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Language Resources in Chicago

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Do you know a resource where people in Chicago can find help in their own language? Let's start a list!

1.Osco offers aid in 120 languages at its prescription
desk.
2.Terminal 3 at O'Hare Airport has a touch-screen kiosk
with travel information in English,Arabic,Chinese,
French, German,Japanese and Spanish.
3.LOWES now offers assistance in several languages.
4.Find out about the Chicago Public Schools' Dept. of
Libraries resources for Spanish children's literature
and literature in English about Latinos. http://cpslibraries.wikispaces.com/Spanish+Language+Literature+-+S.A.L.S.A.
5.Find out about Latino Educators at
http://www.latinoeducators.com/

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Change in ELL Exit Criteria Approved at Oct. 09 ISBE Meeting

On October 30, 2009, the Illinois State Board of Education approved the following exit criteria for English Language Learners (ELLs):

Effective January 1, 2010, modification of the cut-score for ACCESS for ELLs will be from a composite score of 4.0 to a composite score of 4.8 with a 4.2 literacy (reading and writing) score.

The Illinois Advisory Council for Bilingual Education, among other groups, had also endorsed this proposed change in Council meetings held earlier this year.

Rationale for the change included the following as written in ISBE's report:

Raising the ACCESS cut score will help ensure that, under Article 14C of the School Code, students remain eligible to receive bilingual education until they acquire the English language skills needed to participate fully in a general education classroom. Although many districts currently employ exit criteria in addition to an ACCESS cut-score, the recommended cut score is a higher ACCESS score than what is currently used by most districts in the state.

Moreover, the proposed rule change referenced above, establishing a uniform exit criteria, will meet the U.S. Department of Education's requirement under Title I to have one State definition of LEP for the purposes of calculating AYP.

Additional points raised in favor of this policy included that:

- The revised cut score better ensure that students remain
eligible to receive language support services needed to fully
access the academic curriculum until they acquire the English
language skills needed to participate fully in a general
education classroom; and,
- The revised cut score will more closely align the definition
of English language proficient and the LEP exit criteria with
the English language skills needed to meet or exceed State
standards on the ISAT and PSAE;

This information is contained on pages 16 to 19 of the ISBE's Education Policy Planning Committee of the Whole packet which can be found at http://www.isbe.net/board/meetings/2009/oct/EPPC.pdf.

Public comment sought on other proposed rule changes to affect ELLs - proposed expansion of bilingual/ESL services to pre-school ELLs:

At the same ISBE meeting, a number of proposed changes to the administrative rules governing bilingual/ESL programs were also announced. Though there were a number of changes proposed, the most significant of the proposed changes included specific reference of pre-school ELLs to be eligible for bilingual/ESL services. Proposed changes include identification of pre-school students; initial language screening; types of instructional programs (for instance, TBE versus TPI) and the requirements for teacher personnel to serve these pre-school students. The proposed changes are to go into effect July 1, 2014.

Multilingual Chicago strongly encourages the multilingual community to write comments to ISBE during the next two months; comments are due to ISBE no later than February 15, 2010. Public comment may be submitted either via e-mail (addressed to rules@isbe.net) or via standard mail (addressed to Sally Vogl, Agency Rules Coordinator, ISBE, 100 North First Street - S-493, Springfield, Illinois 62777-0001). For additional information, and to access the specific rule changes, please go to the following website: http://www.isbe.net/rules/proposed/default.htm and look for "Proposed Amendments to Part 228 (Transitional Bilingual Education)".