ELD Weekly Bulletin

Title III/ELD Listserv - September 28, 2015

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The Power of Words: Deficit Discourse & ELLs

by Kristen Lindahl

As an educator and a linguist, I'm no stranger to the power of words and the hidden social and political dynamics encoded in language use. In my recent work with both pre-service teachers (at the university level) and in-service teachers (working in public schools), I've been doing a lot of listening as they talk to me about their experiences with ELLs, and what can be done to grow more effective in their practices.

While the overwhelming majority of teachers have their multilingual students' best interests at heart, I still notice many instances of deficit discourse - expressions or terms that focus on the resources or skills that ELLs lack, rather than bring, to school. Phrases such as "language barrier" or "achievement gap" imply physical obstacles between students and teachers or students and their peers that exist because of language. Other phrases, such as "limited proficiency," "no skills," or "no prior knowledge" allude to the idea that if a student doesn't have proficiency in English, then he or she doesn't have proficiency in anything else. Finally, the term "mainstream" can mask the process of assimilation, wherein ELLs are channeled into the dominant culture as soon as possible via public schools at the expense of their own cultural funds of knowledge.

Find out why our words matter and we we can do as educators to shift from the deficit conversation.

Four Sentences Educators Must Stop Saying about Students

by Tonya Singer


This is part III of a IV blog series on bias and teacher expectations. Click these links to access post I and post II.


The language we use to talk about students matters. It reflects and shapes our perceptions, and most importantly, our expectations for student success. Sometimes the words we use to talk about students have biases within them we never intended. It’s easier to focus on our good intentions than to dig deeper into the implicit biases behind our words. It’s time to change this—change our language together to reshape the relationship between schools and the students and families we serve.


Make a courageous commitment to shift conversations and learn more about the power of positive statements.

The benefits of a bilingual brain - Mia Nacamulli

OELA Webinar: The Benefits of Dual Language Learning

Date: September 30
Time: 1:00pm to 2:00pm CST (Recorded webinar will be posted at the link below)


This webinar—co-sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA)—explores the growing body of evidence suggesting that dual-language learners—those who are exposed to more than one language during the course of their development—have cognitive, meta-cognitive, and socio-emotional advantages over children who were exposed to only one language. Among immigrants, higher levels of English fluency and skill are also correlated with higher levels of education and longer residency in the United States. Panelists will share current research and promising practices for promoting biliteracy and increasing English proficiency in immigrant communities.

The webinar link will soon be posted on the webinar series page of OELA’s website, where you can also find materials from past webinars. Dates and topics of future webinars have also now been posted; they include: Early Learning Opportunities for Every Child, October 29, 2015 (Webinar #5); Investing Deeply in Young Leaders, November 19, 2015 (Webinar #6); and Pathways to Postsecondary Education and Career Training Success, December 17, 2015 (Webinar #7).

Dual Language Learners: Five Tips for Parents

by Too Small to Fail

Parents with limited English proficiency have heard different messages about the language-learning needs of their children. Some believe that speaking to their children in their native language may hold them back from learning English or confuse them as they enter preschool and kindergarten. While mastery of English is important for success in school, research is showing that being fluent in more than one language can actually contribute to academic success. Check out our five tips every parent should know about dual language-learning.

*In this article the term Dual Language Learner is used to refer to English Language Learners.
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Extending Welcoming Communities to New Americans

by the USDE, Ed Blog


American communities have traditionally prided themselves on being welcoming places that foster a sense of security and offer helping hands for fellow community members. And it’s important to extend the characteristic warmth of our communities to the immigrants and refugees who compose roughly 13 percent of the U.S. population. Currently, there are over 4.7 million foreign-born students enrolled in pre-kindergarten to postsecondary education, representing six percent of the total U.S. student population. Another 20 million students are the children of foreign-born parents. Ensuring access to high-quality learning opportunities and safe and welcoming school communities is vital in supporting the civic, linguistic, and economic integration of immigrants, refugees, and their families. By supporting these families, our communities will help build the next generation of American leaders.


Long-term success for new Americans depends upon a cradle-to-career strategy that supports effective and innovative education programs. This is why the Department of Education is determined to improve the educational outcomes of early learning, elementary, secondary, adult education and postsecondary students from immigrant and refugee families, especially those who are not yet proficient in English.


