NCELA Newsletter Header
May 9, 2023
May Heritage Months

This May, join OELA in celebrating the contributions and heritage of the Asian American, Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander (AANHPI), and Haitian American communities. For more information about ELs who are AANHPI or Haitian American, explore OELA’s resources below.
AANHPI Heritage Month

Haitian American Heritage Month 
Did you know that Haitian Creole was the 6th most spoken language by ELs in SY 2017–2018? See the Biennial Report to Congress on the Implementation of the Title III State Formula Grant Program: School Years 2016‒2018 to learn more.
Director’s Meeting Highlights
Grantees from OELA’s NPD Program met in Crystal City, VA, in April for the 2023 Director’s Meeting to discuss reinvigorating the field. The theme, Appreciate, Collaborate, and Elevate, reflected Secretary Cardona’s vision to Raise the Bar: Lead the World.

  • NPD grantees engaged in a fruitful exchange of ideas on culturally responsive assessments and evaluations in bilingual education, tools for assessing learning, leadership for EL teacher recruitment and retention, and managing grant projects.
  • WestEd’s Dr. Aída Walqui, the keynote speaker on “Developing Teacher Expertise for Sustainability,” was presented with the English Learner Champion Award.
  • During the poster session, 20 grantees shared their work on translanguaging, equitable learning, family literacy, teaching for diversity, and more.
Upcoming Events
Join REL Southwest from 3:00–4:30 p.m. CT to learn about how one school took culturally responsive education for Native American students to the next level. Culturally responsive education begins with teacher and leader preparation and continues with ongoing training and development. However, many educators are not supported by culturally responsive evaluation systems. This webinar will highlight an educator evaluation system at the Santa Fe Indian School specifically aligned to the context of the New Mexico Tribes and Pueblos. 
The Administration for Children and Families, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and the Indian Health Service are planning a two-part webinar series focusing on the behavioral health of children in Tribal communities. This series will highlight promising practices and outcomes of behavioral health prevention and services developed and implemented by and for children, youth, and families in Tribal communities and share information about federal programs and resources.
Part 1: Thursday, May 11, 2023, from 12:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Focus on Early Childhood and School-Based Programs
Part 2: Friday, May 12, 2023, from 12:00–2:30 p.m. ET
Focus on Whole Family and Workforce Programs
Join REL West for a 90-minute webinar that will discuss how to support EL instruction by using a REL West resource, Supporting Integrated English Learner Student Instruction: A Guide to Assess Professional Learning Needs Based on the Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School Practice Guide (the EL Professional Learning Guide). Presenters will share how to use the tools and templates found in the EL Professional Learning Guide to identify teacher professional learning needs to support evidence-based EL instruction for elementary-grade students.
The 6th Annual National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) DLS offers two full days of professional development for educators and includes a Dual Language Networking Event on June 1. NABE 2023 DLS will include an opening general assembly, a closing plenary, and over 20 professional development breakout sessions, including the following topics: Recruitment of Highly Qualified Dual Language Teachers; Developing Teacher Leaders – Growing Your Own Highly Qualified DL Teachers; Addressing the DLBE Teacher Shortage: Preventing Attrition and Increasing Retention; Improving Equity and Access in DLBE Programs; Enhancing Family Engagement in Dual Language Programs; and Integrating STEM/STEAM in Dual Language Curriculum.
June 7–10
Cambio de Colores (Change of Colors) is a multistate conference hosted by the Cambio Center at the University of Missouri-Columbia. Focused on the integration of Latin@s/Latinxs/Hispanics and immigrants in new destinations, this conference is a professional development opportunity in which people from various fields who work with Latine and immigrant communities come together to share research and promising practices.
June 26–28
Virtual Conference
Join SIOP® authors and fellow educators from across the country who are seeking to make a positive impact on student learning for the 2023 SIOP® Virtual Conference hosted by Savvas Learning, an authorized source for SIOP® events and professional learning. The conference offers new and seasoned educators an opportunity to reinvigorate and strengthen their teaching practices to successfully support multilingual learners/ELs.
The Coalition of Community-Based 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. 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 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 in Milwaukee, WI. A virtual track will also be available on October 18 that includes a sampling of sessions from the in-person conference
In the News
Early Edge California
In the March issue of Language Magazine, Early Edge California’s Policy Analyst of Dual Language Learners (DLLs), Luis João Molina, reports on California’s new asset-based process (AB 1363) to identify and improve support for DLLs in state preschools. In addition to ensuring that children in state preschool programs will be identified and supported in their linguistic and cultural background experiences, AB 1363 requires the state superintendent of public instruction to develop a standardized process for providers to identify DLLs and requires them to report key information about DLLs to the state to inform future policy.
Education Week
Escuela Key Elementary School in Arlington, VA, recently hosted a group of important visitors, including Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona and education leaders from South Africa, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and elsewhere. Their visit was a precursor to the International Summit on the Teaching Profession. Cardona began the school visits at Escuela Key because of its dual language program, in which K–5 students spend half the day learning in English and half learning in Spanish. The elementary school, in which 61% of students are ELs, has offered a full immersion dual language program since the mid-1990s.
The personalized education plans that spell out how a school intends to support a student with a disability can run dozens of pages and be full of technical language. In many Colorado school districts, parents who speak a language other than English don’t see a copy of their child’s plan in the language they understand until they’re being asked to sign a legally binding final version. A bill in the Colorado legislature would change that, requiring that final education plans be translated and allowing parents to request draft documents in their preferred language. (Editor’s note: The bill passed in the Colorado legislature on Saturday, April 29.)
Migration Policy Institute
Once considered a less-rigorous high school pathway, career and technical education (CTE) has experienced a renaissance as more high-skilled and white-collar professions have been included in these elective course options. Research indicates that participation in CTE is correlated with benefits in graduation rates and earnings as an adult. This report explores policies and practices that can support ELs’ participation in CTE courses. It includes an overview of how CTE has changed over time, state-level data on EL participation rates, and a close look at the opportunities and barriers to EL enrollment and participation. The report concludes with recommendations for state and local educators seeking to further strengthen policy and practice.
What Works Clearinghouse
NEW RESOURCE: What Works Clearinghouse Study Reviews: The Impacts of Descubriendo la Lectura® for Spanish-Speaking Students in Grade 1 Bilingual Classrooms
The WWC highlights two new reviews of the Descubriendo la Lectura® among Spanish-speaking English learners. This program provided one-on-one tutoring and tailored lessons to Spanish-speaking students in grade 1. Borman and colleagues (2019, 2020) found that when compared with usual instruction, Descubriendo la Lectura had statistically positive effects on standardized measures of Spanish language proficiency. View the full study reviews:

