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December 21, 2021
2021 Year in Review (continued)
Fact Sheets: Key Data on ELs
OELA published 11 new fact sheets and one infographic featuring key data on ELs, including learning opportunities for ELs during COVID-19, ELs who are Black, critical languages spoken by ELs, migratory children who are ELs, ELs with disabilities, ELs’ access to gifted and talented programs, and more. Check out our video reel for a look at all of our fact sheets.
Webinars: Highlighting Instructional Practices & Celebrating Diversity

This year’s webinars highlighted evidence-based instructional practices from NCELA’s Teaching Practice Briefs on teaching dual language learners and teaching math and science to ELs. Native American and Alaska Native Children in School (NAM) Program grantees also shared their experiences producing successful projects for Native American students.
Through the new OELA Authors Series, we explored the importance of diversity in literature. Check out our conversation with Ron Lessard and award-winning authors Traci Sorrell, Brenda Child, and Brian Young on culture, history, and diversity in the Native American community.

Visit NCELA to watch the recording and get the list of book recommendations from the authors. Join us in 2022 for more installments in the series!  
Teacher Resources: Spotlight on Secondary ELs, Teaching Math Content

OELA added three new podcasts and an instructional brief to our library of teacher resources. Drs. Aída Walqui, Ilana Umansky, and Karen Thompson reunited in a two-part podcast to answer additional questions submitted during the English Learners in Secondary Schools: Trajectories, Transition Points, and Promising Practices webinar. The speakers discuss how to support ELs in meeting graduation requirements, mitigate risks that may lead ELs to drop out of school, and provide English language development instruction.
Integrating Language While Teaching Mathematics, an NCELA Teaching Practice Brief with a companion podcast featuring Dr. Haiwen Chu, explores three key themes: academic rigor for all students, quality interactions around math content, and purposeful language focus in a mathematics classroom.
In the Field: New NAM & NPD Grants

This year, the U.S. Department of Education awarded more than $28 million in grants under OELA’s National Professional Development Program (NPD) and NAM.

Supporting Professional Growth for Educators

NPD grants support the professional growth of educators to improve instruction for ELs. NPD grants can enhance the capacity of the education workforce to create equitable learning environments that promote language and literacy and celebrate diversity.
Promoting Equity & Addressing Disparities for Native American & Alaska Native Students

NAM grants are a great resource for promoting equity and addressing outcome disparities for Native American and Alaska Native students. The goal is to support the teaching, learning, and studying of Native American languages while also increasing their English language skills. 

Biennial Reports to Congress

Two Biennial Reports to Congress on the Title III State Formula Grant Program were released for school years 2014–2016 and 2016–2018. These reports provide information regarding the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to hold states accountable for ensuring that all ELs attain English proficiency and are achieving in reading/language arts and mathematics at the same high level set by the states for all students.
Watch: Information ELevated

This short new video series provides snapshots of EL data and a first look at new products from OELA. The first five episodes highlight languages commonly spoken by ELs, the number of identified ELs, states with the largest percentage of ELs, and more.
2022 National Association of English Learner Program Administrators (NAELPA) National Conference 
The 2022 NAELPA Conference welcomes state and local education agency leaders from across the country. This year’s theme, “Advancing Linguistic Equity Through Program Leadership,” underscores the focus for all attendees on the unique needs of multilingual children and the ability to maximize services for these students across all Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) programs. Participants include state agency officials, school district administrators, school building leaders, and teachers — all gaining new knowledge, instructional strategies, and skills needed to transform student learning.
In response to the rapidly changing circumstances associated with COVID-19, NAELPA made the decision to transition the 2022 Conference to a hybrid event — essentially parallel conferences running simultaneously with identical high-quality content. The 2022 Conference will convene both on-site and “virtually,” starting with the Pre-Conference sessions the week of January 17, 2022, and culminating with our in-person conference on February 7, 2022.
Learn more:
Upcoming Events
February 7–10, 2022
Registration is now open for the National Association for Bilingual Education’s (NABE) 2022 conference in New York City, New York. The theme is “Building a Globally Diverse Multilingual Society.”
The 8th International Conference on Immersion and Dual Language Education will be held in Salt Lake City, Utah. Inclusive of all languages, program models, and educational levels, the 2022 conference brings together researchers and practitioners from the U.S. and around the world to share knowledge, expertise, and best practices in dual language and immersion education. The conference theme, “Embracing Languages and Cultures for A Better World,” represents the key tenets: diversity of languages, collaboration and inclusivity, and equity.
September 28-30, 2022
The 2022 WIDA Annual Conference will take place in Louisville, Kentucky, with a limited virtual option. The WIDA Annual Conference is the premier event for educators of multilingual learners, giving educators from around the globe the opportunity to share best practices and discover innovative classroom strategies. The call for proposals is now open and the deadline to submit a proposal is January 31, 2022. Registration for this event opens in spring of 2022.