English learners (ELs), many of whom come from immigrant and refugee families, face significant opportunity and achievement gaps compared to their non-EL peers. To close those gaps, we have and will continue to share resources that will help states, districts, and individual programs strengthen their educational offerings. By leveraging the rich cultural and linguistic assets that ELs, including immigrants and refugees, bring to the classroom, we will enable them to achieve their full academic potential and enrich the education experience of all children, youth and adults.


Read more about new resources and webinars provided by the USDE to support the diverse communities we serve.

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Adult ESL & Citizenship Classes at the YWCA

The Tulsa YWCA has opened registration for fall adult ESL and Citizenship classes. Classes begin October 5th. The English flyer is available and the Spanish flyer will be posted to this Smore as soon as it is received. Please feel free to share this great opportunity with parents and community partners

ELLevation InClass Training Resources

As you begin to share InClass with colleagues at your school, we want to share training resources that you may opt to use. Below you will find the InClass Facilitator's Guide and Participants' Guide. The guides are broken down into individual modules and mini-lessons to accommodate time, topic, and training format. Five brief videos are also available to illustrate the ease of use of the various InClass features.

We are working with ELLevation and IT to finalize logins and passwords for general education teachers and verify the fixes on the mapping errors. We hope to have this resolved this week.

While we are finalizing those tasks, please review these training materials to use or modify them as it meets your training needs. Please contact your ELD Coordinator with any related questions.

InClass Training Resources:
InClass Facilitator's Guide
InClass Participants' Guide

InClass Video Module: Viewing the Student Profile
InClass Video Module: Understanding the Data Dashboard
InClass Video Module: Reviewing My Students' Data
InClass Video Module: Grouping Students in InClass
InClass Video Module: Using Notes for Collaboration

Reminder: ELL Deadline - 30th day of school

Under Title III of ESEA, the district has the first 30 days of school to identify, assess, notify parents, and develop a Language Instruction Education Plan (LIEP) for all ELLs enrolled on the first day of school. The 30th day of school is October 1st, 2015.

October 1st is the deadline for the following tasks:
1. Completion of initial WAPT testing of new students
2. Distribution of Title III parent notifications*
3. Completion of the students LIEP
*Schools who have submitted Print Center requests for Title III Parent Notifications should release the letters as soon as the job is returned from the Print Center.

Home Language Surveys:
We have found that some students do not have accurate language information in PowerSchool but they are in our schools and need ELD services. Please coordinate with your school leader to ensure that all students who have a language other than English in the home, have a Home Language Survey and language information in PowerSchool. Both of these items can be verified on the Language Page under Custom Screens in PowerSchool.

If a student has a language other than English but their PowerSchool page says None under the language listing, please send home a Home Language Survey and scan/email it to Ann Burcham and Laura Grisso as soon as they are returned. If a student has a language other than English in the home and the PowerSchool language page says None under the language listing, we cannot provide them ELD support or services and we are out of federal and state legal compliance.


Please contact Laura Grisso with any questions related to ELL identification and ELD services. Please contact Ann Burcham with any questions related to the Home Language Survey.

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Reminder: OCR Language Assistance Services Training

Please remember to complete your OCR Language Assistance Training for School Year 2015-2016 by October 1. All staff who interact with parents are required to complete this training. To received credit for completion, login to Edivate following the steps in the OCR Language Assistance Registration Guide, view the video in full, and review the resource documents in the PDF. Training completion is tracked individually in Edivate. Please email Laura Grisso with any questions.

Title III/ELD Upcoming Events

Title III Events for the Week of September 28th:
September 28, 8:30am - WAPT Training
September 29, 3:30pm - SIOP Seminar: Lesson Preparation (Elementary)
September 29, 4:30pm - SIOP Seminar: Lesson Preparation (Secondary)
September 29, 4:00pm - Spanish for Educators (Register in Edivate)
October 2, 2:00pm - Interpreter & Translator Training (Register in Edivate)

Register in MyLearningPlan unless otherwise noted.

Click here to view the Title III/ELD Calendar.

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