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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   January 30, 2015


Creating the right classroom environment fit for ELLs
By: Alanna Mazzon
The classroom environment plays an important role in how the students and teachers in that environment feel, and how they will interact with the room and the materials. To a student whose native language is not the one used in the classroom, having a lot of labels without pictures, words on bulletin boards, and paragraphs on walls explaining what to do with the materials is both overwhelming and frustrating. Imagine you walked into a new room that you were going to spend eight hours in every day, but you couldn't understand a single thing in there. Would you feel comfortable?
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A handy tool for English language learners
The Star
Malaysia: For most of Joyce Yeoh's pupils, English is their third language after Chinese and Bahasa Malaysia. That is why topping Yeoh's wish list this year is her hope for them to communicate confidently in the language.
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Girls lead boys in academic achievement globally
University of Missouri-Columbia via Science Daily
Considerable attention has been paid to how boys' educational achievements in science and math compare to girls' accomplishments in those areas, often leading to the assumption that boys outperform girls in these areas. Now, using international data, researchers have determined that girls outperform boys in educational achievement in 70 percent of the countries they studied — regardless of the level of gender, political, economic or social equality.
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FREE TESOL Virtual Seminar, 20 February
Noun Phrases in Academic Language: A Neglected Area of Grammar Learning

NEW: Adult Ed Day in Toronto, Ontario Canada
This brand-new, one of a kind event is designed exclusively for adult education instructors and administrators as well as volunteers working in adult education programs. Participants will choose from 20 workshops, hear a keynote address from Dr. Jim Cummins, and enjoy an afternoon panel discussion on immigration policy. Hurry! Advance registration rates end 20 February.

Call for Proposals: Singapore 2015
TESOL invites you to submit a proposal for Excellence in Language Instruction: Supporting Classroom Teaching & Learning, a TESOL conference in Singapore. Organized in partnership with the National Institute of Education, this 2½ day event will feature leading experts in teacher education, classroom instruction, and international assessment. Submit your proposal today!

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

Temporary English for Academic Purposes Instructors, International University of Japan

Director of Intensive English Language Center, California State University, Bakersfield, USA

Elementary ESL Teacher, Suzhou Singapore International School, China

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

K-12 gets short shrift in State of the Union Speech
Education Week
Even as Congress has jump-started the most serious attempt in a decade to revise the No Child Left Behind Act with a heated debate over high-stakes testing, President Barack Obama stayed above the fray in his State of the Union address. He didn't mention the law — the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — by name. In fact, he barely referenced K-12 education at all.
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US education: Still separate and unequal
U.S. News & World Report
The U.S. spends significantly more on education than other OECD countries. In 2010, the U.S. spent 39 percent more per full-time student for elementary and secondary education than the average for other countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Yet, more money spent doesn't translate to better educational outcomes. In fact, American education is rife with problems, starting with the gaping differences between white students and students of color: More than 60 years after Brown vs. Board of Education, school systems in the United States are separate and unequal. By 2022, the number of Hispanic students in public elementary and secondary schools is projected to grow 33 percent from the 2011 numbers. The number of multi-racial students is expected to grow 44 percent.
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Louisiana school sees highest surge in English language learners, new enrollment figures show
The Times-Picayune
It's no secret that Jefferson Parish public schools have experienced a surge in student immigrants from Central America. For Clancy-Maggiore Elementary School for the Arts in Kenner, the gain is particularly evident: Its percentage of students who struggle with English has spiked by almost 11 points since October 2013 — the biggest jump of all Jefferson schools, according to new state figures. For principal Danesha Dorsey, however, it's business as usual. "As an educator, you are trained to teach all kids, regardless of where they come from," she said.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    The 4 C's of 21st century learning for ELLs: Critical thinking (By: Erick Herrmann)
Managing diversity (Language Magazine)
Inside the brain of a struggling reader (District Administration Magazine)
Top 5 education trends for 2015 (By: Archita Datta Majumdar)
5 productivity skills every educator must have (THE Journal)

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

Research: More funding, smaller classes important in education
In Clark County, Nevada, many students learn how to speak English for the first time in the classroom. However, school funding formulas don't allow students to receive extra funding to help them excel. Researchers at the Lincy Institute at UNLV said Clark County kids get some of the lowest funding amounts per student, which doesn't help kids achieve a quality education. "If you look at our funding formula, it gives schools the same amount of money no matter what kind of students they serve," said Sarah Popek, principal at Tate Elementary School.
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Q-&-A: Teachers must teach, grade English-learners differently
Orange County Register (commentary)
Q. You wrote about something a little while ago that said schools could not fail children who were English learners from other countries. I could not find the law. Could you help steer me in the right direction or explain that? How can schools not be allowed to fail, say, a sixth-grader in reading if that sixth-grader can't answer any questions properly? Are these kids exempted from those end-of-the-year tests? They should be, since they can't read English. How can they give them a failing end-of-the-year test if the teachers can't give them that same grade?
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Study: Why school snow days are good for students
With cities and towns across Southern New England preparing for a blizzard over the next several days, they might want consider giving students an extra day off from school. That's because a 2012 study released by Harvard Kennedy School of Government found that weather-related school closures do not have a negative impact on student learning, in part because the days are often made up at the end of the year. The study, prepared by assistant professor Joshua Goodman, also found that a district's decision to keep school open during inclement weather can actually be detrimental for students because "many kids will miss school regardless either because of transportation issues or parental discretion."
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Welcoming immigrant students into the classroom
According to the Pew Hispanic Research Center, there are roughly 1.7 million undocumented students under age 30, who are enrolled in high school, have graduated or obtained a GED, or are currently enrolled in elementary or middle school. Additionally, this past summer our nation witnessed a spike in unaccompanied minors crossing our southern border with more than 50,000 children fleeing persecution from Central America and Mexico. Most of them await immigration court dates while staying with relatives or sponsors, but in the meantime, our laws require that they attend school. In 1982, the Supreme Court determined in Plyer v. Doe that all students, regardless of their immigration status, are entitled to access K-12 education.
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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 or contact us at

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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