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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Jan. 23, 2013






3 districts test model Common Core unit for ELLs
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Seventh- and eighth-grade English learners in selected urban schools will soon dive into some of the most celebrated speeches in U.S. history. They'll dissect, for example, Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address, Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream," and Robert F. Kennedy's "On the Death of Martin Luther King." This brand new English/language arts unit on the use of persuasion was designed to show how reading complex, informational texts and writing arguments — a key requirement in the new Common Core standards — can be used with English learners to deepen their learning of content and concepts as well as language. More



Obama's plan to make our schools safer
ED.gov Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama introduced a new plan to keeps guns out of the wrong hands, make schools safer and increase access to mental health services. "While reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge," Obama said during the announcement. "Protecting our children from harm shouldn’t be a divisive one," he said. More

Duncan: Hard to teach kids scared of being killed
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Too many students worry more about being killed by a gun than learning in the classroom, Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, as he cautioned that firearms alone do not make schools safer. In an interview with the Associated Press. Duncan said that he understands the urgent concerns over school safety in the wake of the shooting in Newtown, Conn., which left 20 students dead. He called the 23 executive orders that President Barack Obama signed to move in the correct direction but emphasized that they alone were not enough. 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.


New call for contributions: TESOL book on business English
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Editors Clarice S. C. Chan and Evan Frendo seek contributors for a volume in TESOL's New Ways Series entitled "New Ways in Teaching Business English." Please see the call for more information. Deadline for contributions is 1 April. More

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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. For more information, please read the call for abstracts.



Crush of education laws awaits renewal in Congress
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The new, still-divided Congress that took office this month faces a lengthy list of education policy legislation that is either overdue for renewal or will be soon, in a political landscape that remains consumed with fiscal issues. But it's tough to say whether there will be much action on all that outdated legislation — including the No Child Left Behind Act, which has awaited reauthorization since 2007. The cast of characters in Washington is virtually unchanged since before the 2012 elections — which left President Barack Obama in the White House, Democrats in control of the Senate and Republicans in control of the House of Representatives. More


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Report: International tests severely misrank US students
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Prominent international tests skew comparisons of test scores, and U.S. student performance actually ranks much higher than believed, according to a new report released by the Economic Policy Institute. The truth, says the report, is that — when comparing apples to apples in weighing U.S. student performance against that of other industrialized countries — U.S. students don't rank 25th in math, but 10th; and in reading, the country is not 14th, but 4th. More

The pros and cons of US education
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As President Barack Obama enters his second term, his education policies are sure to be in the spotlight again soon. But are international tests, which help to influence education policies in the United States, as accurate as we thought? And what, if anything, can we learn from other countries? A report from the Economic Policy Institute suggests that well-respected international tests have misranked the achievement of U.S. students, meaning federal and state leaders have based their education policies on misleading data. More



Florida Legislature puts tuition for children of immigrants at top of agenda
StateImpact    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Florida lawmakers are holding committee meetings in the state capital, preparing for the start of the legislative session on 5 March. So far, just a handful of education-related bills have been filed in the Florida House of Representatives. More

1st-time English language teachers need to learn on the job
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Teachers can start out from degree-level courses or just a week's introduction to ELT, but all training providers should be working to develop practitioners who can reflect, share and adapt once they are in class. Initial teacher education in ELT deserves more attention than it often receives. Over 10,000 people follow Cambridge Esol Celta courses every year. Add in the popular Trinity College London CertTesol program and the myriads of other introductory courses and a huge number of new teachers are entering classrooms for the first time, with each one impacting on the lives of countless people. More





Greater transparency urged on ELL spending at school board meeting
Statesman Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
About 100 people filled the Salem-Keizer School Board meeting in Oregon for an issue with school funding for English language learners. More than a half-dozen people testified for greater transparency in how the district spends the $21 million it gets for ELL students. Others pressed for greater diversity in the teaching staff. Ranfis Villatoro said the district needs to be more open about how it spends those dollars, and it needs to make sure ELL students get the best education to not just graduate but succeed in life. More


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Learning gap remains for Kansas City-area minorities
The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Kansas City school districts are taking measures to prepare English language learners for life. Recently, Kindergarten teacher Lori Heinze worked with 5-year-old Adrian Maciel at Briarwood Elementary School in the Shawnee Mission School District. More

Nevada governor proposes expanding full-day kindergarten; more money for English language learners
The Associated Press via The Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval wants to expand full-day kindergarten to more of the state's at-risk schools and focus more resources on helping young students learn English. In his State of the State address, Sandoval said his budget proposal includes $20 million to implement full-day kindergarten at almost half of all elementary schools by 2015. More

