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English Learners

OPINION
July 11, 2010 | By Bruce Fuller
Should teachers immerse California's rainbow of students in English to close achievement gaps — a linguistic cold shower of sorts — or lift literacy by scaffolding up from their home languages? It's a false dichotomy, says Ashley Aguilar, a savvy junior at Garfield High School in East Los Angeles. She must ace several English tests to enter UC Santa Barbara, her dream college. But she holds her native Spanish dear as well. "It will be better that I am bilingual," Aguilar said.
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CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 18, 2006 | Carla Rivera, Times Staff Writer
A divided state Board of Education on Monday adopted far-reaching new guidelines for reading and English language arts textbooks aimed at California's elementary and middle school students, despite objections that the materials do not do enough to help students struggling to learn English.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 8, 2011 | By Teresa Watanabe, Los Angeles Times
In a Glendale public school classroom, the immigrant's daughter uses no English as she conjugates verbs and writes sentences about cats. More than a decade after California voters eliminated most bilingual programs, first-grader Sofia Checchi is taught in Italian nearly all day — as she and her 20 classmates at Franklin Elementary School have been since kindergarten. Yet in just a year, Sofia has jumped a grade level in reading English. In the view of her mother — an Italian immigrant — Sofia's achievement validates a growing body of research indicating that learning to read in students' primary languages helps them become more fluent in English.
OPINION
April 30, 2013
Re "Lawsuit: State fails some English learners," April 25 The article does not mention two approaches to help those acquiring English, both with substantial research support. One is bilingual education, dismantled by Proposition 227 more than a decade ago. Research has shown that students in bilingual programs outperform students in all-English programs on tests of English reading. Also, studies show that Proposition 227 did not result in improved English proficiency. Second, there is strong evidence that those who do more pleasure reading in English do better on English-language tests, and case histories reveal that those who succeeded in acquiring the English needed for school were dedicated readers.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2008 | Seema Mehta, Times Staff Writer
One-third of California's 1.4 million nonnative students demonstrated enough English fluency this year to gain access to higher-level and college-prep course work, a modest improvement over last year, according to data released Wednesday by the state Department of Education. Increasing limited-English-speaking students' access to more rigorous classes and decreasing the achievement gap between these students and their native classmates are "moral" and "economic" imperatives, said Supt.
NEWS
July 23, 1999 | LOUIS SAHAGUN, TIMES STAFF WRITER
A year after voters approved the anti-bilingual education law Proposition 227, tens of thousands of California schoolchildren with limited English skills showed only modest gains in Stanford 9 test scores released Thursday. Statewide, third-grade reading scores for English learners, who make up 21% of the test takers in California, rose only 4 percentile points.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
May 30, 1998 | JOHN ESPINOZA, John Espinoza teaches at Malabar Elementary School
I am one of 5,500 bilingual teachers who work for the Los Angeles Unified School District. For the past 19 years, I have taught students whose first language is not English. Almost 100% of these students are, by my standards, poor. I've taught kindergarten through fifth grade, gifted and remedial students. While I know that many of our immigrant students in LAUSD are successfully progressing through the system, I also know that some of them are not.
OPINION
May 2, 2013
Re "Gov. Brown as Robin Hood," Column, April 29 In his column casting doubt on Gov. Jerry Brown's demand that money be shifted from better-off school districts to ones that have a higher share of disadvantaged students and English learners, George Skelton's poison pen writes - with no attribution other than "some" in Sacramento - that Brown was "cranky" after returning from his trip to China because of jet lag. Skelton notes speculation that...
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
April 24, 2013 | By Howard Blume
The state education department has ignored its obligation to make sure that thousands of students learning English receive adequate and legally required assistance, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. State officials said they had not studied the lawsuit, but insisted they are meeting their legal obligations. The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others, focuses on an estimated 20,000 students who are receiving no help or inadequate services as they work to learn English and keep up academically at the same time.
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