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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Jan. 16, 2013

Study: What makes a good teacher
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Even as most of the nation's 15,000 public school districts roll out new systems to evaluate teachers, many are still struggling with a central question: What's the best way to identify an effective educator? After a three-year, $45 million research project, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation believes it has some answers. The most reliable way to evaluate teachers is to use a three-pronged approach built on student test scores, classroom observations by multiple reviewers and teacher evaluations from students themselves, the foundation found. More

Should students grade their teachers?
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With all the debate in New Jersey and elsewhere about evaluating teachers on how well their students perform, another idea is starting to surface that could prove equally provocative: Judging teachers by what their students think of them. One of the options available to New Jersey school districts as they build teacher evaluation systems is including student surveys among the "multiple measures" of student achievement. The idea is gaining popularity, at least among policymakers. More

Longer school year: Will it help or hurt US students?
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Did your kids moan that winter break was way too short as you got them ready for the first day back in school? They might get their wish of more holiday time off under proposals catching on around the country to lengthen the school year. But there's a catch: a much shorter summer vacation. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, a chief proponent of the longer school year, says American students have fallen behind the world academically. More
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Just a few short weeks — Advance registration deadline for TESOL convention
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
1 February is the advance deadline for the best rates to attend the 2013 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo. This is also the time to register for Pre- and Postconvention Institutes, Educational Site Visits, Breakfast With TESOL's Best and Leadership Training Programs. All events fill up early; do not be left out. And start planning your visit to the English Language Expo with more than 110 exhibiting organizations.

Become a TESOL/NCATE program reviewer
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Increase your professional expertise and help advance the field as a TESOL/NCATE program reviewer. This is an exciting and unique professional development opportunity that will also help influence how teachers in the United States are prepared to teach ESL to children in P–12 schools. Up to 10 volunteer program reviewers will be selected to serve a 3-year term starting in March 2013. All program reviewers will be required to attend a training session on 20 March at the TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo in Dallas, Texas, USA. For more information and to apply, please see the Call for Reviewers on the TESOL website. Application deadline is 18 January. For additional questions, contact Diane Staehr Fenner at

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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. The registration deadline is 25 January. Please visit the links above to register. Send questions to and put "Grammar" in the subject line.

Discipline policies shift with views on what works
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If students aren't in school, they can't learn. But if they are disruptive or violent, they may shortchange other students' chances at an education. Attempted solutions to that unresolved school-discipline dilemma have yielded state and federal policies behind millions of out-of-school suspensions and expulsions during the past two decades. 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

Expert: English language learners do well on exams
The Associated Press via KTRK-TV    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An expert says students who need instruction on the English language now make up 28 percent of all Texas public school students in early elementary school grades. Testifying in the school finance trial was Laura Ayala, recently retired director of English-Language Learner Assessments for the Texas Education Agency. Ayala said it typically takes students at least four years to master the language and become former English language learners. More

New study shows better results for public charter school students compared to students in conventional schools
Michigan Capitol Confidential    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study taking race, poverty and other areas into account when measuring performance shows that students in Michigan public charter schools do better academically than their conventional public school counterparts. The students who took advantage of school choice had academic growth 82 percent above the state average in reading and 72 percent above the state average in math. The report from Stanford University's Center for Research on Education Outcomes followed more than 85,000 charter school students in 273 schools and took into account grade level, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, English language learner status, special education status, gender and prior test scores on state achievement tests. More

High-poverty, minority schools likely to have more U-rated teachers
Voxxi    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York teachers who received poor performance ratings during their previous work year are more likely to be found working in high-poverty and high-minority schools, revealed data in a new report titled: "Unsatisfactory: The Distribution of Teacher Quality in New York City." This might be indicative of a national trend. According to the research presented by StudentsFirstNY, the top 10 percent of 1,509 schools involved in the research had approximately 19 percent of teachers who were rated unsatisfactory. More

