More Than 70% Of CPS Bilingual Programs Fall Short

Christopher Perea Ortega, an eighth grader at John Spry elementary on Chicago’s Southwest Side, loves to play guitar and the bass, especially when he is anxious.

Lately, that’s been happening a lot to deal with the stress of sitting at his computer for remote school and trying to understand his teachers in English.

Christopher’s parents only speak in Spanish to their children at home. The shy 14-year-old with a quirky sense of humor was in his school’s transitional bilingual program from kindergarten to fourth grade. He received language support to help transition from learning in Spanish to learning fully in English.

It’s been very rocky, said his mother, Nury Ortega.

“[The program] was really frustrating for us since kindergarten,” Ortega said in Spanish. “We had to make improvements in Spanish, but also in English. … We were told at school that in fourth grade, nobody will speak to him in

Read More

Roaring Fork Schools cultural diversity director named bilingual Leader of the Year by state organization

Amy Fairbanks
Provided

Amy Fairbanks, director of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education (CLDE) for the Roaring Fork School District, was recognized recently with a top statewide honor.

Fairbanks was recently named Educational Leader of the Year by the Colorado Association for Bilingual Education for 2020.

The award recognizes someone who “has distinguished themselves as an outstanding leader and advocate for emerging bilingual students and families and as an advocate for bilingualism, biculturalism, and biliteracy,” according to a press release. 

“We are extremely fortunate to have Amy as part of our instructional team. Under Amy’s extraordinary leadership, (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Education) programming and emerging bilingual students in Roaring Fork Schools have benefited greatly,” Rick Holt, Chief Academic Officer for the district, said.

“Amy has not only improved academic programming and outcomes, she has successfully navigated the difficult adaptive challenges of influencing the ways people act to provide equitable access for

Read More

Chinese ambassador rejects former Mongolian president’s remarks on bilingual education

Students at a class in Hohhot, north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, May 7, 2020. Photo: Xinhua

The Chinese ambassador to Mongolia has rejected remarks made by former president of Mongolia Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj on social media and in a letter addressed to China regarding the implementation of bilingual education of Putonghua and ethnic language in North China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, saying that his views in the letter are completely wrong and China won’t accept them. 

 “The national common language is a symbol of a country’s sovereignty, and it is the right and duty of every citizen to learn and use the common language, which is true not only for China, but also for all countries in the world,” said Chai Wenrui, the ambassador to Mongolia, in a letter sent to Elbegdorj. 

“At the same time, the Chinese government protects the rights of ethnic minorities, including Mongolians, to use their

Read More

In Bilingual Classrooms, Teachers Are Anxious To Build Relationships, Close Digital Divide

For months, Jocelyn Ramos imagined how she’d decorate her very own classroom for her first year of teaching: bright colors and a warm, rainbow theme. She just never expected it would be at her house.

“This is probably my favorite part because it just feels welcoming,” Ramos said in a video tour. “It’s a welcome bulletin board. It says ‘Bienvenidos.’”

Ramos has been getting ready to greet her class of 18 first graders at Moreno Elementary online, as the Houston Independent School District (HISD) starts the new school year with completely virtual instruction this week. HISD is one of several districts in the Greater Houston area, together welcoming nearly half a million children back to school for a mix of online and in-person instruction.

For brand new teachers like Ramos, it marks a different kind of milestone.

“Even before this COVID happened, every teacher that I would go up

Read More

Disinformation causes ‘twists’ in bilingual education in China’s Inner Mongolia

Students at a class in Hohhot, north China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, May 7, 2020. Photo: Xinhua

China’s work in implementing bilingual education of Putonghua and an ethnic language in ethnically populated regions in recent years has been smooth and effective in cultivating bilingual talent. Some twists happened in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region as a new regulation on bringing courses taught in Putonghua has not been fully explained to parents, and disinformation has misled the public, with the possible interference of overseas separatists. 

Since this year’s fall semester, students in first grade in ethnic primary and middle schools in Inner Mongolia would use the state-approved textbook for Chinese, and the course would be taught in Putonghua. Before the reform, students started learning the course from second grade. Mongolian language remains the medium of instruction in other subjects from first grade. The Inner Mongolia government released an explanation on its

Read More

Bilingual Education Dominates Discussion During Forum of Santa Barbara School Board Candidates | School Zone

Round 1 goes to awkwardness.

The seven candidates for the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education took part in an unconventional virtual forum Thursday night.

Rather than just the candidates on screen, all 117 guests were visible in the Zoom forum, along with the chat box that was disabled about halfway through because of the vitriol that members of the public were lobbing at the candidates and their supporters.

Some of the questions from the group called Coalition for Neighborhood Schools were also puzzling: “Do you believe that every elementary student should be able to walk to school?” “Is it worth considering another location location for the Santa Barbara School District administrative offices to allow additional elementary facilities in the downtown area?”

Other questions seemed designed to favor the conservative candidate platforms: “What models of language instruction do you favor, particularly considering relative test scores at elementary schools

Read More