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April 20, 2021
Celebrating National Arab American Heritage Month
This April, OELA is celebrating National Arab American Heritage Month! Since school year (SY) 2008–09, the number of Arabic-speaking EL students has increased by roughly 75%, or over 49,000 students. Arabic was the most common language, after Spanish, spoken by ELs in SY 2015–16, followed by Chinese.
To learn more, download OELA’s fact sheet ELs Who are Arab Americans.
Resources for National Bilingual Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month
National Bilingual Multilingual Learner Advocacy Month continues! OELA created a toolkit of shareable resources from ED, OELA, and other organizations in the field that you can use to support multilingual learners. Check out a few of these resources below:
Using Educational Technology: Toolkit for Educators
Download ED’s Educator Toolkit to learn more about the five guiding principles for working with and supporting ELs through technology. 
Choosing an Instruction Model: English Learners in Charter Schools
Approximately 10% of students enrolled in charter schools are classified as ELs. Learn how to choose an instruction model that fits your ELs with English Learners in Charter Schools, a series of self-guided modules from the National Charter School Resource Center. 
Family Engagement: Improving Instruction Parent-Educator Toolkit
Parents of ELs need to be involved in decisions about accessibility features for their children. The Improving Instruction project has created a Parent-Educator Toolkit, which includes short briefs in six languages to guide parents through this process.
Upcoming Events
This showcase will highlight programs that are making a positive impact on bilingual/multilingual learners; building a network of champions for bilingual/multilingual learners; and celebrating and honoring student artwork winners and school and district teams.
April 27
Virtual Conference
Join the National Association of English Learner Program Administrators (NAELPA) on April 27 for its 2021 Virtual Annual Conference. The theme of the conference is “Defining the Role of EL Program Administrators in These Changing Times.” There will be at least three pre-conference sessions leading up to the conference.
April 27–29
Hybrid Conference
The National Association for Bilingual Education (NABE) conference will be structured as a 2-day hybrid conference with a pre-conference on April 27, followed by the conference on April 28–29. The theme is “Honoring the Past, Treasuring the Present, Shaping the Future.”
In this webinar from Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Southwest, participants can expect to gain a better understanding of the benefits of bilingual education; understand how states and districts are employing seals of biliteracy as components of their bilingual education program; and learn about the specifics of the New Mexico State Seal of Bilingualism–Biliteracy and how it is being implemented in districts.
In this webinar, English Learner Portal colleagues Brenda Custodio and Judith O'Laughlin will share a description of students with interrupted education (SIFE/SLIFE); causes of interrupted schooling; two main categories of SLIFE in Western schools: refugees and Latinos; issues unique to SLIFE; and academic and socio-emotional supports needed.
May 27–28 or June 1–2, and June 3–4
Summer Institutes
Join leading experts during these virtual summer institutes to get support for navigating this ever-changing educational climate for your ELs and emerging bilinguals. Teachers, instructional coaches, and district leaders will have the opportunity to dive deeper into best practices, cultural responsiveness, and support for language learners.
July 14–16
Virtual Conference

Learn from fellow educators, education leaders, and SIOP® authors how to make learning relevant and comprehensible for ELs. 
November 10–13
Hybrid Conference
La Cosecha 2021 will be a hybrid event, comprising both a virtual and an in-person conference. Virtual registration is open now, and in-person registration is expected to open in July. La Cosecha Conference offers you the unique opportunity to share best practices and resources and current theory and practice, build networks, and fuel community efforts to build a better future for our children as we “harvest” the best of our multilingual and multicultural communities. The call for proposals is now open, and proposals will be accepted until April 30.
In the News
The Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE) and the Rhode Island Foundation jointly announced planning grants awarded to four school districts (Providence, Central Falls, Westerly, and Woonsocket) to expand their bilingual and dual language programs to provide enriching language and content learning opportunities to multilingual learners (MLLs). Angélica Infante-Green, RIDE’s commissioner, said, “Growing up multilingual is a strength, not a shortcoming, and we’re excited to provide our MLL students with programs that affirm that principle.” 
