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November 22, 2022
Indigenous Students and EL Identification: A Fifty-State Policy Review
A new study from authors Ilana Umansky, Taiyo Itoh, and Jioanna Carjuzaa presents findings from a 50-state review of Indigenous EL identification policy. Ilana Umansky is affiliated with Regional Education Laboratory (REL) Northwest and the Institute for Education Sciences R&D Center. EL education is widely conceived as services for immigrant-origin students, however nearly one in ten American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students are classified in school as ELs. Title III of the Every Student Succeeds Act (2015) defines EL eligibility differently for Indigenous, compared to non-Indigenous, students with implications for who is identified as an EL and how best to serve their academic and linguistic interests.
In this study, the authors find that states fall into four categories ranging from no differentiation in Indigenous EL identification to clear differentiation. They describe each category and conclude with reflections on how this wide variation in state policies has implications for Indigenous students’ educational resources and experiences.
You can access the published article via a SAGE Journals university, library, or employer subscription here. You can freely access the working paper, an earlier version circulated prior to publication and peer review, here.
Upcoming Events
Indigenous Educator Pathways is the first installment of a three-part series, Making a Difference for American Indian and Alaska Native Students: Innovations and Wise Practices. The series will explore systemic efforts and innovations that prepare, recruit, and sustain AI/AN educators.
Join a webinar with Internationals Network for Public Schools educators to learn insights on strengthening school-based systems to support postsecondary readiness and success for immigrant multilingual students.
February 21–22, 2023
Hybrid Conference
Join the National Association of English Learner Program Administrators (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 effort to improve bilingual education in New York City was dealt a blow when allegations surfaced that some teachers from the Dominican Republic were being forced to hand over most of their paychecks to cover inflated rents. The educators from the Dominican Republic were part of a “cultural exchange” that placed 25 bilingual teachers in city schools through a partnership with the Association of Dominican-American Supervisors and Administrators and the Dominican consulate. Approximately 147,000 students in the city’s schools are considered ELs who can benefit from bilingual education, but fewer than 3,000 teachers are certified as bilingual instructors.
Washington Times Herald
Washington Community Schools (WCS) in Indiana expressed commitment to serving the needs of all students. This includes preparing students for high-wage, high-demand careers. WCS will soon take applications for a new Dual Language Immersion program that will begin in the fall of 2023. Students will receive approximately half of their instruction in English, while the other half will be in Spanish. It is the district’s goal to grow the program through sixth grade over the next 7 years. When this group enters junior high, the goal will be to offer Spanish as an elective in junior high school and increase the number of students capable and eligible to graduate with the Seal of Biliteracy.
Institute of Education Sciences
This study examined levels of English proficiency before and during the COVID-19 pandemic among ELs in Grades 3–12 in Texas. In 2020–21, nearly 750,000 students in Grades 3–12 were ELs. In accordance with Texas state law and the Every Student Succeeds Act, English proficiency is measured annually using a statewide assessment, the Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System (TELPAS), which assesses EL students’ listening, speaking, reading, and writing skills in English. This study focused on TELPAS scores among students who took the test in 2020–21 and compared those scores with a matched cohort of similar students from 2018–19.
Earning college credit in high school can contribute to student success, but access to those courses is uneven across California. In many areas Latino and Black students are disproportionately underrepresented in dual enrollment classes. The causes include misconceptions about who should take dual enrollment classes, few instructors, a lack of available courses, and a lack of awareness by students, families, and high school counselors about the programs. This report presents EdSource’s analysis of community college dual enrollment programs and shows that most districts are enrolling a lower percentage of Black and Latino students than are attending the high schools within their boundaries. 
Language Magazine
In recent years, a number of states have promoted the creation of pathways for secondary students to matriculate into postsecondary institutions. At the same time, according to the data collected by NCES, language programs in postsecondary institutions are experiencing a decline of more than 10% in enrollments and in students majoring in a language. This article discusses how initiatives such as the Seal of Biliteracy, bridge programs, and various assessment instruments can expand higher education language programs and attract new students to them.
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 What Works Clearinghouse. The overarching goal is for participants to understand and apply the panel’s recommendations to their teaching of multilingual learners 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.
The WIDA Annual Conference is the premier event for educators of pre-K through grade 12 multilingual learners, giving educators from around the globe the opportunity to share best practices and discover innovative classroom strategies. The in-person conference will take place October 17-20, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A curated virtual option will also be available. The call for proposals is now open and the deadline to submit a proposal is January 31, 2023. Registration for this event opens in spring 2023.
Job Opportunities
University of North Texas
Denton, TX
American Institutes for Research
Remote/Multiple Locations
Connect With NCELA
ICYMI: ELs in STEM Infographic
In case you missed it, OELA recently released a new infographic with information about ELs’ access and representation in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) courses. A report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) found that U.S. school systems can do more to grant ELs access to quality STEM education.
  • In school year 2017–2018, there was a nationwide disparity in EL enrollment in advanced mathematics in Grade 8.
  • ELs are underrepresented in schools that offer upper-level science courses.
  • In 2018, there was an achievement gap between ELs and non-ELs on the technology and engineering literacy assessment — ELs scored 49 points lower than non-ELs.
The infographic provides recommendations from NASEM and the National Research and Development Center to Improve Education for Secondary English Learners on how educators can design effective STEM instruction for ELs.
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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.