In the News
VPR News     
In Burlington, Vermont, where ELs and their families speak more than 40 languages, multilingual liaisons are working to make a difference for refugee students at the secondary level by supporting them academically, professionally, and socially and helping them and their families navigate the U.S. school system. Refugee ELs often report being underchallenged in high school, where they are placed in low-level courses that leave them unprepared for postsecondary education. Multilingual liaisons advocate for ELs to be supported and challenged by their teachers and encourage ELs to take advanced placement and college credit courses.
Illinois Newsroom
In this article, students, parents, and teachers reflect on the consequences that a year of remote instruction had on students’ proficiency in the target language as well as in English in dual-language programs. While instruction continued for students at International Prep Academy in Illinois during school closures, because of the lack of in-person interaction and technological issues, many students’ language proficiency and progress declined. Teachers noticed gaps in proficiency as in-person instruction resumed in the fall. Teachers in the International Prep Academy are working hard to support students in developing language proficiency in English and Spanish (the target language) as well as building students’ confidence and enthusiasm for language learning.
Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) West
REL West and the Region 15 Comprehensive Center developed a guide to assess teacher professional learning needs related to implementing research-based recommendations for the instruction of elementary-grade ELs. At the center of this guide are two tools — the Teacher Self-Reflection Tool and the Classroom Observation Tool — that are used to collect information about teacher practice and needs related to the recommendations from the What Works Clearinghouse Practice Guide. The guide includes a 10-step process for using the information it generates, as well as step-by-step guidance, data templates and discussion protocols, and district scenarios.
U.S. Department of Education
Many children and students struggle with mental health challenges that impact their full access to and participation in learning, and these challenges are often misunderstood and can lead to behaviors that are inconsistent with school or program expectations. The COVID-19 global pandemic intensified these challenges, accelerating the need to provide school-based mental health support and leverage our accumulated knowledge about how to provide nurturing educational environments to meet the needs of our nation’s youth. This resource highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings and presents seven corresponding recommendations.
REL Southwest
This infographic, designed for parents and caregivers, describes the use of biliteracy seals as a way to recognize and certify students’ fluency in multiple languages. As an example, the infographic features New Mexico’s State Seal of Bilingualism-Biliteracy and the different pathways that students can take to attain the seal.
Professional Learning
This series of professional development webinars focuses on improving instructional practice in 21st century heritage language schools. These interactive webinars address various topics such as the foundational elements of a successful school organization, instructional design alignment, online teaching methods, the application of web tools, and emerging learning technologies (e.g., 360/VR) in the classroom. The role of parents and peer learning strategies will be examined in depth. The workshops are purposefully designed for heritage language practitioners, administrators, and teachers. Participants may sign up for all webinars or just those they are interested in:
  • January 20, 2022: Technology-Infused Curriculum: Necessity or Opportunity
  • March 3, 2022: Parental Role in the Process of Heritage Language Learning
The lineup for the 26th annual Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition (CARLA) Summer Institute Program is now available. The CARLA summer institutes are primarily targeted at elementary through postsecondary foreign/world language educators and language teacher educators. In some cases, the institutes are also appropriate for English as a Second Language or English as a Foreign Language teachers.
The School Ambassador Fellowship program is designed to enable outstanding teachers, administrators, and other school leaders, such as school counselors, psychologists, social workers, and librarians, to bring their school and classroom expertise to the Department and to expand their knowledge of the national dialogue about education. The School Ambassador Fellowship is a professional learning community designed to improve educational outcomes for students by leveraging the expertise of school-based practitioners in the creation, evaluation, and dissemination of information around national education initiatives.
The call for proposals for the 2022 ACTFL Annual Convention is open. Compelling proposals address the needs of today’s learners and educators by focusing on innovative programs, emerging trends, and research-informed practices.
The 2022–2023 Fellow Application for the English Language Fellow Program is now open. The program sends experienced U.S. TESOL professionals on paid teaching assignments at universities and other academic institutions around the world. Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis until all projects are filled, although applicants are encouraged to apply early in order to have the best chance of being considered for all available projects. Candidates who apply before the priority application deadline are the first to enter the project matching phase when it begins in January.
Job Opportunities
The Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning, University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA
Missouri State University
Springfield, MO
Connect With NCELA

From all of us at OELA, we wish you and yours a happy and safe holiday season and best wishes for 2022!

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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.