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Parents divided over language policy
AllAfrica.com
Kenya: The Ministry of Education recently made public a policy that will see lower primary children learn their school work in the mother tongue. The Sessional paper 14 of 2012 requires teachers to teach children below eight years in the language of the catchment area. However, the policy has elicited different reactions from stakeholders in education, with Kenya National Teachers Union chairman Mudzo Nzili saying the policy is against the aims of education.
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The importance of guided practice in the classroom
By Erick Herrmann
From our life experiences, we all know the importance of practice in order to get better at something. Consider something you do well: a sport, an activity, a skill. How did you learn to do it? How did you get better at it, or master it? There is an old saying we are all familiar with: Practice makes perfect. In the classroom, students must practice the skills we are teaching for it to become internalized. It is important for us as educators, then, to not only provide opportunities for students to practice, but to practice correctly.
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Fluency in a second language: Should it be part of college and career readiness?
Education Week
Among a slew of ideas tucked into a new proposal about what the next generation of federal school accountability should be (courtesy of 15 large-district superintendents), was this morsel: "Ability and fluency in more than one language." Sí, es cierto. You read that correctly. A group of school leaders from 15 large, countywide or suburban school systems have made it clear that they believe any revamped federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act should broaden the notion of what constitutes college- and career-ready expectations to include the acquisition of a second language.
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Advocating for English Learners: Sharing the Responsibility and the Joy

This virtual seminar takes place 26 February 2014, 10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m. ET. Learn practical strategies to help build English learner advocacy skills and develop a plan and explore tools to collaborate with others to advocate for ELs. Join Diane Staehr Fenner, author of Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for Educators and president of DSF Consulting, for this informative and eye-opening virtual seminar. Register online by 23 February.

Prepare your program for NCATE/CAEP recognition

Is your institution preparing for NCATE/CAEP recognition? If so, don't miss TESOL's workshop Preparing Your TESOL P-12 Teacher Education Program for NCATE/CAEP National Recognition prior to the start of the 2014 International Convention and English Language Expo on 26 March 2014, in Portland, Oregon, USA. Experts present an overview of the revised TESOL/NCATE standards and advise faculty and staff on how to prepare their institution for compiling a TESOL program report. Special feature: add on a private, 1-hour consultation.

Pre- and Postconvention Institutes

Planning to arrive to the TESOL 2014 convention early? Sticking around town afterwards? Make the most of your stay by attending Pre- and Postconvention Institutes. PCIs offer in-depth, hands-on professional development. Topics for 2014 include content-based instruction, computer-assisted language learning, pronunciation, writing, materials development, and much more. Register today!

For more TESOL education programs, please visit the TESOL website.


SHOWCASE
  LAS Links Assessments Go Online

Identify the needs of your English Language Learners with an automated, time-saving assessment tool in speaking, listening, and reading. LAS Links Online™ is designed to strengthen your English Language Development Program and provides research-based results to support your instructional decisions.
Visit CTB.com/LASLinksOnlineDemos for an in-depth look at LAS Links Online.
 




Director, International Admissions and Recruiting, Kansas State University, USA

Department of Second Language Studies ESL Lecturer, Intensive English Program, Indiana University, USA

Director English Language Support Programs, Emory University, USA

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.


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Fluency in a second language: Should it be part of college and career readiness?
Education Week
Among a slew of ideas tucked into a new proposal about what the next generation of federal school accountability should be (courtesy of 15 large-district superintendents), was this morsel: "Ability and fluency in more than one language." Sí, es cierto. You read that correctly.

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Los Angeles schools' plan for non-English speakers: Segregation or solution?
The Christian Science Monitor
Los Angeles schools are moving forward with a plan to separate English language learner students from native speakers in all core elementary school classes. Protests have erupted.

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US experts to train Saudis in English language teaching
Arab News
Saudi Arabia: The Ministry of Education has invited specialists from Columbia University in the United States to train Saudi teachers on methods of teaching the English language.