An American education: Refugees and new immigrants face challenges to graduation
Deseret News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Population data indicate 40 million immigrants were living in the United States in 2010, double the immigrant population of 1990. Of these, 2.4 million are children. Parents come to the country for work, but children must enroll in a school system that is largely unprepared to serve them. Despite a national increase in the overall graduation rate, the dropout rate for foreign-born refugee and immigrant students remains above 30 percent, three times that of U.S.-born white students, and twice as high as the dropout rate of native-born Latino students. Now, in an effort to boost their graduation statistics, school systems across the U.S. are trying new ways to keep English language learners on track. More

Minnesota school: 1st in nation with Hmong dual language program
Twin Cities Daily Planet    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With a large Hmong population, St. Paul, Minn., is a national leader in integrating Hmong culture and language in public school education. Jackson Preparatory Magnet School was the first in the country to offer a Hmong Dual Language Program. The school follows the 90/10 Dual Immersion model, where 90 percent of instruction during primary grades is in Hmong, with more English being introduced each year. Specialist classes, such as science, music and physical education are taught in English in grades K-4. More

Reasons why students fail English language
allAfrica    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gambian: English is a major subject and an official language of Gambia, yet most Gambian students failed the subject annually. The reasons why students failed this subject according to English experts includes: lack of reading and writing English, poor attention given to the subject, vernacular speaking in schools, the notion students have about the subject, lack of qualified English teachers and the condition of the environment amongst host of others. 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

New student tests to focus less on memory
San Francisco Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In just two years, California students, along with millions of their peers across the country, will start taking new computerized standardized tests that require them to write, think, analyze and solve problems — a dramatic departure from the fill-in-the-bubble tests in place for decades. But schools in the state are nowhere near ready for what education officials say is an overhaul of what is taught and how kids are tested. More

Mexican teachers trying to learn English to help students returning from US to Mexico
Public Radio International    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mexico: As more Mexicans who moved to the United States are returning to Mexico, some by choice, others because of deportation, they're bringing with them children who've never known Mexico. Often, they don't know Spanish either, which puts them at a huge disadvantage in Mexican schools. More

Professional Development:
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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.

Immigrants 'need English to succeed' in UK
Sky News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Eric Pickles warns immigrants they must encourage their children to learn English if they want them to succeed in Britain. The Communities Secretary attacked the labor department for spending $187.2 million on translation instead of helping people learn the language. He said this has led to the "incomprehensible situation" where no one speaks English as their main language in 5 percent of U.K. homes. More

Keeping class in order
Language Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Francisco Ramos, a professor in the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education at the School of Education, Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles writes: "For the past twelve years, I have been teaching courses on second language acquisition methods in universities in Miami and Los Angeles to a variety of students: Undergraduates, graduates with and without experience in the classroom, recent graduates in fields foreign to education, teachers in traditional and Catholic schools, and other students merely enrolled in my classes to earn the credits needed to complete their respective programs of study. Despite their different motivations and backgrounds, a common concern among these students has been their self-acknowledged lack of direction when preparing lessons despite their familiarity with a variety of activities and strategies for the development of listening, speaking, reading and writing skills. Hence, a typical question for me at the beginning of each semester is: How can I effectively implement the strategies I have learned in my courses so far?" More

Spice Up Your Grammar Lessons!

Check out this week’s feature video - Beyond Explanations: A Variety of Grammar Presentation Techniques. The Professional Development Exchange provides practicing English language teachers with access to professional development videos and handouts for download on a variety of teaching and management topics. Visit to browse our full video catalogue.

