What’s in the new English Learner education law?

legislation-bannerBill H.4032 An Act relative to language opportunity for our kids (LOOK) passed in the legislature on November 15, and was signed into law by Governor Baker on November 22, 2017. Given the intense interest in the new law we are providing this quick overview to our members.

Note: This is not intended to be a complete or formal legal statutory analysis. Provisions of the law are subject to regulations and guidance created by Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Summary: View summary of the LOOK Bill

You can also read the bill online: https://malegislature.gov/Bills/190/H4032

Coalition celebrates a victory for students across Mass.

November 15, 2017

Massachusetts State HouseBOSTON – The Massachusetts Legislature tonight approved the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) bill, greatly expanding options for English learners in the Commonwealth’s public schools and creating a new Seal of Biliteracy that will help students compete in the global economy. The bill goes next to the Governor for signature. Continue reading

What is language competence?

A great discussion of the language learning process. On determining when a learner “knows” a language…

Lacking a clear line, language-learners have all manner of ad-hoc ways of describing when they finally got it. Some will say that the day they began dreaming in a language meant that they had it. But this is hazy; dreams, played in one’s own head, say little about real-world competence. Others recall the first conversation in which they did not have to struggle; this, at least, is a better rule of thumb. Others set the bar higher: only when you understand jokes do you really know the language.

The Economist: The Humble Linguist