An initiative of Stanford University’s Graduate School of Education, Understanding Language aims to heighten educator awareness of the critical role that language plays in the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. The long-term goal of the initiative is to increase recognition that learning the language of each academic discipline is essential to learning content. Researchers in the Graduate School of Education are synthesizing knowledge and developing resources to help ensure that teachers can meet their students’ evolving linguistic needs as the new standards are implemented. The unit from Understanding Language titled “Persuasion Across Time and Space: Analyzing and Producing Complex Texts” shows instructional approaches that are likely to help English learners meet some of the new standards in English language arts. The lessons address literacy goals and build on students’ background knowledge and linguistic resources. Built around a set of famous persuasive speeches, the unit supports students in reading a range of complex texts. It invites them to write and speak in a variety of ways and for different audiences and purposes.
NPR has published a comic geared to children about the newly discovered coronavirus. The comic has also been published in Chinese and translated into other languages—and it is finding an audience in schools and libraries as well as in homes.
Nationally, English learners (ELs) make up nearly 10 percent of preK–12 classrooms and almost 15 percent of urban classrooms, and these numbers are on the rise, according to research by the National Center for Education Statistics. Many supports are available for ELs, but the elementary science materials available are disproportionately directed toward grade-level readers. How can educators make access to science more equitable?