The Herald 
The new dual language immersion program at Huntingburg Elementary School is just in its first year, but it is already showing signs of success. The kindergartners in the program are taught in both Spanish and English, with the class comprised of 50% native Spanish speakers and 50% native English speakers. The dual language immersion program plans to add another grade level every year so students can stay in the program throughout elementary school. 
Language Magazine
Assembly Bill 1363 seeks to change California’s current definition of dual language learners (DLLs), which is stated in terms of their limited proficiency in English, to a more asset-based definition. If Bill 1363 passes, DLL would refer to “any child from birth to the age of five years old who is learning two or more languages at a time, or who is continuing to develop their native language while learning a second language such as English.” A new definition could have implications for DLLs’ early childhood education.
Language Magazine
Personal narrative assignments in the upper elementary and secondary grades holds promise for MLLs to explore their linguistic and cultural backgrounds and develop a positive identity. However, teaching students to write personal narratives is a complex task. In this article, the author describes six steps educators can employ to help MLLs learn to write effective personal narratives.
REL Northeast & Islands
Elementary teachers often have difficulty determining whether a student experiencing challenges should be referred for special education services, especially if that student is an EL. Teachers must determine whether the EL is struggling due to a limited ability to communicate in English, or due to an underlying disability. This Practitioner Brief from the REL Northeast & Islands discusses the lessons REL researchers learned from a recent study and summarizes the successes teachers and administrators had implementing strategies that promoted the accurate identification of ELs. 
New America
This article focuses on the educational experiences of Black ELs in grades K–12, an EL population that is often overlooked. With over 200,000 Black ELs in U.S. public schools, Black ELs experience challenges similar to other ELs (e.g., discrimination, xenophobia) and must also contend with the “anti-Blackness that reverberates through our educational system.” 
Professional Learning
Successful Innovations, a partner of the National Association for Family, School, and Community Engagement, is seeking proposals for workshop presentations for its 2021 National Family Engagement Summit, taking place in Norfolk, VA, and virtually, October 13–15. The Summit brings together family, school, and community engagement professionals from across the country for a professional development opportunity to gain valuable strategies to support family and school partnerships. Presenters will address a group of 40–70 participants for 60 minutes. 
This program focuses on closing the gap for heritage school teachers and/or native speakers by creating a Personalized Learning Plan to work toward state certification. This teacher training program will support up to 50 prospective teachers in eight targeted STARTALK languages to address the critical need for K12 language programs in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. 
This program is designed to help early-career language educators succeed in their current assignments and learn the skills to be successful in the long term. Mentors and mentees will be matched by language, level, interest, and location as best as possible. Three mentor programs are available: the traditional program for in-person educators, the distance-language-educator program for those who teach online, and a hybrid program for those currently teaching in-person and remotely.
Registration is now open for the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) Summer Institutes, which are targeted at elementary through postsecondary foreign/world language educators and language teacher educators. All the institutes will be taught online in either an asynchronous or synchronous format.
Take part in an engaging facilitated online professional learning community and earn a certificate for 12 hours of professional development upon successful course completion. All SupportEd online courses are asynchronous, go-at-your-own pace with intermediary deadlines. Most courses are based on books by Drs. Diane Staehr Fenner and Sydney Snyder. Courses include:
Job Opportunities
Adams County School District 14
Commerce City, CO
Connect With NCELA
Podcast: Supporting ELs with Interrupted Formal Education 

What practical considerations are involved in supporting ELs who are students with interrupted formal education (SIFE)? Listen to this two-part OELA podcast sharing research-based best practices and an inside view on daily programming for ELs who are SIFE.
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Disclaimer: NCELA Nexus is intended to share information that can be of use to educators, parents, learners, leaders, and other stakeholders in their efforts to ensure that every student, including ELs, is provided with the highest quality education and expanded opportunities to succeed. The information and materials presented on NCELA Nexus do not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favoring by NCELA, the Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), or the U.S. Department of Education.