It’s No Secret: Progress Prized In Brownsville

December 2, 2008

BROWNSVILLE, TX–Here at Cromack Elementary School, near the border of the United States and Mexico, many children in the early grades are taught in Spanish. By 4th grade, those students have made the smooth transition to classes where practically all full story
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GISD schools make adequate yearly progress

November 13, 2008

GRAHAM, TX–The Graham Independent School District made adequate yearly progress — by the slimmest of margins. The school district accomplished no small feat in meeting the required standards as outlined under the No Child Left Behind Act that allows the U.S. Department of Education to monitor how each public school and school district is performing. No Child Left Behind full story
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Language pros help foreign doctors speak English more clearly

November 12, 2008

DALLAS, TX–Karen Yates has a discerning ear. A language specialist, she hears native Chinese speakers learning English failing to pronounce the consonants at the end of their syllables, so they’ll say “blah” instead of “blood.” Indian speakers, she says, often reverse “W” and “V” and, as a result, “heart valve” becomes “heart wow.” It’s precisely these kinds of language issues full story
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HISD bilingual program doubles in capacity

November 11, 2008

HUMBLE, TX–Humble ISD is truly a diverse community, as evidenced by an annual report on the English as a Second Language program, or ESL. The program has increased from 1226 students in 2001 to 2923 in 2008. Special programs coordinator Sara Smith-Frings recently presented information on the set of courses to members of the Humble ISD Board of Trustees. full story
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School Responses to Immigration Raids

October 29, 2008

LEARNING THE LANGUAGE–A school district in Texas used to have a standard practice of keeping the names of two adults on file who are authorized to pick up a student. Now, after an immigration raid in that district’s community, the school system requires each family to keep the names of 10 authorized adults on file. That’s an example of how some school administrators full story
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Midland School Program Reaching Out to International Students

October 27, 2008

MIDLAND, TX–Imagine being a kid going to school in a new country for the first time and not knowing the language. That’s what they’re dealing with at the Midland School District, but a new program is helping  international students deal with all that anxiety. “I’m from El Salvador, and I love this place,” San Jacinto 7th Grader, Melissa Alfaro, said. full story

Dallas ISD chief Hinojosa says bilingual teachers ‘protected’

October 23, 2008

DALLAS, TX–Dallas schools superintendent Michael Hinojosa said today that bilingual teachers were largely protected from recent layoffs because of the district’s student population. Students with limited proficiency in English now number 53,785 in the Dallas Independent School District, or 34 percent of total enrollment. full story

ESL population growing

October 22, 2008

AMARILLO, TX–Schools in Amarillo are serving an increasing number of students who speak little or no English. Although Spanish-speakers make up the largest portion of those students, the Amarillo Independent School District serves 3,500 students from 24 foreign countries who speak any one of 30 languages. And the number of students needing special instruction to learn English has full story

Central Elementary students improve vocabulary with active program

October 22, 2008

LEWISVILLE, TX–What do an inflatable ball, a paper pyramid and the Cha Cha Cha have in common? Students at Central Elementary School in Lewisville are expanding their academic vocabulary while they engage in all of those activities. Annie Rivera, Lewisville ISD bilingual coordinator, has developed a program at the school that aims to broaden students’ scope of academic words by full story

Brownsville Schools Win Prestigious Award

October 15, 2008

BROWNSVILLE, TX–The fifth graders at Morningside Elementary School in Brownsville, Texas, are working through math problems in room 309, when muffled cries momentarily disrupt the class. A boy is telling the teacher, Lourdes Medrano, how his home in Port Arthur was destroyed by Hurricane Ike. “Mom went back to see what she could salvage, but everything got destroyed,” full story