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Parting Blow to Fair Federal Funding

According to The New York Times and The Washington Post, the Department of Justice (DOJ) is trying to do away with the disparate impact rule when it comes to federal funding approvals in the last days of the Trump administration.   The DOJ has reportedly submitted for presidential approval a change to how it enforces…

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Creating Community by Reading Aloud

The COVID-19 pandemic has unearthed so many challenges for our loved ones and our communities. In my work as a literacy advocate, I think about our children who have been so deeply affected by school closures, remote learning, and social isolation. One of the most powerful ways we can bring children together to experience a…

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Canada’s New Indigenous Language Office

The Canadian government has created an Office of the Commissioner of Indigenous Languages and is calling for applicants to fill new positions, including that of commissioner and up to three directors. Qualified candidates must have “the knowledge and understanding of Indigenous communities, cultures, and the languages and dialects associated with them, including an understanding of…

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Mexico and Spain to Promote Spanish in U.S.

The Instituto Cervantes and the Mexican government’s Cultural Diplomacy unit have begun collaborative activities for the international promotion of Spanish and its culture in 2021, following last month’s signing via videoconference of an action protocol between the two organizations. In the agreement, they committed to developing joint actions on the Spanish language (and the culture…

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Stop Overlooking English Learners

Deborah J. Short outlines a plan to invest and engage in English Learner education In the past six months, we have heard the cry “DEFUND” in varied contexts, often as a call for social justice, always engendering public controversy. But when the action is the gradual defunding of one area of education, we hear nothing:…

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Cherokee Nation Uses Covid Vaccine to Preserve Language

As the United States has begun distributing the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines against Covid-19, communities across the country have grappled with fairly and effectively administering the vaccine to vulnerable sectors of the population. For the Cherokee Nation in eastern Oklahoma, the Covid-19 vaccines aren’t merely a means of beating the virus. As the community works…

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Study Sheds Light on Passive Language Acquisition

According to a new study published in Scientific Reports, New Zealanders acquire a sort of passive understanding of Māori phonology and phonotactics, despite actively speaking little to none of the language. “Most New Zealanders do not speak Māori, yet are exposed to it throughout their lifetime,” the paper reads. “This exposure leads to a large…

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Chinese Progresses as a World Language

More than 70 countries have officially incorporated Chinese language teaching into their national education systems, including the UK, Russia, South Africa, Japan, South Korea, and Australia, according to Tian Xuejun, China’s vice minister of education. Speaking at last month’s opening ceremony of the International Chinese Language Education Week 2020, Tian said that over 4,000 colleges…

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Tamil Politicians Fear Imposition of Hindi

Politicians in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu have been raising concerns over the country’s National Education Policy, arguing that the policy could be used as a way to impose the Hindi language, according to the New Indian Express. While the policy emphasizes that instruction will be given in students’ mother tongues or the local…

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English Learner Slated to Lead U.S. Education

President-elect Joe Biden is expected to nominate Connecticut Education Commissioner Dr. Miguel A. Cardona to replace Betsy DeVos as the next Education Secretary. Cardona, whose heritage is Puerto Rican, reportedly spoke very little English when he started school, but went on to earn an MA Ed. in Bilingual Bicultural Education before moving on to educational…