NCELA Newsletter Header
September 28, 2021
Invitation – El Apoyo: Making Space for AfroLatino Student Success Virtual Roundtable

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans (WHIEEAA) in collaboration with the Hispanic Initiative invite you to attend the upcoming virtual roundtable titled El Apoyo: Making Space for AfroLatino Student Success on Thursday, September 30, 2021, from 2:00–3:30 p.m. ET.

This discussion, hosted by WHIEEAA Senior Advisor Monique Toussaint and Hispanic Initiative Senior Advisor Emmanuel G. Caudillo, will provide participants with access to information about resources and best and promising practices from ED, other federal agencies, and the field.

Hispanic Heritage Month Student Spotlight: Diego Oatway

Two years ago, Diego Oatway, a bi-cultural Latino adolescent who has a Mexican mother and an American father, founded “Connecting Cultures,” a program to help teach English to vulnerable indigenous women during the pandemic. Diego started the program with two of his friends as a way to honor his Mexican heritage and help young Americans connect with Mexico.
He was able to expand the program with help from the Panamerican Development Foundation (PADF) and the Secretary of Women in Oaxaca. They recruited a dozen bi-cultural teenagers who taught three times per week for an hour and a half to female indigenous artisans, hotel workers, and members of STEM programs. The program was able to reach a total of 50 women and also raised funds to give tablets to each of the participants. Watch the video to learn more about Diego and this exciting program.
Fact Sheet Update: EL Absenteeism, Suspension, and Retention

OELA’s fact sheet on EL absenteeism, retention, and suspension has been updated using 2017–18 school year (SY) data from the Civil Rights Data Collection. Key findings include:

  • Chronic absenteeism: In SY 2017–18, almost one in six ELs were reported to be chronically absent.
  • Retained students: While ELs make up about 10% of the K–12 student population, they represented 14.3% of all retained students in SY 2017–18.
  • Out-of-school suspensions: In SY 2017–18, ELs received out-of-school suspensions at slightly lower rates than non-ELs, with 2.4% of non-ELs receiving one out-of-school suspension versus 1.7% of ELs.
  • Lost instruction: In SY 2017–18, ELs lost fewer days of classroom instruction per 100 students due to out-of-school suspensions than non-ELs (13.7 days vs. 23 days).

Upcoming Events
The Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) has developed a Dual Language and Immersion (DLI) family education program for two-way bilingual immersion programs, which can be modified for one-way and indigenous programs. In this session, they will showcase samples of the materials, share program participant perspectives, and unveil a website with materials in English, Spanish, and Hmong.
October 13–15
Hybrid Conference
The National Family Engagement Summit is being held in-person AND virtually this fall. Join family engagement practitioners from around the country to reimagine what family engagement looks like in this new post-pandemic world.
October 14
Hybrid Conference
Registration is open for this 1-day virtual event that is open to members of the WIDA Consortium, international educators, and higher education faculty and staff. Registration includes access to live sessions, presentation handouts and materials, interactive breakout group opportunities, and all recorded content through the end of 2021. The keynote speaker will be Viet Thanh Nguyen, a professor at the University of Southern California.
Join Lexia® for Emergent Bilingual Week, a virtual conference celebrating Emergent Bilingual education. Learn about tools and strategies to ensure the academic success of this unique and growing group of students. 
October 25–27
Virtual Conference
The National Center for Families Learning (NCFL) Families Learning Conference is where passionate people go to discover innovative strategies, evidence-based best practices, and resources to help families succeed in accomplishing their educational and economic goals. Over 80 sessions will be available to choose from in six content strands, including adult education, early childhood education, family and community leadership, library, K–12 education, and research and policy.
November 10–13
Hybrid Conference
La Cosecha 2021 will be a hybrid event, comprising both a virtual and an in-person conference. La Cosecha Conference offers you the unique opportunity to share best practices, resources, and current theory; build networks; and fuel community efforts to build a better future for our children as we “harvest” the best of our multilingual and multicultural communities.
November 19–21
Virtual Conference
Join language educators at ACTFL’s virtual conference, featuring keynote speakers Omekonga Dibinga, Marcia Tate, and Shiza Shahid. The conference includes educational sessions and hands-on learning environments that will provide resources, ready-to-use techniques, and current trends in language education.

