California adopted the Common Core State Standards in August of last year, 2010. Here is something refreshing I read from the document regarding English Language Learners (ELLs):
ELLs bring with them many resources that enhance their education and can serve as resources for schools and society. Many ELLs have first language and literacy knowledge and skills that boost their acquisition of language and literacy in a second language; additionally, they bring an array of talents and cultural practices and perspectives that enrich our schools and society. Teachers must build on this enormous reservoir of talent and provide those students who need it with additional time and appropriate instructional support.
The National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and the Council of Chief State School Officers. (2010, June 2). Application of the Common Core State Standards for ELLs. Retrieved from http://www.corestandards.org/
As bilingual teachers, it’s good to know that we’ve known this to be very true when we teach our students, on a daily basis, in English, Spanish, Mandarin or any other target language we want them to learn in addition to their first language.