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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Jan. 22, 2014

 





Higher learning
Global Times
Wang Fanyi, an 18-year-old freshman student majoring in public administration at a Beijing university, has been planning to study abroad since high school. "I definitely want to go to another country and experience a new culture," she said Tuesday. However, like any other student whose native language is not English, Wang has to overcome a daunting hurdle: achieving a high enough score in an English proficiency test. These tests include the Test of English as a Foreign Language, administered by U.S.-based Educational Testing Service, and the International English Language Testing System, jointly managed by Cambridge English Language Assessment, the British Council and IDP Education.
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English-language acquisition gets boost in federal spending bill
Education Week
The $1.1 trillion federal spending bill released by Congressional leaders includes a modest increase in funding for states and local districts to support instruction for English language learners. You can catch up on all the education details by reading Alyson Klein's breakdown at Politics K-12. The measure calls for $723.4 million in spending for Title III — the provision of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that sets aside money for English language acquisition — an increase of more than 4 percent over fiscal 2013, but one that still falls short of returning federal spending on ELLs to pre-sequestration levels.
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TOEFL Grants and Awards: Deadline approaching
TESOL
The deadline for applications for TOEFL Grants and Awards is 15 February 2014. Awards provide funding for activities, projects, and research in the field of international education and foreign or second language assessment. One example is the Small Grants for Doctoral Research in Second or Foreign Language Assessment to help students complete the research for their dissertations in a timely manner. Some others are TOEFL Board Grants, TOEFL International Speaker Grants, Library and Resource Center Award, and TOEFL Outstanding Young Scholar Award. Applications received after 15 February will be considered for the next application deadline in October 2014.
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Preparing for your place in the professional world
TESOL
As a job seeker have you ever wondered what TESL recruiters are looking for in a potential English language teacher? Join this virtual seminar on 19 February 2014 and hear a recruiters' perspective. Free for TESOL members. Register by 16 February.
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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. All program review activity is conducted online, and reviewers are supported by staff from TESOL International Association and CAEP.
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English-language acquisition gets boost in federal spending bill
Education Week
The $1.1 trillion federal spending bill released by Congressional leaders includes a modest increase in funding for states and local districts to support instruction for English language learners.

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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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China, South Korea face familiar woes in English quest
The Japan Times
Japan: Japan isn't alone in its struggles with teaching English. China and South Korea have experienced similar frustrations, but their responses and results have been quite different. It's easy to compare the three nations because of their similarities: English is completely different from their native languages; they've all had limited immigration and haven't been completely colonized by an English-speaking Western power; and all three currently share low birth rates (though China has had an only-child policy that is just starting to be relaxed).
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Government must ensure equal opportunities for all in our schools
South China Morning Post
China: The government has taken a crucial step to end its shameful de facto school segregation for students of ethnic minorities. For the first time, new support courses for teaching Chinese as a second language will be set up to help such students integrate into mainstream Chinese-language classes. If sustained and expanded, such courses will enable ethnic minority students to join mainstream government and other publicly funded schools. Existing schools for ethnic minorities, many of which are of comparable quality to mainstream local-Chinese schools, can also boost their Chinese-language teaching, whose lower standards have been a hindrance to their graduates competing for university admission and jobs.
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All English language teachers to be retrained, says Idris Jusoh
The Malay Mail
Malaysia: The 20,000 existing English language teachers will be retrained this year to improve their mastery of English, said Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh. He said 9,000 teachers would be trained initially next month and the rest from time to time. "This number has increased from only 5,000 last year so that the focus being given by the teachers is easily understood by the students and, subsequently, a good level of the language usage can be achieved," Idris told a media conference after the introduction of 100 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants from well-known universities in the United States.
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Talking the talk in a global economy
The Telegraph (commentary)
United Kingdom: Much of the immigration debate dominating our news at the moment seems to be based on number crunching. Both sides are in pursuit of a single value, negative or positive, to attach to the ebb and flow of human lives in and out of the U.K. How much does immigration ultimately add to or subtract from the taxpayers pot of money? As a speech and language therapist I have another factor to add to the equation. What is the potential boost from today's multilingual immigrant children to the future economic well-being of the U.K.? In 2013, the British Council published its "Languages for the Future" report which warned that we are risking the economic health of the country by not teaching second languages effectively enough in our schools. Ironically we are a richly multicultural and multi-linguistic island.
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Chinese pupils are given one-to-one language help
Ashbourne News Telegraph
United Kingdom: A native Chinese speaker inspired by her son's experiences in a foreign country is coaching schoolchildren for whom English is not their first language. Celine Whyte, a Chinese teacher originally from Shanghai, is helping Chinese Abbotsholme pupils to succeed in their studies by pioneering teaching methods learnt from personal experience. Mrs. Whyte said: "It all started when my son was 13 years old and we moved to Australia from Shanghai." He couldn't understand a word of English so it was very difficult for him at school. "I helped him translate his homework but it was very hard going for him."
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Learning the language
Telluride Daily Planet
According to Superintendent Kyle Schumacher, about 17 percent of students who attend the Telluride R-1 School District in Colorado are English language learners. In an effort to help those kids, the school district is aiming a new program not at students, but at their parents. The school district recently took over the adult English education classes and some cultural liaison services previously run through One Telluride. Many parents of English language learners may not have much formal education themselves, Schumacher said.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Online course helps English learners improve skills (Philadelphia News)
No lack of ideas on a course of action for English education (The Japan Times)
This language names odors as precisely as English speakers name color (Discover Magazine)
Baby talk study: One-on-one builds language skills quickly (The Christian Science Monitor)
Motivation: The gas that fuels a child's educational engine (District Administration Magazine)

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


Education ministry to evaluate proficiency of English in schools
New Straits Times
Malaysia: The education ministry has commissioned a study by expert in language assessment Cambridge English to evaluate the proficiency of Year One to Form Six students in English in order that further improvements can be made to the teaching and learning process based on its findings. The initial results of the study under the Malaysia Cambridge Baseline Project will be released by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin during his working visit to London. The deputy prime minister and education minister arrived here today for his three-day visit.
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BSU to have English language center on campus
Bemidji Pioneer
Bemidji State University and Northwest Technical College are expected to sign an agreement with Winona State University to open a branch of Winona State's English Language Center on the BSU campus. The signing ceremony will be held at the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system office in St. Paul. The schools are entering into a three-year partnership, which officially begins 1 May. BSU's English Language Center will open this fall.
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Study: Engaging with ebooks can aid children's literacy
School Library Journal via The Digital Shift
As younger and younger children recognize and use electronic devices as sources of information and entertainment, what is the impact on their literacy skills? Largely a positive one, according to a study printed in the January 2014 edition of the peer-reviewed journal SAGE Open. The report examines how different digital tools — an iPad, an iPod and a tabletop touchscreen computer — capture and hold children's attention to print media delivered electronically.
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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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