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August 8, 2023
New Infographic – RAISE THE BAR: Provide Every Student with a Pathway to Multilingualism 
“Raise the Bar: Lead the World” is the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) call to action to transform education and unite around what works—based on decades of experience and research—to advance educational equity and excellence. ED has released a new infographic outlining key ways to elevate ELs and multilingualism.
The Department is committed to working with leaders at the state and local levels to invest in, promote, and support evidence-based language practices and programs. Strategic action in the areas below represents key levers to provide every student with a pathway to multilingualism:
  • equitable access for ELs
  • diversified bilingual/multilingual educator workforce
  • quality bilingual education for all
From the Field: UnidosUS 2023 Conference
On Friday, July 21, 2023, OELA’s Montserrat Garibay and Melissa Castillo met with 15 bilingual parents from Padres Comprometidos, a parent engagement program with UnidosUS whose primary goal is to foster a strong connection between schools and parents. Padres Comprometidos shared their hopes and dreams for their children to become bilingual and biliterate in the 21st century so they can have better opportunities.
Request for Public Input: OCDO-led “Burden Audit”
The Strategic Collections and Clearance team in the Office of the Chief Data Officer (OCDO) requests your attention to a request for information (RFI): Identifying Burden Across Department of Education Information Collection Requests. Comments are due on August 14, 2023. Your feedback will inform a Department-wide “burden audit” intended to inform improvements and reduce inefficiencies in data collections to improve their value and use. The RFI includes directed questions. However, any feedback is welcome. Please reach out to with any questions.
Upcoming Events
August 15–17
Join ED’s Office of Special Education Programs for Smart Beginnings 2023 to learn about resources for supporting children with disabilities as we head into a new learning year. Smart Beginnings is a 3-day virtual mini-conference designed to help families, providers, and leaders better support and promote developmental outcomes and educational excellence for infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities and their families. 
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is pleased to announce its Multilingual Learner Institute, “Advancing Excellence in Literacy Instruction for Multilingual Learners,” which will be held at the Kellogg Conference Center at Gallaudet University. This convening will bring together educators, researchers, and practitioners in the District of Columbia to support MLLs enrolled in both English language acquisition and dual language programs.
This workshop focuses on supporting all students, including non-native English speakers. Dr. Amy Young, the English language specialist at the Minnesota Department of Education, will lead the training. Topics covered include funding, accountability systems, Language Instruction Educational Program (LIEP) plan implementation, special education and ELs, and family/community engagement.
This workshop series includes four sessions: Experiencing Instruction Through the Eyes of a Multilingual Learner; Building Schema for MLLs; Amplifying Instruction for MLLs; and Differentiating Curriculum and Instruction for MLLs.
The Coalition of Community-Based Heritage Language Schools seeks to connect, collaborate with, and document all the community-based heritage language schools teaching all the languages spoken and taught in the United States. Registration is open for this annual conference, which is held at American University in Washington, DC, and online. Explore the conference website, see the full conference schedule, learn about the plenary speakers, and register here. Also, check to see if your school, or those you know about, are documented in their school survey. If not, please complete the school survey, or ask the school leaders to do so.
October 17–20
The WIDA Annual Conference is the premier event for educators of pre-K–12 MLLs, giving educators from around the globe the opportunity to share best practices and discover innovative classroom strategies. The in-person conference is sold out, but registration for the virtual track is still available.
October 23–25
Join peers from around the country at the 2023 Families Learning Conference to be held in Omaha, NE. This conference is for passionate people looking for innovative learning strategies and resources to support families in reaching their academic and economic goals. Attendees will gain practices and ideas to create equitable and relevant family learning experiences; exposure to a national network of family-facing professionals, researchers, policymakers, and funders; and inspiration and renewed energy for their work. 

In the News
WIDA started two decades ago when its founder, Tim Boals, received an Enhanced Assessment Grant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. A lot has happened in those 20 years. Learn more about how WIDA started and how it got to where it is today from WIDA’s first staff members. Today, WIDA provides a comprehensive, research-based system of language standards, assessments, professional learning, and educator support to 41 member states, territories, and federal agencies.
High school graduation rates for ELs were trending upward overall for the past decade and continued to rise just prior to the pandemic. However, the 71% graduation rate for ELs was less than the 86% graduation rate for all students in the 2019–20 school year. During the pandemic, educators found it was particularly difficult to maintain communication and relationships with ELs and their families, some of whom didn’t want or couldn’t engage in virtual learning. Considering the extent of these challenges, some district leaders worry that ELs’ needs are not meaningfully included in discussions about how to spend relief money meant for this student subgroup, including funds from the American Rescue Plan. 
The Valley Breeze
The students at Raices Dual Language Academy are receiving daily instruction in English and Spanish that has them celebrating their cultures and developing important language skills for future success. The school started in 2008 with a one-teacher model where students learned in both English and Spanish at the same time. The school now runs on a two-teacher model, with students spending half of the day in one classroom with one teacher and the second half in a second classroom with the second teacher. Currently, 291 students are enrolled in the program. For those students who remain in the program until Grade 8, they can take a test once they are about to graduate high school to be eligible for the Seal of Biliteracy, which certifies the student is bilingual and biliterate.
The Century Foundation
Children who are ELs comprise a large, diverse, and growing student group in U.S. schools. ELs face systemic educational challenges. As a result, educators face crucial decisions regarding how best to serve this diverse, high-potential group of students. A growing research consensus shows that, over time, linguistically integrated “two-way” dual-language immersion (DLI) programs serve ELs best. However, many DLI programs are at risk of tilting toward language enrichment for English-dominant children instead of advancing linguistic equity and expanding educational opportunity for ELs. The Century Foundation and Children’s Equity Project constructed a database covering more than 1,600 DLI programs serving 1.1 million students. The analysis of aggregated demographic data reveals some distinct patterns for DLI schools in a range of cities, illustrating different challenges in different communities.
Education Week
For years, research into the best instructional approaches for students identified as ELs has pointed to the concept of translanguaging. This article provides a look at what translanguaging means in the context of classroom instruction and how all educators, including monolingual English-speaking teachers, can cultivate spaces for translanguaging to occur.
Professional Learning
NABE 2024 is accepting applications for the Student Essay Competition, Bilingual Teacher of the Year Award, Bilingual Teacher Scholarship, and the Outstanding Dissertation Award.
In this information-packed, fast-paced seminar, distinguished EL teacher and national presenter Rasheeda Hardy will share a wealth of practical strategies designed to accelerate success and help ELs exit from ELL programs. You will learn ways to facilitate rapid gains in the English language development of the students with whom you work, unlocking greater success across grade-level content areas. You will also receive an extensive digital resource handbook to support your success long after the seminar.
Job Opportunities
Office of English Language Acquisition
U.S. Department of Education
LEARN’s Regional Multicultural Magnet School
Old Lyme, CT
Center for Applied Linguistics
DC Metro Area/Hybrid
Cook County School District 130
Blue Island, IL
Connect With NCELA
Listen Now: Spotlight on Multilingualism
In case you missed it, OELA just released a new podcast featuring Montserrat Garibay, the Assistant Deputy Secretary and Director of OELA, and four multilingual educators. Their conversation focuses on the experiences and expertise of multilingual teachers in supporting ELs and their families. The podcast also highlights resources to promote multilingual education and the maintenance of home languages.
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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.