The National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition (NCELA), which was created by Congress forty years ago to be a…clearinghouse for info on English Language Learners, appears to have reopened for business after a dramatic contracting saga that went on for a longtime, and which you can read about at Learning The Language.

They just sent out what they say will be a bimonthly email newsletter of ELL news. However, they didn’t include a link to it in the email, so there’s no way for me to direct you to it so you can check it out yourself. However, you can sign-up for it here.

I’ve got to say I have mixed feelings about their initial one. It featured a number of announcements and links to three reports.

One was from The Center On Instruction and titled Practical Guidelines for the Education of English Language Learner (ELL). I’m not sure anyone with even limited experience teaching ELLs would find much new in it, and I think there are other, more “teacher-friendly” sources that contain the same information. I might very well be too harsh, however, since I’m only commenting on the first half, while the second half of the report is on teaching mathematics, which is certainly not my specialty.

One thing I did find interesting was its description of the ELL population, though I was a little disappointed that they didn’t include direct links to their sources. Here’s what the report says:

As a group, ELLs represent one of the fastest-growing groups among the school-aged population in this nation. Estimates place the ELL population at over 9.9 million students, with roughly 5.5 million students classified as Limited English Proficient by virtue of their participation in Title III assessments of English language proficiency. In the last two decades, the population of ELLs has grown 169 percent—whereas the general school population has grown only 12 percent—and collectively speaks over 400 different languages, with Spanish being the most common (i.e., spoken by 70 percent of ELLs). By 2015, it is projected that 30 percent of the school-aged population in the U.S. will be ELLs. The largest and fastest-growing populations of ELLs in the U.S. consist of students who immigrated before kindergarten and U.S.-born children of immigrants.

They plan to publish two more books in a series, so maybe those will be better. Here are those projected titles:

Book 2: Research-based Recommendations for Serving Adolescent Newcomers
Book 3: Research-based Recommendations for the Use of Accommodations in Large-scale Assessments

I also didn’t find another report NCELA shared, Eight Essential Shifts for Teaching Common Core Standards to Academic English Learners, particularly helpful.

However, I did really like a third report they shared titled English Language Learners: A growing—yet underserved—student population. It’s from the Education Commission of the States, and probably provides the best, and most up-to-date, summary of ELL statistics I’ve seen anywhere.

I’m adding this info to The Best Ways To Keep-Up With Current ELL/ESL/EFL News & Research.

And let me know if you agree, or disagree, with my assessment of the resources….