Monthly Archives: May 2020

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Chimpanzee Lip-Smacks help Trace Evolution of Language

Chimpanzees produce lip-smacks at a speech-like rhythm of open-close mouth cycles, suggesting that speech-rhythm was built upon existing primate signal systems Chimpanzees grooming each other Credit: Catherine Hobaiter In the paper ‘Chimpanzee lip-smacks confirm primate continuity for speech-rhythm evolution’, published in Biology Letters, a consortium of UK-based researchers have found that the rhythm of chimpanzee…

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Feds Lay Out Rules for English Learners during Closures

The U.S. Department of Education has issued a factsheet clarifying states’ responsibilities to English learners (ELs) and their parents during the extended school closures: Annual ELP Assessment — If a state educational agency (SEA) cannot administer English language proficiency (ELP) assessments in spring 2020 due to COVID-related school closures, the requirement will be waived, but…

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Lorena McElwain to Run Federal English Language Office

Lorena Orozco McElwain has been appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary, Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA), U.S. Department of Education by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. Prior to joining the federal government, McElwain was as an ESL/Spanish/Italian instructor, translator, interpreter, and assessed language proficiency using the State Department’s language proficiency scale. She was also a bilingual educator…

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Support Native Language Center to Help Fight COVID-19

Ethnic flag of the the Diné (Navajo) Nation where COVID-19 has spread rapidly Senator Brian Schatz (D-HI) is calling for the inclusion of a provision in the next coronavirus relief bill to establish a Native American Language Resource Center (NALRC) to support Native American language education schools and programs hit hard by COVID-19. The proposed…

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Teach For America Moves Summer Institute Online

Teach for America is largely known for its Summer Training Institute, and this year the nonprofit is preparing to move its program online. Running June 11 to July 10, the full network of incoming corps members will participate in a virtual summer training program together. The institute will include members of 2,500 schools and 350…

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Aggressive Language Tweets Rise in Spanish Lockdown

Study of Twitter language reveals antipathy to Spanish governmental decisions Aggressive language on Twitter in Spain has grown during the lockdown, according to a study conducted by researchers from Valencia’s Polytechnic University (UPV), based on over 5,000 tweeted reactions to government announcements on the coronavirus. The study also found that Spaniards want less hierarchical distance,…

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Teachers Union Releases Plan for Reopening Schools

The American Federation of Teachers, the 1.7-million member teachers union has released a plan for how and when schools should safely reopen. The 20-page document, which union president Randi Weingarten said would evolve as the status of the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, includes five major recommendations: Maintaining physical distancing until the number of new cases declines…

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Nahuatl Folktales Translated into English

The Latino Book Review has released a free online archive of English translations of Nahuatl folktales. The stories were translated to English from the native Nahuatl folktales collected by Pablo González Casanova in Cuentos Indígenas, which was published by the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM). Cuentos Indígenas, which was originally published in 1946, features…