Education Week
When thinking of speaking skills, we forget how powerful our listening skills need to be and that they precede speaking ability. Listening while someone is speaking is key. It models patterns, intonation, prosody, accents, word order, and conversational animation. Pointing out all of these concepts explicitly to students, regardless of language proficiency, will heighten metacognition and awareness of how language works. This blog provides tips on how to draw students’ attention to listening skills in the classroom.
Professional Learning
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.
Would you like to learn how to boost your students’ vocabulary development, academic language, reading comprehension, and writing skills—across all content areas? Have you always wanted to learn the research-based ExC-ELL Model but haven’t been able to find an institute near you? Are you looking for ways to continue to hone your craft as an educator and/or earn professional learning credits? The 2023 ExC-ELL Summer Institute is all virtual and delivered in three modules. Each module will be offered at two different times to fit busy schedules. Attendees of each module can expect a fun and meaningful 2-hour virtual professional learning session, opportunities to interact with colleagues and practice the instructional strategies learned, and a digital toolkit.
NABE 2024 will offer both on-site and pre-recorded on-demand (virtual) presentations. There are approximately 30 presentation strands; proposals that demonstrate how their topic addresses one or more of the following ​competitive priorities will earn five extra points in the proposal review: Dual Language Learners, Multilingual/Multiliteracy, ELs, and Family Engagement. Proposal notifications will be sent by September 15.
TQ is seeking proposals from prospective guest editors for the 2025 special topic issue. Proposals are chosen by the TQ Editorial Advisory Board, and the guest editor(s) are responsible for overseeing the review process and selecting the content of the issue. The issue will appear in September 2025. Successful proposals have an overarching theme that is timely and interesting to the TQ readership.
Job Opportunities
Salt Lake Community College
Salt Lake City, UT
Connect With NCELA
Save the Date: National Convening on English Learners’ Civil Rights
Join the U.S. Department of Education’s OELA and Office for Civil Rights for a virtual convening on Thursday, June 22, and Friday, June 23. The event will focus on statutes, regulations, and case law relevant to the civil rights of ELs and will highlight guidance and resources to ensure that state and local education agencies are equipped with tools to meet their obligations to EL students and families.
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, May 16, 2023 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.