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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Jan. 28, 2014

 





Restructure English tests for Hong Kong teachers to raise language standards
South China Morning Post
China: The Language Proficiency Assessment for Teachers (English) is now entering its 13th year. But, despite a revision in 2007, little has changed. The exams were set up in answer to an outcry from the business and education communities over the fast-falling standards of English in this world city. They carry the weighty mission of raising the standards of English by tightening the entry into the teaching profession. Designed by specialists, the tests are not subject to scrutiny for their effectiveness by the usual government watchdogs. But, given the importance of the assessment's mission, an external evaluation is overdue.
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Great English teachers improve students' math scores
The Hechinger Report
Better English teachers not only boost a student's reading and writing performance in the short-term, but they also raise their students math and English achievement in future years. That's according to a working paper, "Learning that Lasts: Unpacking Variation in Teachers' Effects on Students' Long-Term Knowledge," by a team of Stanford University and University of Virginia researchers presented at the 7th Annual Calder Research Conference on Jan. 23.
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Education spending balloons, but students in some states get more money than others
The Washington Post
There is disagreement within education circles over whether spending more money per pupil leads to better results. But there is no disagreement that the amount of money states spend on education has erupted in recent years. In almost every state, the amount of money spent per pupil has more than doubled in the last 40 years, according to a new report. States spent an average of $4,221 per student in the 1969-1970 school year, in 2010 dollars. That number jumped to $10,643 in the 2009-2010 school year.
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In memoriam: JALT President Kevin Michael Cleary
TESOL
It is with great sadness that the TESOL community acknowledges the passing of Kevin Michael Cleary on 16 January in Kyoto, Japan. Cleary was a professor in the International Exchange Center at the Tokyo Medical and Dental University as well as the current president of the Japan Association of Language Teachers (JALT). For more information, please visit the JALT website.
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TESOL Convention — Register by 3 February 2014 for biggest savings
TESOL
The early registration deadline for the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo is fast approaching. Save even more by becoming a TESOL member. Check out all the ways to save on your registration and housing. Don't forget about the Pre- and Postconvention education sessions and save on those rates too. Early Deadline: 3 February 2014.
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Back to basics: Typing practice
TESOL
In this post, TESOL blogger Tara Arntsen discusses a website to help students learn to type, a critical skill in our keyboard-dependent culture. Read more blog posts: In Composing professional and academic emails, TESOL blogger Elena Shvidko points out that writing a professional email requires knowledge of the genre, something that most students are not taught explicitly.
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Great English teachers improve students' math scores
The Hechinger Report
Better English teachers not only boost a student's reading and writing performance in the short-term, but they also raise their students math and English achievement in future years.

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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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Public school students' lawsuit challenges tenure, seeks to ban bad educators
Fox News
Amidst ongoing national debate, nine public school students in California are suing the state over its laws governing teacher tenure, seniority and other protections they say keep bad educators in the classroom. The Los Angeles Times reports the lawsuit — filed on behalf of the students and their families by a group called Students Matter — argues such laws violate the U.S. Constitution's guarantee of equal protection because they lead to a "gross disparity," in the quality of education received by all students.
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Protect good teachers, fire bad ones
Los Angeles Times
State laws that make it nearly impossible to fire even the worst teachers make for poor educational policy. The same is true of laws that require teacher layoffs to be decided on the basis of seniority, and that give principals only a year and a half to decide whether a new teacher deserves the extraordinary protections of tenure. It seems pretty obvious: Incompetent or uncaring teachers shouldn't be allowed to keep their jobs.
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English in private schools
The Philippine Star
Parents of elementary school students should realize that there is a big difference between learning a language and using a language as medium of instruction. Go to any bookstore and browse the section labeled "Languages" (or something like that). You will notice many books on how to learn Mandarin, French, German, Spanish, Persian and so on. All these books are in the English language. That is proof that you can learn a language while using a different language as medium of learning. One way of teaching a language, therefore, is to use another language as medium of instruction. Let us call this the First Way.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ENGLISH.


In Michigan Gov.'s call for immigrants to revive Detroit, could schools manage?
Education Week
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is pledging to push an initiative to bring 50,000 skilled immigrants (and their families) to Detroit — an effort he says is critical for saving the city from economic extinction. On its face, the proposal — which would require the federal government to agree to reserving 50,000 of its employment-based visas just for Detroit-bound immigrants over the next five years — seems pretty far-fetched. But it also signals just how desperate things have become for battered Detroit — which declared bankruptcy in 2013 and has lost hundreds of thousands of residents in recent years.
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Breaking down the barriers
Iowa City Press Citizen
As the number of students who aren't proficient English speakers increases in schools, talk of adding English language learner classes at more schools in the district continues. Recently, the Iowa City Community School District's state-funded English language learner program, which serves students who don't speak English proficiently, has seen significant growth. Local schools saw a 139.6 percent increase of student participants from 2012-2013 to 2013-2014, and a 316 percent increase in the past 10 years, according to a district enrollment report released late in 2013.
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School's dual-language program aims to teach students skills for life
Longview News-Journal
Students in Angelica Navarro's dual-language kindergarten class are just beginning to learn the basics of Spanish, their native language. But with a growing number of Hispanic students enrolled in Kilgore ISD, school administrators have implemented the One-Way Dual Language Enrichment Program this school year, which incorporates English into the students' learning. Navarro has taught dual-language classes for 19 years and said the skills learned in them are necessary for all students to become successful later in life.
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University language proficiency test shortfall
Yle Uutiset
Finland: Several hundred master's degree programs in Finland require proof of English language proficiency. Demand has outpaced supply and testing is not available for everyone. Some prospective students have gone abroad to take proficiency tests.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Higher learning (Global Times)
China, South Korea face familiar woes in English quest (The Japan Times)
Why teachers can't reach every child: a case study (The Washington Post)
Students should be tested more, not less (The Atlantic)
7 instructional strategies for the Common Core (eSchool News)

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


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Sibling relationships tied to children's vocabulary skills
Reuters
In large families, young kids can't always get a lot of individual attention from parents — but healthy interactions with an older sibling might help compensate for that, a new study suggests. How older children interact with their siblings is tied to the younger children's development, Canadian researchers found. "The idea is that here is this effect of being in a large family where you don't get that many resources, but if you get an older sibling that's really attuned to your needs that would be a modifying effect," Jennifer Jenkins told Reuters Health.
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How can English best be taught?
allAfrica.com (commentary)
Rwanda: The integrated approach is one of the most effective ways that teachers can use to enable learners achieve linguistic and communicative competence. Research in English language teaching has proved that when the various aspects of language are integrated, learners achieve more than when teachers teach each aspect in isolation from the others. Teachers should embrace this approach in order to equip learners with appropriate skills. I have used it for several years and it has yielded positive results. What should we integrate?
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Related Resource: Integrating Language and Content (TESOL)


Differentiated instruction makes difference
Valparaiso News
Differentiated instruction is an approach to teaching and learning that provides challenging and engaging instructional experiences to all students. Educators in differentiated classrooms use student learning profiles or preferred learning modalities to present and assess curriculum through activities designed to meet individual student needs, interests and preferences.
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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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