Several weeks ago, Carter wrote a great post on dual-immersion programs, specifically Chinese immersion programs in Utah. That post, combined with another interesting article on research in bilingual education, prompted me to learn some more about dual-immersion programs in the United States, and I found some interesting things. Read more »
My dad looked like the proudest grandpa in the world as he told my mom and me about spending the afternoon with my seven-year-old niece. He told us about how she had completely wowed him by teaching him something new about orca whales— specifically, the methods they use to hunt. “I just don’t know how she knew all of that,” my dad said. And then my mom revealed the secret to my niece’s whale knowledge: my sister had assigned her children book reports over the summer to keep them school-ready for the coming year. As a seven-year-old, I probably would have considered this idea cruel and unusual punishment. As an adult and education advocate, all I could think was, “My sister is a genius!”
And my niece isn’t the only proof that summer reading programs are working. School Library Journal recently released some interesting results about the proven effects of summer reading.
You may have noticed that some students seem to lose academic ground over the summer break. Well, you’re right. This phenomenon, sometimes referred to as the “summer slide,” can indeed affect student achievement levels in the fall. In fact, some students lose up to three months of reading achievement over the course of one summer.
But while you may already be familiar with the affect summer sliding can have on student achievement levels, have you ever wondered how to stave off those summer learning losses?
In a recent study in the Elementary School Journal, one researcher asked if the right kind of vocabulary instruction could be equally as effective for English learners as it is for native English speakers. Her study shows a surprising result: English learners actually acquired vocabulary more quickly than their classmates did.
The study, conducted by Rebecca Deffes Silverman while at Harvard University, shows that the right type of vocabulary instruction makes a big difference for early childhood education students. According to previous studies, vocabulary is not only “the primary determinant of future reading comprehension,” but also the “single most encountered obstacle” for English learners. But that didn’t deter any English learners in the five Kindergarten classes that Silverman studied. Read more »