News Brief: Dual Language Learners

This article titled “Many Languages, One Teacher: Supporting Language and Literacy Development for Preschool Dual Language Learners” was published March 2013 as Vol 68 Issue 1 in the NACYC (National Association for the Education of Young Children). This article discusses the importance of learning both the home language as well as English versus completely eliminating the home language. Dual Language learning will increase as we continue to grow as a Nation with a projected 40% increase by 2030. (US Census Bureau). Environment is an important component in creating a positive atmosphere for children. Classrooms should reflect the diversity of languages of the children with books, numbers, and vocabulary throughout the room. This may provide comfort but also encourage other children to learn different languages.

This article discusses POLL or Personalized Oral Language(s) Learning was designed in Los Angeles Unified School District to support dual language learners in California. This program was created to implement a plan to help teachers teach language and literacy for Dual Language Learners. POLL includes: 1) Families First 2) Environmental Supports 3) Instructional Supports. These steps connect the family to school, provide materials to support all languages in classroom environment, and suggest many different ways teachers can incorporate to the lesson like songs and gestures.

I agree and believe that both the home language and English both need to be equally supported and balanced in the child’s life. One should not be made more important than the other and there should be support coming from not only the classroom but also from home. It is important that we all appreciate and encourage the unique traits/languages of each individual child. Learning should be encouraged both at home and at school. As professionals we need to know how to support different languages other than our own in order to create a positive and nurturing environment.


The Government Shutdown – 50 Effects

Many people are currently being affected by the government shutdown and are left with nothing to do except wait. This article provides a list of 50 effects of the budget standstill found compiled The Huffington Post. This list shows a different perspective, allowing others to realize how much of an impact it has made on people, families, and children. The list varies, some of it includes: grants being cut, families not having income for food, NASA (among others) websites have been pulled down, tours canceled, private businesses suffering, and Arizona stopped payments to 5,200 families eligible for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (etc).

This shutdown does not only cause worry in financial matters but it also has emotional effects. “We are still expected to report to work and fulfill our duties putting our lives on the line, leaving our loved ones daily at all hours for free it seems,” one U.S. Border Patrol agent told The Huffington Post. Many families and children are currently being affected and that is the reality of this shutdown.

Policy Article

Policy Article

This new immigration policy passed by the Obama administration aims to protect undocumented parents of minor children from being arrested and deported by immigration agents. Furthermore, this policy ensures that if the parents are detained, they would still retain their rights to visit their children or attend court under family court proceedings. The U.S. has had a long history of excluding certain groups of immigrants from obtaining citizenship status and rights dating back to 1882. Previous to this decision, immigration policy was largely confused and undefined, and there was a high likelihood that families would be separated by deportation and a lack of clear policy. This policy allows more room for the topic of deportation to be open for discussion because each decision or action taken by ICE depends on the status of the person that is trying to be detained. This means that the actions taken would require measures that would allow the immigrant parent to do things without losing their parental rights no matter where or how they are situated. The assumptions inherent in the policy are that immigrants, although they may not be citizens of the US, are still people with basic human rights. Children are especially vulnerable and in need of protective policy. This shows Obama’s interest in humanity and children’s rights, and his beliefs that society is about basic rights, whether people are citizens of his country or not. It is implied that immigrants are present in the US, and they cannot be ignored or disregarded because of their citizenship status.

Discussion Questions:

  1.  What are the pros and cons that you can identify from this policy?
  2.  How can one advocate for their position on this particular topic?
  3.  What steps do you know of that can be made to further or hinder this policy?
  4.  What information do you already know/have about this topic?
  5.  This policy received positive and negative feedback, can you see the reasoning behind each side?
  6.  What do you think about our current country’s policies about immigration? (DREAM act, Obama’s immigration reform)
  7.  What might be the next step or action?
  8.  Are there any other things that could be changed or done to improve the help given to the undocumented parents?

Link to the policy:


Imagine – John Lennon

I have always been hesitant when it comes to the topic of policy. Imagine by John Lennon takes the listener to a world were there are no separations between people. Although this will not become reality, in our mind we can “Imagine.” I relate with this song because I consider myself to also be a dreamer, just like John Lennon. There is a lot more that goes into policy then simply imagining as though nothing is there and this is what sometimes gives me anxiety. It is sometimes just easier to “Imagine.”