In the News
Northern Kentucky Tribune
This article describes how the city of Covington, Kentucky, is welcoming and supporting its growing Hispanic community. In the last several years the city’s Hispanic immigrant community has increased significantly. Residents are attracted to Covington by its welcoming and inclusive environment and relatively low cost of living. Community organizations and programs such as Esperanza, Be Concerned, and Read Ready Covington provide social, economic, and educational support to the city’s Hispanic residents. Because of the growing number of ELs in Covington’s schools, the school board voted to increase the number of English as a Second Language teachers, bilingual classroom assistants, and translators to better support the district’s ELs. 
With an influx of Afghan refugees who are fleeing the Taliban, many school districts in the U.S. are preparing to receive and support Afghan students. This article describes how several districts in California, which is home to the largest population of Afghan refugees in the nation, are gearing up to support newcomer Afghan students and their families. Among the preparations that districts are making and, in some cases, already implementing, are wraparound services for Afghan refugees that include translation and interpretation; help with housing and medical appointments; language classes for children and adults; provision with school supplies; enrollment in athletics and other after-school activities; social-emotional support; and support in understanding and navigating cultural differences, including those associated with attending schools in the U.S.
In this commentary, the author urges educators to exercise cariño, or love and understanding, toward students and families as schools return to in-person instruction. The author acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic had the most negative impact on marginalized communities, like low-income students, immigrant students, ELs, and students with special needs, and that in addition to instructional strategies, educators need to also focus on relationships. Cariño includes connecting with students and families, being inclusive of students’ cultures, placing value on educators and students, being flexible, and acknowledging how difficult the current situation is for students, families, and educators.
In this article, WIDA encourages educators to consider and exercise Can Do Philosophy as they commence the new school year. The Can Do Philosophy may be particularly valuable in ensuring equity and social justice for bi/multilingual learners. The article features a contribution from a Mexican-American high school student who reflects on how educators can empower students like her. She suggests several questions that teachers and school personnel can reflect on regarding social justice and equitable support for bi/multilingual students in the new school year.  
Regional Education Laboratories (REL) West, Northwest, and Northeast and Islands
The family and caregiver activity sheets to strengthen language development are now available in eight different languages: English, Spanish, Arabic, Traditional and Simplified Chinese, Vietnamese, Haitian Creole, and Somali. Created by REL West in partnership with RELs Northwest and Northeast and Islands, these activity sheets offer simple, fun ideas for how parents, grandparents, and other caregivers can help children develop their language skills at home. They are based on the What Works Clearinghouse practice guide, Teaching Academic Content and Literacy to English Learners in Elementary and Middle School, and are designed to strengthen language development in either the home language or English. Additional resources include an Educator's Guide and a webinar archive that showcases the activity sheets.
Colorín Colorado
There are many ways that families of ELs can support language and literacy at home! Colorín Colorado’s new series of eight tips for families is available in 16 languages. Educators can share these tips with families in two ways: a tip sheet (PDF) and social media graphics.
Council of Chief State School Officers
This state leadership guide introduces a set of equity-focused resources for state educational agency (SEA) leaders to engage state and local stakeholders in continuous-improvement processes focused on EL programs and services. The guide and its accompanying resources are organized around the three prongs of the Castañeda (1981) framework. Parts one and two include resources that SEA leaders can draw upon to ground their work to serve ELs. Part three presents a progress-monitoring tool that SEA leaders can use with district and/or school leaders to collaboratively develop comprehensive EL programs.
Professional Learning
NABE is accepting applications for the following award competitions: 2022 Student Essay Contest, 2022 Teacher of the Year, 2022 Bilingual Teacher Scholarship, and the 2022 Outstanding Dissertation. Visit NABE online to download the guidelines for the competitions.
Center for Applied Linguistics (CAL): Virtual Institutes, October 6–28
CAL is offering these virtual institutes this fall:

  • Leading Dual Language Programs for Student Success, October 18–28: This live interactive institute will prepare school leaders to gain a solid understanding of the benefits of dual language education, explore how they can develop a program that promotes student success in two languages, and increase their impact as leaders. The institute is based on Guiding Principles for Dual Language Education, 3rd Edition.
Are you seeking distance learning opportunities to develop leadership and advocacy skills to meet the growing demands for PK–12 biliteracy/multilingual programs? Leadership for Equity in English Learner Education provides educators from any linguistic or cultural background with current research on biliteracy and knowledge in programmatic and instructional issues to increase student achievement and language learning. Instructional coaches, administrators, and teachers will be equipped as leaders and advocates by this virtual learning community.
Job Opportunities
Spring International Language Center at the University of Arkansas
Fayetteville, AR
Texas A&M University, Department of Educational Psychology
College Station, TX
Connect With NCELA
International Podcast Day

September 30 is International Podcast Day! Check out OELA’s podcast episodes and practice briefs on instructional approaches and strategies for educators who serve ELs and their families. These resources highlight promising practices related to STEM, language instruction educational programs, teacher preparation, and early childhood instruction.

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, October 5 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.