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Training for more upper primary English language teachers
The Straits Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Singapore: More teachers will be trained to teach a revised English syllabus which is being rolled out to upper primary pupils this year. About 1,000 teachers at the Primary 4 level from 115 primary schools will be trained to teach the language under the Strategies for English Language Learning and Reading (Stellar) program this year. More

English, language labs and teaching
The Island    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sri Lanka: President Mahinda Rajapaksa has on many occasions emphasized the need to develop "spoken English" as a necessary condition for developing Sri Lanka into a leading Asian nation. In naming 2009 as the "Year of English and ICT" the president signed an agreement whereas India would contribute both financially and through the expertise of the University of Hyderabad to raise English language standards in Sri Lanka. More

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4 online education program considerations for international students
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Online education is a booming part of the higher education sector. More than 6.7 million students took an online course at a U.S. institution in fall 2011 — an all-time high. For international students like Slovenia resident Mateja Klaric, online education could be a particularly attractive option: a chance to earn a top-notch U.S. education without having to physically be in the country. More

Will online higher education widen the income gap?
The Fiscal Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The potential for massive, open, online courses to widen and improve educational opportunities has been widely noted, and many see broadening educational opportunities as a remedy for rising inequality. Some observers even predict that low-cost, quality online education will mean the end of traditional brick and mortar institutions. But traditional colleges are not going away, and the potential of online education to reduce inequality is overrated. More

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Growing up bilingual: Dual language upbringing reflected in young children's vocabulary
Concordia University via Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Language mixing — using elements from two languages in the same sentence — is frequent among bilingual parents and could pose a challenge for vocabulary acquisition by 1- and 2-year-old children, according to a new study by Concordia University psychology professor Krista Byers-Heinlein. Those results are likely temporary, however, and are often counterbalanced by cognitive advantages afforded to children raised in a bilingual environment. More

Research: Education could use more 'connected learning'
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The possibilities inherent in digital learning won't in and of themselves flatten the global playing field for students, according to new research, unless we first give attention to the idea of creating "connected learning environments." These are learning environments in which everyone can participate, learning happens by doing, cultivation of interests is paramount and everything is interconnected. What gets in the way is a down economy with a struggling labor market, a growing gap in access to educational opportunities based on how much a family is able to spend on its children for "out-of-school enrichment activities," and the impact that a rapidly evolving and highly commercialized media separated from academic purpose is having on young people. More

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Gallup: Student engagement drops with each grade
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With every year that passes between fifth and 12th grade, the number of students who are engaged in school declines steadily, according to the recently released Gallup Student Poll. A majority of elementary school students — almost 8 in 10 — qualify as engaged, the poll found. By middle school, however, that number drops to 6 in 10 students. And when students enter high school, it drops to 4 in 10. More

How test anxiety affected a young boy
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In this era of high-stakes standardized tests, a subject that gets short shrift is test anxiety and how it affects young students. Text anxiety is a type of performance anxiety, and it can severely affect a student's ability to do well. Here is one mother's story of how test anxiety affected her elementary school son and what she did about it. More

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Study: For girls, teachers' gender matters
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Female elementary school teachers' comfort with mathematics has an outsize effect on the girls they teach, according to new research. Girls taught by a female teacher got a learning boost if that teacher had a strong math background, but had consistently lower math performance by the end of the school year if she didn't, according to a study presented at the American Economic Association's annual conference. More

Word variety helps early learners
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Exposure to word variation for early readers may boost their abilities, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Iowa to be published in January. To test out the hypothesis, the researchers used Access Code, an online application from Foundations in Learning. After a few days of phonics instruction through Access Code, including spelling and matching letters, all of the students were tested to see if they could read words they'd never seen before, read made-up words, and apply their new skills to work they hadn't done before. More



Best practices in effective teaching include collaboration and ongoing professional development
The San Diego Union-Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
All children deserve to have effective teachers. A broad array research from around the country and around the world point to the best practices in effective teaching. Collaboration, ongoing professional development, and low class sizes work. Research shows that when teachers work together, students learn more. More



Educators challenged by social media and rumor control
Minnesota Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the wake of the school shooting in Connecticut, where 20 children and six adults were killed at an elementary school, rumors spread across the country via Twitter and Facebook that more violence would follow, putting students and parents on edge. But even before that tragedy, Minnesota school officials say they were spending more time than in previous years responding to rumors that spread through social media. More

BYOD? They already do
Tween Teacher    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Heather Wolpert-Gawron, a columnist for Tween Teacher, writes: "A short post today on how the debate about bringing your own device to school is superfluous and antiquated. After all, they already do. Case in point: when a student wants to borrow a pencil, I have them leave collateral in the front of the room. I accept shoes, keys, wallets, and of course, cellphones. Cellphones are the collateral of choice." More



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International Programs and Outreach Manager, California State University, USA

K–9th Grade Instruction, China

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

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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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