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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Jan. 14, 2014

 





Let's take English seriously
Times of Malta
Malta: The Constitution is almost 50 years old and will be at the heart of forthcoming celebrations of its creation, along with many other anniversaries that fall during 2014. That far back, the top legal instrument in the country recognized the bilingual nature of Maltese society as it had developed under British rule. The Maltese language was given pride of place but English was set only half a step back as the second official language.
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No lack of ideas on a course of action for English education
The Japan Times
Japan: The Learning Curve column, "English fluency hopes rest on an education overhaul," looked at the persistent mismatch between the education ministry's stated goals and the actual outcomes of English language education in Japan. With that in mind, this week's article features scholars, parents and native-English-speaking teachers offering their ideas on how to produce greater numbers of fluent English speakers in the country.
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National board to gauge support for English learners, education research law
Education Week
The federal Education Department's research arm is gearing up to try to build a research-based case for building better supports for English language learners. At its next meeting, to be held in Washington Jan. 31, the National Board for Education Sciences is expected to hear from Sean Reardon, an education professor at Stanford University specializing in racial and income gaps in education, as well as Gabriela Uro, the ELL policy manager at the Council of the Great City Schools, and Eileen de los Reyes, deputy superintendent of academics for Boston public schools.
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Webinar on advocating for English learners with the CCSS
TESOL
Register for Introduction to the Common Core: Advocating for English Learners, a webinar presented on Thursday, 16 January, 2014, at 1–2 pm EST. This Gates-funded webinar is hosted by the Center for Applied Linguistics. The webinar covers such tools as an interactive checklist to help educators reflect on areas of CCSS preparation and rollout taking place in their setting and prioritize areas for their future action. It also focuses on four practical examples of advocating for ELs in the CCSS framework: conducting an equity audit, creating an individual EL learning plan, advocating for equitable assessment of ELs in the CCSS, and determining how much background knowledge to provide ELs.
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Related Resource: Advocating for English Learners: A Guide for Educators (TESOL)


Call for TESOL/CAEP reviewers
TESOL
Increase your professional expertise and help advance the field by becoming a TESOL/CAEP program reviewer! As a volunteer program reviewer, you will lend your expertise by reviewing TESOL program reports submitted by institutions seeking recognition in the United States by the Commission for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP). All program review activity is conducted online, and reviewers are supported by staff from TESOL International Association and CAEP.
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3 writing activities using New Year resolutions for ELLs
TESOL
Elena Shvidko shares three fun, interactive activities for incorporating New Year resolutions into your ESL writing class. Other recent TESOL blogs: Speaking English Outside of Class: When Students Need More Help; How to Teach Online: Establishing Ground Rules; Nine Features of an Effective Teacher Evaluation System; Multiple Perspectives on ESP Needs Analysis and Research; and How to Cook a Camel: Giving Instructions.
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Employers: Are you hiring English language professionals?
TESOL
Consider conducting live interviews at the TESOL Annual Convention and English Language Expo in Portland, Oregon, 27-29 March 2014. TESOL 2014 Attendees are highly sought after job candidates.
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TRENDING ARTICLE
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Let's take English seriously
Times of Malta
Malta: The Constitution is almost 50 years old and will be at the heart of forthcoming celebrations of its creation, along with many other anniversaries that fall during 2014.

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What it takes (and means) to learn English as an adult
NPR
Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she's "desperate" to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it.

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Why Chinese schools must push English more than ever
WorldCrunch
China: After months of public debate, China's Education Ministry has finally decided that the college entrance exam will no longer include the subject of English. Instead, students will take several English tests spread over the course of the school year.

