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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Jan. 4, 2013

K-12 aid faces uncertain future, despite 'fiscal cliff' deal
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education programs will be spared the prospect of the largest across-the-board cuts in history, but only temporarily, under a bill to avert much of the so-called "fiscal cliff," overwhelmingly approved by Congress. The measure, which passed the U.S. Senate 89-8 and the U.S. House 257-167, will delay the trigger cuts known as "sequestration," which have been set to hit just about every government agency — including the U.S. Department of Education — on Jan. 2. Under the deal, the cuts will be postponed until March, giving federal lawmakers time to craft a broader budget agreement. The deal was worked out at the 11th hour by Vice President Joe Biden and Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., the Senate minority leader. More

The year in education — a look back at 2012
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 2012, new teacher-evaluation systems and merit pay spread across the country. Technology continued to transform classrooms, and presidential candidates made education an unexpected focus on the campaign trail. Yet widespread problems in America's education system persisted, and the nation remained behind much of the international competition. At The Hechinger Report, we traveled from coast to coast to examine new approaches to improving U.S. schools and to answer important questions about what's working and what isn't. More
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Evaluations bring stress to teachers, principals
The Associated Press via Education Week Teacher    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One by one the squares on the board in Principal Brett Gruetzmacher's office are being filled, each one marking another step in the long march of teacher evaluations. As the process rolls on, another magnet goes up beside the name of one of the 81 teachers and staff Tecumseh Jr. High School administrators in Lafayette, Ind., have been tasked with evaluating this year. Each magnet denotes the date and time of a classroom observation or one-on-one meeting between an administrator and a teacher. More

Do you feel confident discussing grammar in the classroom?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
These two online courses, Grammar Course 1: Phrasal Structures and Grammar Course 2: Multiclause Structures, will help you develop the confidence you need to discuss grammar with your students and give you the tools you need to prepare grammar lessons. The courses run simultaneously from Monday, 4 February until Sunday, 3 March 2013. The registration deadline is 25 January 2013. Please visit the links above to register. Send questions to and put "Grammar" in the subject line.

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TESOL Quarterly call for 2014 special-issue abstracts
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The TESOL Quarterly 2014 special-topic issue is titled "K–12 Standards-Based Educational Reform: Implications for Immigrant and Indigenous English Language Learner Populations." Abstracts are due 1 April 2013. For more information, please read the call for abstracts.

The Electronic Village Online 2013 — call for participation
The Electronic Village Online via TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Electronic Village Online 2013 is a virtual extension of the TESOL 2013 Convention in Dallas in which educators around the globe will have the chance to enhance their professional development, network, collaborate, share and learn with like-minded professionals in wonderful online sessions that were carefully designed by our moderators. You do not need to be a TESOL member to participate in a FREE, 5-week, online session, 14 January–17 February 2013. Registration begins 7 January 2013. Join our mailing list to receive reminders and the latest news. More

World Class: Be the Solution

In our TESOL/TFL programs, you’ll learn the world’s most important skills from our instructors: bringing people together through the power of a new language. MORE

Classroom Teaching Ambassador Fellowship
USA JOBS via TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Applications for two U.S. Department of Education Fellowships are now available. Deadline is 29 January 2013. Fellows start their 1-year assignments by August 2013. TESOL professionals are all encouraged to apply for these prestigious honors. More information can be found using these links: Washington Fellows and Classroom Fellows.

Federal effort aims to transform learning technologies
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Can online graphic novels help teenagers cope with difficult social situations? Are 3-D technologies a tool for helping English learners acquire language skills outside traditional educational settings? And what about the potential for mobile apps that let students manipulate on-screen images with their fingers to help them learn fractions? A federal program, still in its infancy, is supporting research that seeks to answer these and other questions by wedding partners that often operate in isolation — educational technology and scientific research on learning — with the goal of transforming teaching and learning in schools. More

National education reform: School choice equals opportunities for Hispanics
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Latino population is one of many groups affected by a national education reform. One of the most discussed programs is that of school choice, which varies from state to state and offers families the opportunity to choose a school for their children other than the one assigned by geographic default. Take for instance in Indiana, where a private-school choice program has more than 9,300 students involved. More

Commission recommends core changes in education
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Among a slate of recommendations from the New York Education Reform Commission are the following: Forcing teachers to pass a kind of bar exam, like the ones aspiring lawyers and doctors must sit for. Extending the number of hours and days students must spend in school, to break with academic calendars formed in an agrarian age. Consolidating school districts; making schools a hub for health care and social services; and giving 4-year-olds in the state's poorest areas access to full-day prekindergarten. More

