1. Foundational Skills to Support Reading for Understanding in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade
  2. Improving Reading Comprehension in Kindergarten Through 3rd Grade
  3. Providing Reading Interventions for Students in Grades 4–9
  4. Teaching Secondary Students to Write Effectively
  5. Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School
  6. Assisting Students Struggling with Reading: Responses to Intervention and Multi-Tier Intervention in the Primary Grades
IES Grantee Spotlight: The Core Academic Language Skills (CALS) Project
The CALS Project, which is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), seeks to develop and validate a computer-adaptive test (CAT) version of the CALS Instrument for both English-proficient and bilingual ELs at intermediate or higher levels of English proficiency in Grades 4 through 8. The CAT CALS will help teachers identify individual differences in language skills that can help address reading comprehension challenges in monolingual and bilingual students.
The research will take place in schools in Texas, Massachusetts, New York, and Tennessee and will include roughly 4,300 EL and English-proficient students in Grades 4 through 8. The project will target three non-English language groups, representing the most spoken languages in schools: Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic.
Upcoming Events
In this free webinar, Dr. Carol Salva will bring together secondary practitioners and specialists to discuss literacy development of older emergent readers. Participants will hear best practices and suggestions based on research shared in the National Association of English Learner Program Administrators’ (NAELPA) latest quarterly webinar. Presenters will share techniques and leadership actions that capitalize on the rich backgrounds of secondary emergent bilinguals and leverage their capacity for learning quickly.
November 17–20
Join the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE) in Anaheim, CA, for professional learning, new research and emerging practices, and connections with thousands of literacy educators. Centered around the theme !Suenos! Pursuing the Light, this convention will include sessions and messages specific to our time — finding the light for ourselves and for students while in a period of darkness, exacerbated by a worldwide pandemic.
This event offers learning opportunities for all language education professionals at all levels and from all languages. Participants will have access to more than 700 sessions and learning opportunities both in-person and on demand in the digital platform. Pre-convention virtual workshops will be held in the evening on Thursday, November 17.
February 21–22, 2023
Hybrid Conference
Join NAELPA in Portland, OR, for their 2023 Hybrid Conference. The theme of this year's conference is Assume Greatness: Diversity IS our Strength, featuring author and journalist Jo Napolitano as keynote speaker. The conference includes virtual pre-conferences in early February (exact dates to be announced soon), in-person and virtual presentations on February 22, and new this year — an exclusive in-person workshop with Dr. Michelle Yzquierdo on February 21.
The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) Conference will take place in Portland, OR. The conference includes sessions for teachers in the field of dual language, English as a second language, administrators, paraprofessionals, university professors, students, researchers, advocates, policymakers, and parents.

In the News
The Hechinger Report
A northern Alabama community with large numbers of Hispanic immigrants is using federal COVID-19 relief money to serve students who are learning English. They are hiring and certifying local, Spanish-speaking staff to work with ELs. The Russellville city school district has struggled to find people and funds to help ELs achieve, but that is turning around. Districtwide, the percentage of students who met their language proficiency goals increased from 46 percent in 2019 to 61 percent in 2022. Russellville school officials are working on ways to sustain the new support roles and hoping that the state will boost long-term funding for EL education. 
ELs made a surprising gain on the NAEP exams, scoring four points higher in eighth-grade reading while student results overall dropped. The upward trend was more pronounced in several major cities with large EL populations, including Chicago, Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and Fort Worth. The scores for ELs are still below NAEP’s grade-level proficiency for math and reading and lower than the scores for students overall, but this gain is noteworthy for a test where changes of even a few points are considered significant.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, inequities, including a higher dropout rate, lower graduation rate, and a wide opportunity gap, existed for MLs. One possible avenue for change is through career and technical education (CTE) courses and programs. High-quality CTE can increase student success in high school and postsecondary education. It also provides MLs with real-world opportunities to explore, engage in, and pursue rewarding careers. This case study focuses on advocating for MLs’ access to and engagement in CTE courses and programs. The study presents the benefits of CTE for MLs, focuses on possible advocacy issues, and shares a case study on how educators can advocate for MLs within CTE.
This is a recording of a roundtable discussion on the importance of professional development for EL educators as well as general education teachers. During the discussion, educators reported on their experiences participating in various programs designed to help them support ELs in their schools and the benefit this participation brings to their practice. 
Language Magazine
Building early literacy skills is imperative for all students and especially for ELs. The mastery of these skills — including oral language, phonological awareness, phonemic awareness, and use of phonics — helps ELs develop a strong reading foundation. This article provides suggestions, strategies, and resources that can help educators support ELs in developing early literacy skills.
Professional Learning
This course will help teachers more effectively prepare emergent multilingual students in elementary and middle grades with the skills they need to be successful in school. This course draws on the recommendations of the Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English (Multilingual) Learners in Elementary and Middle School Practice Guide, published in July 2014 by the WWC. The overarching goal is for participants to understand and apply the panel’s recommendations to their teaching of MLs in elementary and middle school.
This 15-hour institute (12 hours synchronous and 3 hours on own) is designed to help leaders, specialists, coaches, and teachers plan for and implement CAL SIOP methods that meet the needs of students learning in not one, but two, languages. Pre-K–8 dual language teachers and coaches will learn about — and practice using — the eight components of the SIOP Model to effectively teach language and content while addressing the three pillars of dual language programs: bilingualism and biliteracy, high academic achievement, and socio-cultural competence.
Job Opportunities
University of Madison-Wisconsin
Madison, WI/Remote
Connect With NCELA
November is National Family Engagement Month
Families make a difference in student academic learning. Explore OELA’s resources below to help you engage with ML families this month and throughout the year:

  • Fact Sheet: Family-School Engagement of Families Who are Speakers of Other Languages – Did you know that parents who are speakers of other languages reported similarly to English-speaking parents and households where one of two parents speaks English on checking whether their child’s homework is done? Check out OELA's fact sheet on family-school engagement to learn more.
  • English Learner Family Toolkit – This toolkit will help families choose education services that meet their child’s needs. U.S. educators, elementary and secondary school teachers, principals, and other school staff can also share the toolkit as a resource for ELs and their families.
  • English Learner Toolkit, Chapter 10 – This chapter provides tools and resources to facilitate meaningful communication with limited-English-proficient parents.
  • Newcomer Toolkit, Chapter 5 – This chapter discusses the variety of characteristics among newcomer families, as well as cultural barriers to school-family partnerships and ways to overcome them.
Subscribe to NCELA Nexus
Did you receive the Nexus from a colleague? You can subscribe here.
Submit Your News
Do you have news to share with the Nexus community?
Send your alerts, upcoming events, resources, and job postings to AskNCELA
by Tuesday, November 15 for inclusion in the next edition of Nexus.
National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA)
Disclaimer: NCELA Nexus is intended to share information that can be of use to educators, parents, learners, leaders, and other stakeholders in their efforts to ensure that every student, including ELs, is provided with the highest quality education and expanded opportunities to succeed. The information and materials presented on NCELA Nexus do not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by NCELA, the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), or the U.S. Department of Education.