What Is the Best Way to Teach English?
The U.S. government's top education official wants schools to do a better job teaching students whose first language is not English.
U.S. Education Secretary John King said the issue is important. That is because one in every 10 U.S. students from grades Kindergarten to 12th grade are English learners.
Most English learners arrive from a country that speaks another language, or have parents from a non-English-speaking country.
There has been progress in recent years, King said. He noted Spanish-speaking students are graduating high school and attending college at higher rates than ever before.
"But in too many places across the country, English learners get less -- less access to quality teachers, less access to advanced coursework, less access to the resources they need to succeed," King said.
King said a new federal law called the Every Student Succeeds Act can help. It allows school districts more ways to use federal money to improve programs for English learners. That includes better training for English language teachers.
Kelly Gonez is a policy adviser at the Department of Education.
She said research shows giving instruction in two languages, English and the student's native language, is better for English learners.
Although it takes them a little longer to master English, they do better on tests that measure reading and math skills, Gonez said.
So do people who enter dual-language programs already proficient in English, Gonez said. To be proficient means able to read and speak a language.
Sarah Catherine Moore is director of online learning at the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington D.C.
She said two recent studies found English learners do better if they attend classes that use both English and the student's native language.
But Gonez said such programs are still not offered by a majority of schools teaching English learners.
One problem is finding enough qualified teachers. Gonez said some school districts are hiring teachers from Spain and China. They are trying to make up for a shortage of teachers in the United States who can offer instruction in two languages.
But such programs are not always easy to set up.
In New York City, for example, the city's Department of Education says its students speak a total of 180 different languages.
About sixty percent are Spanish speakers, and another 14 percent are Chinese speakers.
It also has 6,546 students who speak Bengali, 6,501 who speak Arabic, and 3,591 who speak Haitian-Creole. Thousands more speak Russian or Punjabi.
Gonez said that it may be hard to find instructors who can speak all the different languages spoken by students. But she said schools can get educational material in many more languages than just Spanish and Chinese.
Terry Richards is in charge of federal programs for the state of Delaware. She welcomes the new federal education law. It will allow state and local education departments to make more decisions about how to teach English learners, she said.
Richards said the law permits local school districts to consider "local" needs in developing English education programs.
I'm Bruce Alpert.
1.access to 接近；通向...的入口
They now have access to the mass markets of Japan and the UK.
2.federal law 联邦法律
They are proscribed by federal law from owning guns.
3.school district 学区
The families and school district plan outings and activities with the international students.
4.policy adviser 政策顾问
Kissinger was then Rockefeller's foreign policy adviser.
1.But Gonez said such programs are still not offered by a majority of schools teaching English learners.
a majority of 大多数的
A majority of those polled were worried about inflation.
A majority of even cultured Frenchmen seem to have lost their feeling for Racine.
2.They are trying to make up for a shortage of teachers in the United States who can offer instruction in two languages.
make up for 补偿；弥补
Her beauty can't make up for her stupidity.
Hard work can often make up for a lack of intelligence.
美国的教育部长约翰·金（John King）表示，英语教学十分重要 。因为从幼儿园到12年级的学生里，每10个人中就有1位会学习英语 。
金表示，近几年英语教学工作取得了一定进展 。他指出，高中毕业升入大学的西班牙语学生远超以往 。
金还提及，《每一个学生成功法》这一新联邦法案能够有所帮助 。该法案允许各大学区全方位利用联邦资金提升英语学习者的课程，包括加强对英语教师的培训 。
凯利·戈内斯（Kelly Gonez）是美国教育部的政策顾问 。
戈内斯认为，学习双语课程的学生在英语学习方面十分熟练 。熟练是指学生能够读、说一门语言 。
莎拉·瑟琳·摩尔（Sarah Catherine Moore）是华盛顿特区应用语言学中心的在线学习主任 。
其一就是合格的教师资源短缺 。戈内斯表示，有的学区开始招聘西班牙和中国教师 。他们想填补美国这种能应用两种语言教学的教师空缺 。
另外，有6546名学生说孟加拉语，6501名学生说阿拉伯语，3591名学生说海地克里奥尔语 。另外，还有上千人说俄语或旁遮普语 。
戈内斯认为，虽然寻找这类掌握各种语言的教师犹如大海捞针 。但是，除西班牙语和汉语外，学校可以购买更多种类的语言教材 。
特里·理查兹（Terry Richards）负责特拉华州的联邦课程 。她十分看好新的联邦教育法案 。她认为，这部法案放开了各州及地方教育部门在教授英语学习者方面的决定权 。