Utah graduation rates improve in 2012; performance gap remains
Deseret News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Utah's high school graduation rate continues to climb, according to new year-end data released by the Utah State Office of Education. The rates increased for every racial and demographic group, with the exception of black students, who stayed level at 61 percent. Asian and Hispanic students saw the greatest gains, increasing 5 percent to 77 percent and 62 percent, respectively. Low-income students, English language learners and students with disabilities also saw increases, according to the report. More

Schools embrace graphic novels as learning tool
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In honors English class at Alan B. Shepard High School in Palos Heights, Ill., sophomores are analyzing Truman Capote's "In Cold Blood" with the help of another book filled with drawings and dialogue that appears in bubbles above characters' heads. "Capote in Kansas" is what generations of kids would recognize as a comic book, though it has a fancier name — a graphic novel. More

Teaching English to Young Learners?

Come to Cal State San Bernardino for a one-month, intensive TESOL Teacher Training Program, with a focus on teachers of young learners ages 2-8. The program includes visits to local elementary schools for practical application of the content studied in workshops taught by TESOL experts. MORE

Hispanic children aren't underachievers; we're just under-believers
The Tennessean    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Judging by news coverage of the nation's fastest growing ethnic minority, you'd think that "the Hispanic condition" was a pathology. With the exception of growing power in the voting booth, the news makes it seem as though we're all poor, sick and generally unable to cope with life as well as others do. There are simply too many examples of the negativity that seem to drive reporting on — and perceptions of — the health and economic well-being of Hispanics to list here. But let me illustrate my point with some recent coverage surrounding Latino learners. More

A video game to improve your English
Times of Malta    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An innovative video game called Trace Effects.3D has been launched to help students aged 12 to 16 learn English and about American culture. Through the game, students explore American culture through puzzles, activities and adventures in an interactive world. They embark on a virtual journey through the U.S., traveling to Kansas, New Orleans, the Grand Canyon, New York City, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. It is also available in DVD format for teachers and learners. More

How 8 top US universities fare in minority graduation rates
National Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's well-known that the United States is home to many world-class colleges and universities. A recent Huffington Post story featured the world's top 10 universities, of which eight are on U.S. soil. Here is a racial and ethnic breakdown of 2011 graduation rates of the top eight universities in the U.S. on that top 10 list. The figures represent the rates of those who obtained an undergraduate degree within six years. Student body figures are for fall 2011. More

Professor champions video gaming as valuable teaching tool for parents, teachers
Arizona State University via    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The stereotype of young people isolating themselves by hunching in front of a video game screen is often far from the truth, says Elisabeth Hayes, recently appointed the Delbert & Jewell Lewis Chair in Reading & Literacy at Arizona State University. Video gaming has become a social activity shared with other players that can lead to better communication skills and the development of sophisticated technical skills. More

Exciting Career Opportunities at ELS

ELS supports its teachers. Learn about the joint ELS/Adelphi University Masters of TESOL program, providing opportunities for teachers to earn advanced teaching degrees. MORE

Hispanics, administration set sights on next immigration fight
National Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Like everyone else, the Hispanic community breathed a sigh of relief when the House passed legislation to avert a tax increase for households making less than $450,000. Latinos are now bracing for the next stage of the fight on spending, hoping to protect government investments in workers, education and infrastructure. But that doesn't mean Hispanics have forgotten about immigration, the issue that brought them to the forefront of politics and is expected to take center stage this year if President Barack Obama gets his way. More

Ideas for English language learners — Labeling photos, sequencing passages and more
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Each month, Larry Ferlazzo, a teacher and edublogger, offers ideas for using recent Times articles, photographs and videos to engage English language learners — or any students for whom The New York Times can be challenging. In this article are a picture-labeling activity to build vocabulary; a video-making challenge inspired by a Times piece about a piano; a sequencing exercise for understanding complex passages; and, finally, a "noisy, fun and rambunctious learning game well worth the organized chaos that ensues." More

Improving Educational Outcomes for English Learners in the Middle Grades

CREATE’s focused program of research is designed to address the critical challenge of improving the educational outcomes of English learners in middle grades content area classes. Visit CREATE’s website to download CREATE briefs and materials from past CREATE conferences. Learn More

Budget cuts in adult education hurt Hispanics' chances to learn English
VOXXI    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State budgets continue to get slashed nationwide, especially for adult education, leaving more Hispanics with decreased opportunities for taking English as a second language classes. "That's a problem you’re seeing in states like California that are so cash-strapped in all types of public education," Migration Policy Institute Policy Analyst Sarah Hooker told VOXXI. More

Why STEM education and minority achievement gaps are interlinked
Voxxi    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Economists agree — science, technology, engineering and math education is critical to the future success of the United States. Yet even at the K-12 level, these subjects are not being given the emphasis they deserve. According to a Huffington Post blog by Stephen M. Coan, president of the Sea Research Foundation, early education has focused primarily on reading and basic math, ignoring the importance of advanced STEM education. More

Professional Development:
Prestigious Fellowships Abroad

With teacher and teacher development opportunities in over 80 countries, the EL Fellow Program is currently accepting applications from TESOL professionals for overseas positions worldwide.

