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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Feb. 4, 2014

 





English is no longer the first language for the majority of pupils at 1 in 9 schools
Daily Mail
United Kingdom: English is not the first language for the majority of children in more than one in nine schools, it emerged today. There are a total of 1,755 primary and secondary schools in England where more than half of the pupils speak another language, according to official figures. More than 200 schools have an even more extreme situation, with 90 percent of children having to learn English as a second language.
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States weigh how to revamp surveys to identify potential English learners
Education Week
A fledgling effort to bring more consistency to services for English language learners is moving ahead with the release of a new set of recommendations on how states and school districts might revise and improve the questions they ask to first identify students who might be in need of English language instruction. Home-language surveys — often a series of a few questions about the language(s) a student speaks and understands — have been the primary way educators identify potential ELLs in their schools.
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Toward a common definition of English learner
TESOL
The Council of Chief State School Officers has published the second in a series of working papers on a common definition of English learner. This paper is a result of a national working session to define an English proficient performance standard. Reference Performance Level Descriptors: Outcome of a National Working Session on Defining an 'English Proficient' Performance Standard is available from the CCSSO website.
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ESL games: Words of fortune
TESOL
Marc Anderson shares another fun, communicative word game for ESL students that you can create on your own and use in class today. Other recent TESOL blogs: Untitled Skull: A Speaking and Writing Activity Using Art; An ESP Story About Interview Training; TLO 12: How to Teach Online: Building Trust; and Incorporating Pronunciation Instruction Across the Curriculum.
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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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News literacy: Critical-thinking skills for the 21st century
Edutopia
Peter Adams, senior vice president for educational programs at The News Literacy Project, writes: "Every teacher I've worked with over the last five years recalls two kinds of digital experiences with students."

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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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Report: Longer school day can help Common Core implementation
Education Week
A new report makes the case that a school day that is both longer and "redesigned" is a powerful recipe for helping districts across the nation as they seek to implement the Common Core standards. The point was underscored at a Jan. 31 event to discuss the report and its implications. "The time is now insufficient [in the school day] to do the job that we're asking kids to do," said Paul Reville, a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (and a former Massachusetts secretary of education), during the event.
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Education Department awards more testing, teacher-evaluation flexibility
Education Week
The No Child Left Behind Act waiver landscape just got more complicated, as the U.S. Department of Education announced that it has awarded more flexibility in testing and teacher evaluations to five states. The department has offered states testing flexibility — another waiver, in essence — so they can avoid double testing students. That means states won't have to offer their own state tests along with new testing-consortia field assessments during the same year. The department is also offering states a one-year extension, to 2015-2016, for tying personnel decisions to new teacher evaluations.
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  LAS Links Assessments Go Online

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Some states rebrand controversial Common Core education standards
The Washington Post
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer used an executive order to strip the name "Common Core" from the state's new math and reading standards for public schools. In the Hawkeye State, the same standards are now called "The Iowa Core." And in Florida, lawmakers want to delete "Common Core" from official documents and replace it with the cheerier-sounding "Next Generation Sunshine State Standards." In the face of growing opposition to the Common Core State Standards — a set of K-12 educational guidelines adopted by most of the country — officials in a handful of states are worried that the brand is already tainted. They're keeping the standards but slapping on fresh names they hope will have greater public appeal.
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Project Exc-EL to help teach English learners
The Journal News
The numbers speak for themselves. In 2011-2012, the graduation rate for students classified as English language learners at Ossining High School was 46 percent. For all others, it was 80 percent. In White Plains High School, the divide was 65 percent to 88 percent, and in the Tarrytowns' Sleepy Hollow High School, 77 percent of the English learners graduated, compared to 91 percent of their counterparts. "Most of the English language learners programs are focused on younger grades," Tarrytowns' Superintendent Christopher Clouet said.
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Prompt K-8 students’ evidence-based answers using leveled books with accompanying Text-Dependent Comprehension Cards. These resources for content-area and genre study help you improve students’ understanding of complex text so they can respond effectively. Also available in Spanish. FREE sampler.
 
Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ENGLISH.




International students advised on English language qualifications
Australia Forum
Australia: International students in Australia who are having difficulty with their course because of their level of English are being urged to talk to their student advisors. Every year many start new university courses and struggle to keep up if their level of English is not up to scratch, but immigration officials point out that they can move to take an extra language qualification and then return to their main degree. With the backing of their university they can take an English Language Intensive Course for Overseas Students.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How can English best be taught? (allAfrica.com)
Great English teachers improve students' math scores (The Hechinger Report)
Restructure English tests for Hong Kong teachers to raise language standards (South China Morning Post)
Malta attracted 85,000 English language students in 2013 (The Malta Independent)
English language lessons finding success on the Net (The Japan Times)

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Shy kids not delayed or deficient in language, they just speak less
Society for Research in Child Development via Science Daily
Previous research has suggested that shy children have difficulties with language. Now, a new longitudinal study paints a more nuanced picture. The study, of 816 toddlers, found that children who are inhibited in their behavior tend to speak less but understand what's being said as well as less shy peers. In other words, these children have performance problems when speaking with others, but don't lack capability, suggesting that they're merely reluctant to respond rather than delayed or deficient in understanding language.
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Scientists map what your brain looks like on English
TIME
Ever wonder how your brain distinguishes all the sounds in a language? How does it know "b" is different from "z"? Researchers may now be closer to understanding how the brain processes sounds, or at least those made in English. Taking advantage of a group of hospitalized epilepsy patients who had electrodes hooked directly to their brains to monitor for seizures, Dr. Edward Chang and his colleagues at the University of California, San Francisco, and University of California, Berkeley, were able to listen in on the brain as it listened to 500 English sentences spoken by 400 different native English speakers.
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News literacy: Critical-thinking skills for the 21st century
Edutopia
Peter Adams, senior vice president for educational programs at The News Literacy Project, writes: "Every teacher I've worked with over the last five years recalls two kinds of digital experiences with students. The first I think of as digital native moments, when a student uses a piece of technology with almost eerie intuitiveness. As digital natives, today's teens have grown up with these tools and have assimilated their logic. Young people just seem to understand when to click and drag or copy and paste, and how to move, merge and mix digital elements."
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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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