However, all English-language learners must pass the English Regents exam, in English, to receive a diploma. New York state officials are concerned about the ability of two groups of English-language learners to pass the English Regents exam—students entering U.S. schools in the middle and secondary grades and those with limited or interrupted formal schooling at all grade levels. Thus the state is putting into place a comprehensive strategy to help ensure that they pass. This fourfold strategy includes: (1) a national and state search for effective program models and the dissemination of these models through a bilingual/English as a second language web site and funds to schools to help them prepare students to pass the Regents exams; (2) professional development for all teachers of English-language learners to help them integrate the English language arts standards into English as a second language and native-language arts instruction; (3) review of programs for English-language learners to ensure they are aligned with state standards, along with monitoring of school districts to ensure compliance with all regulations pertinent to English-language learners; and (4) other activities, including publications in the area of technology applications for bilingual and English-language learners, bilingual math glossaries, invitational statewide symposia on the education of adult English-language learners, and the identification and distribution of resources to provide increased after-school, weekend, and summer language arts academies for English-language learners.

Texas: Students must pass a high school exit test in reading, writing, and math (in English), taken in the 10th grade, to graduate. Governor George Bush is exploring the possibility of using the Texas assessment of academic skills (TAAS) at crucial grade levels to ensure that students have the requisite skills to proceed to the next grade level.

  • Second-language learners can display a higher level of comprehension of texts that are read in a second language when discussing or when questioned about those texts in their first language than if all the discussion or testing activity occurs in the second language.
  • Even at relatively low levels of proficiency in a second language, tasks that have been taught and practiced in that language may be performed better in the second than the first, stronger, language. This is particularly likely to be true for tasks that have relatively restricted formats, such as giving definitions, solving syllogisms, and making analogies.
  • Transfer of knowledge and of skills from a first to a second language occurs, and it accounts for the relatively stronger academic performance

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