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Bits & Pieces of News
from Christopher Renner

Resources for teachers

“Help! Kit” for Secondary Teachers of Migrant English Language Learners

The "Help! Kit" is a resource to assist middle and high school teachers of migrant students. This comprehensive guide provides practical, research-based strategies to effectively teach and evaluate ELLs. Included in the kit are sections that are particularly relevant to the needs of migrant secondary students.

The "Help! Kit" was developed by the Eastern Stream Center on Resources and Training (ESCORT), located at the State University of New York at Oneonta, a national resource center dedicated to improving the educational opportunities for migrant children. ESCORT maintains the National Migrant Education
Hotline and also conducts professional and program development activities for states, districts, and schools to help improve services to migrant children and other ELLs.  The "Help! Kit" is available from the NCBE site at:
http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu/miscpubs/escort/secondaryhelpkit.html or through ESCORT at: http://www.escort.org/


Census Survey Suggests Greater Linguistic Diversity AND English Proficiency

On Monday, August 6, the Census Bureau released initial data estimates from the Census 2000 Supplementary Survey, including estimates of languages spoken in U.S. homes and self-reported English proficiency. This survey of 700,000 households nationwide provides an early glimpse of data collected in the Census 'long form'. The complete analysis of language data in the Census isn't expected until Spring 2002.

According to the Survey, a language other than English is spoken in approximately 18% of households. Linguistic diversity varies greatly
throughout the country, from states such as Tennessee, Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, Kentucky, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, where over 95% of the population live in exclusively English speaking homes to states like California, New Mexico, Texas, New York, Hawaii, Arizona, and New Jersey where over 25% of the population live in homes where another language is spoken.

While keeping in mind that the newly released data are estimates, and may be subject to significant revision, a comparison with 1990 census data reveals some interesting trends for the school age population. First, there appears to have been a notable growth in the proportion of school age children in homes where languages other than English are spoken. In the decade from 1990 to 2000, the population of children ages 5 to 17 living in homes where only English is spoken grew just 11%, while the number of children living in homes where other languages are spoken has increased
approximately 55%.

At the same time, the percentage of linguistic minority children reported as speaking English "Very Well" has increased as well, from 62% in 1990 to nearly 70% in 2000. According to the survey estimates, approximately 86% of children in linguistically diverse homes were reported as speaking English "Very Well" or "Well". There also appears to be a corresponding decrease in the percentage of LCD children who speak English "Not Well" or "Not at All"; from over 14% in 1990 to approximately 12% in 2000. Even though the percentage of children with difficulty in English has decreased slightly, their numbers continue to increase along with the rapid growth in linguistically diverse homes.

Of the over 9,700,000 children residing in linguistically diverse households, the increase in the number of children in Spanish speaking homes was most dramatic (60%), followed by children in Asian and Pacific language homes (49%). The number of children in homes where "Other" languages are spoken grew by 42%. Though all groups showed advances in the percentage of students speaking English "Very Well", children in Asian and Pacific language homes made the greatest gains (13% increase).

For additional information on Census Survey data, visit the U.S. Census Bureau at
http://www.census.gov,/ or the NCBE State Pages at http://www.ncbe.gwu.edu/states

Introduction to the TESOL Standards in Spanish

The introduction to the ESL standards, published as "Promising Futures" by Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. (TESOL), is now available in Spanish. This translated version helps Spanish-speaking parents understand the ESL standards and their importance to their children's education.

"Introducción: futuros prometedores: Normas de ESL para los estudiantes de Pre-K - 12" is available at: http://www.tesol.org/assoc/k12standards/resources/pf-spanish.html

The English version, "Promising Futures," is
available at:

Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE)

At http://www.ed.gov/free/ the U.S. Department of Education houses hundreds of educational resources from more than 40 federal agencies. Teachers, parents, students, and others are invited to search FREE for teaching and learning resources.  Following is a sampling of resources that may be applicable to the education of culturally and linguistically diverse learners.

"American Masters: Edward Curtis" offers an essay, timeline, and additional information about this photographer who took more than 40,000 images and recorded rare ethnographic information from over 80 American Indian tribal groups, ranging from the Eskimo and Inuit people of the far north to the Hopi people of the Southwest.

"Ancestors in the Americas," a companion website for the PBS series by the same name, explores the history and stories of Asian Americans. A timeline shows events that shaped Asian American history, and a resource section allows further exploration of the Asian American experience. The site includes guides with discussion questions for teachers and an online discussion.

Nation's Changing Diversity Mapped in Census 2000 Atlas

An atlas with 72 color maps illustrating demographic patterns and changes in population between 1990 and 2000 has been released by the Commerce Department's Census Bureau. "Mapping Census 2000: The Geography of U.S. Diversity" uses data from the Census 2000 redistricting summary files. Topics covered include total population, race and ethnicity, and population under age 18. Each map features county-level detail for the 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

"Mapping Census 2000" is available at:

http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/atlas.html.  For a print version of this product, contact the Census Bureau's Customer Services Center at (301) 763-4636.


Christopher E. Renner
Program Consultant, ESOL/Bilingual, Refugee, and Indian Education
Consolidated and Supplemental Programs
Kansas State Department of Education
120 SE 10th Ave, Topeka, Kansas 66612
Tel. 785-296-7929