Speaking multiple languages may be easier than you think
Consumer Affairs    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you've ever met anyone who is able to speak multiple languages, then you know it can sometimes make you feel a little dumb. Also, many of us think people that speak more than one language must be over-achievers or just unusually curious, born with a huge desire to learn other cultures. Sometimes we think bilingual people are just smarter than us. But according to a couple of different studies, the actual process of learning a language is what makes people want to keep going and learn more. More

Why sleeping may be more important than studying
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Getting enough sleep is an under-valued but crucial part of learning. Contrary to students' belief that staying up all night to cram for an exam will lead to higher scores, truth is, the need for a good night's rest is even more important than finishing homework or studying for a test. A recent study in the journal Child Development showed that sacrificing sleep in order to study will actually backfire. 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

Danger in the classroom? Teachers say yes
LiveScience    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With ongoing budget cuts in public education, many teachers across America worry that their jobs are in danger. But a new report suggests that these teachers might also consider whether their jobs are dangerous. Violence against teachers is a more widespread problem than previously thought, according to an article recently published by the American Psychological Association in the journal American Psychologist. More

Teachers say they're not equipped to deal with grieving students
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Seven out of 10 teachers nationwide had at least one student in class who has lost someone close to them in the past year, according to a survey by the American Federation of Teachers and the New York Life Foundation. On average, teachers reported interacting with eight students who’d experienced a loss in the past year. Of those who had grieving children in their classrooms, 67 percent reported the loss in a child's life translated to poor academic performance, and 87 percent said the kids had trouble concentrating in class. Yet only 7 percent of teachers who responded to the survey say they have ever had training in how to deal with a grieving student. More

SIT TESOL Certificate Course NYC

SIT is one of the USA’s top TESOL course providers. The intensive, internationally recognized certificate course will give you the practical planning, teaching and feedback skills needed to be an effective, reflective teacher. Learn more.

How to keep talented teachers from leaving
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New teachers face high-pressure demands, with little support, such that more than half leave the profession within the first five years. These teachers need to see opportunities for career advancement, better compensation, and meaningful evaluation and professional development. More

How can educators prepare kids for a connected world?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators are always striving to find ways to make curriculum relevant in students' everyday lives. More and more teachers are using social media around lessons, allowing students to use their cellphones to do research and participate in class, and developing their curriculum around projects to ground learning around an activity. These strategies are all part of a larger goal to help students connect to social and cultural spaces. 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.

Using digital media to strengthen the connection between school and home
EdTech Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators have long understood that it's important to approach students' education holistically, both inside and outside of school. Anyone who has spent time in a classroom knows that what happens to children after the dismissal bell rings influences their behavior and performance in school. Over the years, educators, parents and policymakers have implemented strategies, practices and programs to bridge the gap between home and school. In 1897, the Parent Teacher Association was established to foster communication and cooperation between parents and educators. More

When English doesn't come easy
Language Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At the core of "Teaching English Learners and Students with Learning Difficulties in an Inclusive Classroom: A Guidebook for Teachers" by John Carr & Sharen Bertrando are a set of effective strategies that teachers can use regularly in classrooms that include English learners and students with learning difficulties. These strategies have been shown to be especially effective with these students because they provide scaffolding to help with language and with understanding concepts and the interrelationships among concepts. In this article are six effective, practical strategies for scaffolding learning. More

Past tense quickie
Bangkok Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thailand: Here is a short video clip of a Thai-language advertisement that can help English learners decide on which form of the verb "forget" they should use in this situation. More

Tips for understanding copyright rules
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With headlines about tough copyright rulings fresh in their minds, educators across the nation might hesitate when it comes to using copyrighted material in their lessons or sharing copyrighted works with students. But according to the American Library Association, educators should not worry about using such material to boost student knowledge if it falls under the scope of fair use. More

Why teachers secretly hate grading papers
The Atlantic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
John T. Tierney, a former college professor and high-school teacher, writes: "Despite what many outsiders may think of teachers and their work lives, it's a demanding occupation. My wife and I received a Christmas card from a former colleague of hers, an accomplished woman who previously had a successful career in economic analysis of energy issues and who recently had become a high school teacher. She wrote that it is 'the hardest job' she's ever had — also the most satisfying." More

The Keys to Success in Teaching English to Young Learners
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ELT Leadership Management Certificate Program
(certificate program) 20 March, at TESOL 2013 in Dallas, TX USA

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

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

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K–9th Grade Instruction, China

ESL teacher at all-female university, Auckland Uniservices, Saudi Arabia

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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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