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Is the Education Department nitpicking states over NCLB waivers?
Education Week
There are some alarming revelations in the new No Child Left Behind Act waiver reports issued by the U.S. Department of Education. At least three states — Idaho, Mississippi, and New York — aren't faithfully implementing the turnaround principles in their lowest-performing priority schools, for example. And Delaware isn't ensuring that its focus schools actually implement interventions for struggling subgroups of students.
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Florida proposes changes to Common Core standards
The Tampa Tribune
The Florida Department of Education has announced proposed changes and additions to its academic standards for students in kindergarten through 12th grade. The 98 proposed changes announced Monday include 46 tweaks to the English language arts and math standards and the addition of 52 calculus standards. Education Commissioner Pam Stewart will present the proposed changes to the state Board of Education at its Feb. 18 meeting in Orlando.
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Charter schools should educate, not discriminate
Al Jazeera America
Public schools have historically been key institutions in our nation of immigrants. They provide a space for young people, regardless of their economic or ethnic background, to acclimate themselves to U.S. norms, share their cultures with their peers and learn to speak, read and write in English. As part of a formal Americanization push beginning at the turn of the last century, the schools provided English classes after school and on Saturdays, while settlement houses, private charity groups and city-based chambers of commerce helped adults learn the language.
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Duncan at 'parent summit:' Press for better schools
Education Week
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan urged parents to demand more of policymakers and their local schools so that their children are well prepared to thrive in a competitive global economy. Addressing about 150 parents gathered in Washington for a "parent summit," Duncan focused his remarks on the countries that outscore the United States on international tests, saying that both their cultures and their policies support stronger education systems than in the United States.
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MHS principal promotes English learners support
Times Republican
Marshalltown High School Principal Aiddy Phomvisay said he knows the importance of having a strong English language learner program in schools — especially since he once was a young ELL student. Phomvisay has joined a statewide ELL Task Force which has a goal to recommend state policy and funding to support ELL students and their learning of English as a second language. The task force was started by the Iowa Department of Education.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    10 colleges with the highest percentage of students in ESL (U.S. News & World Report)
The Common Core is tough on kids who are still learning English (The Atlantic)
English to get 2020 push but teachers not on same page (The Japan Times)
Cognitive advantages of second language immersion education (Psychology Today)
From the mouths of babes (Language Magazine)

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




Online course helps English learners improve skills
Philadelphia News
International students connect the United States with the world. We want international students to be successful in their fields of study and to gain a rich understanding of America. Learning the intricacies of written English increases students' chances of success in science, business, technology and much of higher education — global fields where English has become dominant.
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What Asia can learn from Philippines about English education
The Huffington Post (commentary)
I've just come back from the Philippines where English is an official language, along with the local Filipino language. This does not mean that everyone understands or speaks English but it does mean that exposure to the language is so great that those who do speak it can communicate quite fluently. I was impressed that even people who had never stepped outside of the Philippines were fluent in English.
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Adult program teaching English and life skills enters Kansas City
The Kansas City Star
A teacher points to three rudimentary sentences, and 14 students recite. "Hello," they say in unison, "My name is Sam." They read the next sentence, "What's your name?" The conversation continues. The classroom, identified by a sign outside its door as Level 1 English, is in a former Catholic elementary school. The 14 students, however, are adults enrolled in the English as a second language classes now offered by the Independence School District — in northeast Kansas City.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ENGLISH.


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Teachers must nurture critical thinking, confidence in English for a shot at 2020 goals
The Japan Times
Japan: Recently, it was revealed that Japanese public schools may start teaching English earlier (from third grade of elementary school), with more classes per week. The new "blueprint" for English education, to be implemented by 2020, even aims to have some junior-high classes taught in the target language. By high school, it is hoped, Japanese will be able to converse in English at a "viable level of proficiency." Uh-huh. It's one thing to set lofty, desirable goals, and another to know how to achieve them.
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When computers are co-teachers
The Atlantic
On a rainbow-colored rug in a predominantly Latino neighborhood six miles southeast of downtown Los Angeles, 26 fidgety second graders are reading a phonics passage about helping wildlife. Some detect the main idea quickly, shooting their hands in the air. Others need more time and attention. The teacher, Mark Montero, asks questions trying to keep everyone on track. After 10 minutes, it's time to do things a different way. Montero shines a red beam of light on the wall, signaling to students to take their positions.
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Making education more than a grade
Language Magazine (commentary)
While the current focus in our field is on increased academic vocabulary and overall college and career readiness as driven by the Common Core, I believe we must proceed with caution. Potential dangers include English language learners experiencing increased academic frustration based on their current English proficiency levels and the quality of the instruction they receive. Many students may "check out" if the academic experience is not comprehensible at their level, internalize a negative message based on their perceived inadequacy, and not receive the meaningful engagement with language needed to increase their language acquisition.
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Android apps: Math, ELA and video streaming
Edutopia
The Google Play Store for Android devices is full of wonderful apps that can be used to support learning in your classroom and extend this practice at home. For teachers and parents looking to utilize their Android tablet effectively, there are plenty of fantastic apps to reinforce key concepts being taught in the classroom. Math and English language arts apps will support students looking to master new skills, and video streaming apps can help them build prior knowledge as they explore new topics.
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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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