Voter Suing Over Spanish Language Ballots

November 25, 2008

DELTONA, FL–Volusia County’s Supervisor of Elections is being sued by a voter who says ballots should be available in Spanish for Puerto Rican citizens who do not speak English. Crimilda Perez-Santiago filed a lawsuit with the help of a group known as Latino Justice out of New York. The group said based on a 1965 law, Puerto Ricans were granted the right to vote in their native full story
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Immersion helps students become bilingual

November 14, 2008

CLEARWATER, FL–On tiny desks lie books like “Huevos verdes con jamón,” “Hay Un Molillo En Mi Bolsillo!,” “Un Bolsillo Para Corduroy,” and “Si Le Das Una Galletita a Un Raton.” (Or, “Green Eggs and Ham” and “There’s a Wocket in my Pocket!” by Dr. Seuss, “A Pocket for Corduroy” by Don Freeman, and “If You Give a Mouse a Cookie” by Laura Joffe Numeroff.) full story
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Students learn science in their own words

November 12, 2008

MIAMI, FL–Fifth-grade student Leinsa McNally remembers pausing when she saw an unfamiliar word in her science book. What in the world is a hypothesis? she wondered. Then, on the very same page, Leinsa spotted the translation into Haitian-Creole: pansé. ‘I was like `Oh,’ ” the North Miami Elementary student recalled. “It made a lot more sense to see it there in Creole.” full story
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Television show helps those learning English

November 5, 2008

NAPLES, FL–Parents of students who are English language learners attending a Collier County public school are reminded of an at-home connection to the district’s English Language Learners program that is available to them on TV. Passport to America is a television show that targets families of English language learners with information on a variety of education-related topics. full story
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JISD adjusting to new English standards

November 3, 2008

JACKSONVILLE, PA–Some of the new English Language Arts and Reading curriculum standards approved by the State Board of Education are proving popular with school officials in Jacksonville, although some aspects of the standards remain unclear. The new standards represent the first changes in curriculum for those areas since 1997. Revisions have been mulled full story
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Flagler sees jump in Hispanic population

November 3, 2008

PALM COAST, FL–The man swirls the dominoes around the green felt table, the white rectangles with black dots clacking as they are pushed together and apart. One of the veteran players instructs a rookie unsure of the rules as the domino tiles grow into a line eventually turning toward the shelf of plantains and other produce inside the Latino Market and Bakery in St. Joe’s Plaza in full story
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Upgrading ESOL

October 28, 2008

TAMPA, FL–This afternoon, the Florida Department of Education holds a public hearing on new rules for the teaching of English as a second language. Ordinarily, such meetings come and go without much notice. But some South Florida educators, notably former Miami-Dade board member and retired FIU professor Rosa Castro-Feinberg and her colleagues, are raising the red flag full story
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Florida can’t afford to cut ESOL training

October 27, 2008

MIAMI, FL–Learning a foreign language can be daunting. In Florida, there are almost a quarter-million public-school students learning English for the first time. They’re expected to pass the FCAT in a year. Talk about intimidating. Those students don’t only have to speak English fluently, they must master grammar and reading at their grade level. Yet research shows it takes two to five full story

Education degree program at USF St. Petersburg passes review

October 23, 2008

ST. PETERSBURG, FL–A Florida Department of Education review gave high marks and recommended approval for the master of arts program in elementary education/ESOL at the University of South Florida St. Petersburg. State reviews are conducted of education programs that lead graduates to state licensure. This was the first review for the College of Education full story

Standards change for ESOL programs

October 15, 2008

FORT MYERS, FL–Bonita Springs Middle eighth-grader Jorge Bahena’s language arts class is his favorite because it helps him in all his other ones. Bahena, 14, takes language arts and reading with other students also learning English. He only spoke Spanish when he arrived from Mexico a year ago. Recently, he read part of a dialogue aloud and worked with a partner to write one in English full story