Babies begin learning language while in womb
The Times of India    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India: Unborn babies listen to their mothers talk during the last 10 weeks of pregnancy and at birth can demonstrate what they've heard, researchers say. Babies only hours old are able to differentiate between sounds from their native language and a foreign language, scientists have discovered. The study indicates that babies begin absorbing language while still in the womb, earlier than previously thought. More

US Education Department offers tools for evaluating education technology
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education technology, to state the obvious, is everywhere. But how can school officials judge the effectiveness of the myriad tools and products being marketed to them, and their usefulness in terms of meeting the particular needs of teachers and students? The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Educational Technology has released a draft report, "Expanding Evidence Approaches for Learning in a Digital World," designed to offer the education community some guidance for navigating the crowded tech landscape. More

Put Your Passion Into Practice

Teach with a purpose. SIT students learn to teach language for social change, advocacy, education, and empowerment. Graduates are working around the world for social justice through teaching. MORE

5 fun ways to learn a new language
Mashable    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For many of us, the start of the new year is the time we often dust off our language dictionaries and workbooks and resolve to learn a new language. We conjure up dreams of communicating seamlessly with locals during our next trip and impressing our friends with newfound skills. But most of the time, as we get caught up in work and life, our plans get shelved along with our books. But the truth is, learning a language shouldn't be a chore. After all, reading, listening and chatting with others are all great, enjoyable activities and learning should be, too. And it also can be easy — if you approach it in a fresh way. So put down the books, and try one of these other ways of learning a new language. You'll have the basics down pat before your next trip. More

How to avoid embarrassing foreign language faux pas
The Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Most language learners have stories of accidentally using a word that may sound the same in English and the target language, but differs greatly in meaning. These are linguistic cases called "false friends." As a language learner, there's really no strategic way of identifying false friends, since they exist mostly out of coincidence and without set patterns. More

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Linguists online: Technology is starting to change language learning
The Economist    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The teacher who corrects your correspondent's awful Mandarin is soft-spoken, authoritative and far away. Thanks to Skype, you can have face-to-face lessons with native speakers of more or less any language without stirring from your chair. Technology may one day make language-learning redundant; meanwhile, it makes it easier. More

Innovation in education: Teachers as learners
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In mid-summer of 2012, Bill Donius, author of "Thought Revolution: How to Unlock Your Inner Genius," was invited to bring his methodology on innovation to a group of gifted teachers meeting in a classroom at the World Chess Hall of Fame in St. Louis. The program, underwritten by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, was sponsored by an entity known as CoLab. To Donuis' delight, he discovered that CoLab was way ahead of the curve with a long history of bringing innovative teaching and learning styles into classrooms across America. Donius believes this story is worth sharing in light of the current controversy about how to improve the American educational system. Below is an interview with Dr. Ralph Cordova, a CoLab teacher-leader who hosted 40 St. Louis teachers this past summer. More

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 for an in-depth look at LAS Links Online.

How to get parent support for technology use in class
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Every teacher who has attempted to integrate technology into the classroom knows that getting parents on board can sometimes be a challenge. It's not uncommon for the parent of a struggling child to be on the phone with you asking questions like: "Why do you need to use technology to teach math/social studies/English/biology?" or "This is an AP history class — not computer science!" More

How to promote literacy skills in the digital age
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Digital apps that claim to teach children important reading and literacy skills do not always impart higher-level abilities that children need to develop strong reading skills, according to a report from the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. Most of the skills these apps target are very basic, and parents and educators often do not have in-depth — or any — knowledge of how the apps work or if they work at all, claims the report, "Pioneering Literacy in the Digital Wild West." More

Opinion: On the teaching of English
The Malaysian Insider    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Malaysia:Graduate student and writer Khairie Hisyam Aliman writes, "Declining English proficiency standards among our students has been a major concern for years and apparently we are now keen on bringing in English teachers from India to address the issue. At first I thought I had stumbled onto a satire piece, but a quick check confirmed that I was reading a valid news report from a reliable news portal. Importing English teachers from India will not solve this problem, because it is yet another short-sighted quick fix that superficially attempts to cure deep-rooted problems in our English education system." More

2013 Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program: Register today!

Project-Based Learning: Freedom and Excitement in the Classroom
(TESOL Virtual Seminar) 11 January 2013

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

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Teach Academic English in Chinese High Schools, International Academic Alliance, China

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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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