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Is school funding fair? States may be failing needy students
eSchool News
The stimulus package that provided funding for states as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act may have done more harm than good, suggests a new report. Instead of continuing to invest in crucial parts of education post-stimulus, many states have sacrificed fair school funding. During the beginning of the U.S. economy's recession in 2008, the federal government created a stimulus package to support public schools and prevent major layoffs and cuts in essential programs and services through the ARRA.
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Spate of GOP bills take aim at Common Core
Education Week
Add yet another anti-Common Core bill from Congress to your tally. Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C., a moderate who is facing a tough primary challenge, has introduced a resolution that makes it clear education is a state issue, and that the U.S. Secretary of Education should not coerce states into adopting common education standards. The resolution — introduced Feb. 5 — also states that the federal government shouldn't give states who adopt Common Core an edge in any future grant competitions.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Literacy and Language Intervention Resources

Dr. Margarita Calderon’s RIGOR combines language-leveled informational texts with comprehensive literacy instruction to support language development for older newcomers and ELs reading at primary levels. K-8 Comprehension Skill Bags include nonfiction books and instructional resources needed to teach targeted skills. Both series are available in English or Spanish. FREE sampler.
 




Efforts for students with limited English language skills discussed
Wilkes Journal-Patriot
Efforts to help students with limited English proficiency learn English language skills were discussed during the Wilkes Board of Education meeting Monday night. This area of learning in the Wilkes schools was addressed as part of a report on the Assessing Comprehension and Communication in English State-to-State for English Language Learners test. Dr. Joe Bullis, English as a second language and Titles III and I director for the Wilkes schools, said combined ACCESS scores of English language learners in the school system in 2012-13 didn’t meet expected progress but did meet measurable achievement objectives for their sub-group and overall proficiency standards.
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Rochester officials find encouragement in education gap data
Post-Bulletin
Rochester Public Schools still has work to do to close the achievement gap, according to new numbers released by the Minnesota Department of Education that give districts a target. The district fell short of math proficiency targets in five of eight subgroups. The targets were set for each subgroup, including students of color, low-income student, special education students and English language learners, as steps toward the goal of closing all achievement gaps by half in 2017.
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English university budgets slashed, heads 'rebuked' over pay
University world news
United Kingdom: Universities and other higher education institutions in England face further heavy cuts in direct support from the U.K. government — with the cuts continuing after the next general election, due in May 2015. And the government says it is concerned at the upward drift of salaries for vice-chancellors and other top posts and has urged "restraint." The academics' trade union described the government's intervention as a "rebuke" for vice-chancellors. The body that allocates funding to individual universities, the Higher Education Funding Council for England, or HEFCE, was told on 10 February that it would have less to distribute not only in 2014-2015 but also in 2015-2016.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    States weigh how to revamp surveys to identify potential English learners (Education Week)
English is no longer the first language for the majority of pupils at 1 in 9 schools (Daily Mail)
Scientists map what your brain looks like on English (TIME)
Adjusting to US culture, social norms a struggle for some Ohio State international students (The Lantern)
British council imparts English training to Mumbai teachers (The Times of India)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


Online learning comes of age
University World News
Distance learning, not least the online version, has always been known for plenty of hype, a lot of growth and not much data. Even in the United States, where online higher education has boomed over the past decade, there were no comprehensive enrollment numbers. In an attempt to address the gap, private outfits such as Sloan-C and Eduventures made do with special surveys and clever estimates. Confirmation that online higher education has paid its dues and is here to stay, is the recent inclusion of distance learning data in the US federal government's IPEDS — Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System — database.
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Research suggests professional development delivers better student scores
THE Journal
When teachers participate in professional development, students do better in assessments. That's the conclusion of a study undertaken by researchers at the University of Utah and Brigham Young University. In "Multi-State, Quasi-Experimental Study of the Impact of Internet-Based, On-Demand Professional Learning on Student Performance," the researchers examined math and reading scores for students before and after teachers in their schools began using a commercially available online professional development program.
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Teachers have mixed feelings on using social media in classrooms
Denver Business Journal
Just 18 percent of U.S. school teachers use social media to connect with students and parents, and only a quarter of teachers report they would like to make it part of their lesson plans, according to a recent survey. That’s largely because many of those surveyed expressed concern about using social media as an education tool, seeing it as a place that can invite inappropriate behavior. The online survey — conducted by Rochester, N.Y.-based Harris Interactive Inc., a market research firm — asked 1,000 full-time K-12 teachers about using social media in their classrooms.
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The TESOL English Language Bulletin is presented as a service to members of TESOL International Association and other English language teaching professionals. For information about TESOL member benefits, visit www.tesol.org or contact us at membership@tesol.org.

TESOL English Language Bulletin is a digest of the most important news selected for TESOL International Association from thousands of sources by the editors of MultiBriefs, an independent organization that also manages and sells advertising. TESOL International Association does not endorse any of the advertised products and services. Opinions expressed in the articles are those of the author and not of TESOL.

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