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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   January 09, 2015


Obama administration reminds schools that English language learners must be treated equally
The Huffington Post
The Department of Justice and Education released guidance on how states and local school districts should deal with the nearly 5 million public school students who are learning English. The new guidance is the first time in decades that the department has put out clarified guidelines on English language learner students. It aims to help schools understand how to best navigate serving these students, and was released along with a toolkit to help districts identify the children who need help with English.
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What we talk about when we talk about best practices: CBI and multiple instructional approaches
By: Debra Josephson Abrams
Previously, we examined the elements that comprise a best practices-based curriculum, types of curriculum, and methods and approaches for teaching in a best practices-based curriculum. In this article, we look at content-based instruction, project- and problem-based instruction, and service learning (community-engaged learning) to help teachers and program administrators familiarize themselves with the options available for actively involving students in their learning.
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Become a TESOL/CAEP Program reviewer
Increase your professional expertise and help advance the field by becoming a TESOL/CAEP program reviewer! Apply today! Deadline extended: 12 Jan 2015.

Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program
PP100: Foundation Course
19 January – 1 March 2015
Develop the skills you need to effectively teach English language courses online or blend online segments with your traditional face-to-face courses. The foundation course (PP100) introduces participants to the major design parameters of online courses. Hurry – registration closes 14 January.

TESOL Online Course: Grammar 1. Phrasal Structures
2 February – 1 March 2015
Learn how to define the basic grammatical terms, identify grammatical structures within sentences, and explain the structure of noun and verb phrases and the functions of the English verb tenses. Explore ways to incorporate communicative practice into your teaching plans and write teaching plans for grammar points. Limited space is available. Thank you to TESOL's Grammar Partner, Oxford University Press.

TESOL Virtual Seminar: Closing the Achievement Gap for Long-Term English Learners
28 January 2015; FREE for TESOL members, US$45 for nonmembers

K-12 Dream Day in Toronto, Ontario Canada
A full day of interactive training designed to equip attendees with new strategies and resources for working with ELLs. The day features 20 workshops, a keynote address from Dr. Jim Cummins, and STEM panel discussion. Early registration and group discounts end 15 January.

NEW: Adult Ed Day in Toronto, Ontario Canada
This brand-new, one-of-a-kind event is designed exclusively for adult education instructors and administrators as well as volunteers working in adult education programs. Participants will choose from 20 workshops, hear a keynote address from Dr. Jim Cummins, and enjoy an afternoon panel discussion on immigration policy. Early registration and group discounts end 15 January.

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

Education Technologist, EC English Language Centers, USA

ESL Instructor, Koc University, Turkey

English as a Second Language Assistant Professor, Contra Costa Community College District, USA

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

What should we expect from the 114th Congress?
Education Week
Welcome to the 114th Congress! Recently, lawmakers gathered on Capitol Hill for the start of the new legislative session, one which we at Politics K-12 hope will be exciting on the education policy front. Republican leaders in both chambers have highlighted immigration, the Keystone pipeline, and a veterans' jobs bill as early priorities. But our hope for a busy education calendar is bolstered by the education committee chairman, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., who has signaled his intention to send a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to through committee by Valentine's Day.
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Quality education reform starts in the states
The Hill
Conservatives and liberals alike may rejoice at the notion that 2015 brings with it a chance to revamp the controversial 2001 No Child Left Behind Act. Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) will be the new chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and has said that his top priority is a revision of NCLB. Alexander is on the right track. The top issue facing our country is the education of our children, and it's clear that however well intentioned NCLB was, it's not producing the desired effects. To improve America's schools we need to first work on the people issues: teaching, leadership and governance. But we need to do so at the statehouse, not in Washington, D.C.
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Surveying the Common Core chatter: How will the standards fare in 2015?
Education Week
If you're closely watching how the Common Core State Standards fare in states this year, there's been plenty of coverage and commentary about the standards for you to enjoy at the start of 2015. Discussions about the fate of the English/language arts and math standards have in some cases begun to resemble those around the stock market: Was last year's turbulence around the common core a small market correction that will leave its long-term trajectory largely unharmed?
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Lifelong learning: Inspiring the quest for knowledge (By: Erick Herrmann)
Should teachers be judged on student performance? (Education Week)
Poor English due to learning anxiety? (New Straits Times)
Immigration reform 2014: How Obama's executive action benefits undocumented students (EdCentral)
Can preschool children be taught a second language? (Earlychildhood News)

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

In San Jose, using Common Core to turn English learners into leaders
New America Media
For high school English teacher Juddson Taube, California’s shift to the Common Core has meant that he no longer feels like a "salesman" in his class. "Selling kids on whole novels is tough, it’s actually hard to get kids to engage in the content and read whole books," said Taube, 33. "At best, 50 percent of the kids were reading the whole novel." In the past, Taube instructed his class — most of whom don't speak English as a first language — with classic works like Fahrenheit 451, the Great Gatsby or Catcher in the Rye, to name a few. The last two tended to be more popular with the students, but since the move to Common Core many of these have been replaced with non-fiction essays and even on-line clips from news and social media sites.
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Nigel Farage pledges to submit foreign NHS workers to more English language tests
International Business Times
United Kingdom: Ukip leader Nigel Farage has pledged that the party would rid the NHS of workers who can't speak English, and subject all 130,000 foreign NHS workers to language tests. Despite the NHS requiring all foreign-born NHS staff to pass tests in English. In an interview with Sky News, he described it as "scandalous" that the U.K. was not training enough doctors and nurses to fill NHS roles. "Don't we want to live in a country where we speak the same language and isn't it scandalous that we are not training enough nurses and doctors in our own country?" said Farage.
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Study finds reading to children of all ages grooms them to read more on their own
The New York Times
Cue the hand-wringing about digital distraction: Fewer children are reading books frequently for fun, according to a new report by Scholastic, the children's book publisher. In a 2014 survey of just over 1,000 children ages 6 to 17, only 31 percent said they read a book for fun almost daily, down from 37 percent four years ago. There were some consistent patterns among the heavier readers: For the younger children — ages 6 to 11 — being read aloud to regularly and having restricted online time were correlated with frequent reading; for the older children — ages 12 to 17 — one of the largest predictors was whether they had time to read on their own during the school day.
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Strategies for getting and keeping the brain's attention
The human brain has an amazing capacity to wield a potent cognitive strategy: selective attention. When we consciously focus our attention on something, we bring the power of the prefrontal cortex to this endeavor. By honing our ability to focus attention at will, we can more effectively screen out two types of distractions: input through our sensory organs and our emotional responses.
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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 or contact us at

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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