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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   February 06, 2015


Making reading your own
Language Magazine
Making literacy more personal to kids, especially to second language learners, begins with providing learners with their own personal libraries. It's hard to think about literacy without a library of great content and great books. So, when a student is able to have his or her own personal library — especially one that's digital, with an array of books at his or her fingertips for fast access — that's a strong and positive beginning. Students are able to open up and read books they're interested in, books at their level. Digital books now have the capability for authentic audio recording, so the students can hear how a word sounds as they are reading.
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The importance of culture in ESL teaching
By: Douglas Magrath
From the first word, the study of a second language is the study of another culture. Language and culture are intertwined, and ESL instructors need to be aware of the cultural similarities and differences between the students and the people of the host nation, as well as the varied cultures among the students themselves. We don't have to downgrade or change our culture or methods, nor do we have to erase our students' cultures. Rather we need to realize that cultures are different.
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Malaysia tops Asia in English language proficiency
Human Resources
Malaysia: Malaysia has outpaced its neighbour Singapore in English language proficiency, emerging number one among Asian nations. However, despite being among the top two in the region, Malaysia is only ranked 12th in the worldwide rankings while Singapore is ranked 13th. A new report by English First finds steady improvement in English language proficiency across Asia, yet marked variations in proficiency levels across nations. Respondents comprised those people either wanting to learn English or curious about their English skills. Malaysia and Singapore were the only Asian countries noted for their "high" English proficiency, while India and Hong Kong fell in the "moderate" range of proficiency.
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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!

FREE TESOL Virtual Seminar, 20 February
Noun Phrases in Academic Language: A Neglected Area of Grammar Learning

Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program
PP100: Foundation Course
13 April – 24 May 2015
Develop the skills you need to effectively teach English language courses online or blend online segments with your traditional face-to-face courses. The foundation course (PP100) introduces participants to the major design parameters of online courses. Space is limited and registration closes 8 April.

TESOL Training of Trainers
15 April – 26 May 2015
Looking to revitalize or kick-start your continuing professional development program? Register for TESOL's Training of Trainers online course and take action to boost your program's profile and transform your current ELT continuing professional development program using the latest technologies.

TESOL Online Course: Separating Difference From Disability With Students Learning English as an Additional Language
20 April – 17 May 2015
Explore assessment, intervention, and identification techniques effective in separating difference from disability and learn what tools and strategies are available and appropriate to use.

TOEFL Grants and Awards
The deadline for applications for TOEFL Grants and Awards is 15 February 2015. Awards are available in a variety of categories and provide funding for activities, projects and research in the field of international education and foreign or second language assessment. Applications received after February 15th will be considered for the next application deadline in October.

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

English Professor, EARTH University, Costa Rica

ESL Specialist, Assistant Director, The University of Toledo, USA

English Language Instructor, Raytheon, Saudi Arabia

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

Testing burden on ELLs needs easing, federal officials say
Education Week
Libia Gil, the head of the U.S. Department of Education's office of English language acquisition, says she's working with Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to ease the burden of testing for English learners and their teachers. "We do believe in annual testing, but we also believe there's overtesting. It's coming from all over. You have state assessments, you have local assessments, you have classroom assessments — some for different purposes, not all for accountability," said Gil, a veteran bilingual and dual-language educator who came to OELA in September 2013.
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From testing to big brother: 'No Child' debate moves to federal oversight
U.S. News & World Report
As lawmakers continue to move toward a compromise on updating No Child Left Behind, they appear to be slowly steering the conversation away from standardized testing and toward federal oversight of public education. While there's a growing consensus that the federal role needs to be scaled back, it's unclear whether Democrats and Republicans can agree on how far that reduction in power should go. Over the last few weeks, key members of the Senate and House — including Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., who chairs the House education committee, and Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio — have come out in support of maintaining annual testing requirements.
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What it looks like when every kid in the class is a recent child migrant
The bell rings at 7:25 a.m. and about 20 high-school students file into Isabel Sandoval's English as a second language classroom to take their seats. Out of backpacks spill folders, paper, pencils, and erasers. Students take out last night's homework assignment: a two- to three-sentence autobiography. Sandoval calls for volunteers to read their pieces: papers rustle, throats clear, and hands go up. Testing at least 60 days of intensive English language learning, a 15-year-old teenager from Honduras hesitantly raises his hand and reads his work, rounding his mouth to draw out the vowel in every word, "I came to the United States by walking and [sic] car. My family came to [sic] United States because we want a better life."
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    ESL students on the rise (Star Beacon)
4 tools to boost language learning in the classroom (Education Dive)
5 essential multimedia skills every educator must master (THE Journal)
TESOL Research Agenda (TESOL)
TESOL International Association responds to 2015 State of the Union Address (2) (')

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

The Common Core has not killed literature
The Atlantic
By now almost every teacher in the country has experienced the Common Core State Standards. We're teaching and assessing them; we're advocating for them or pushing against them. We're explaining them and giving them a chance, or we're passing them off as the latest educational trend to come and go. In short, the Common Core State Standards are specific, high-quality benchmarks in English and math for students in grades kindergarten through 12. In a recent article, one English teacher in California expressed concern that the standards emphasize technical reading skills over an appreciation for literature and traditional wisdom.
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Mind-body connection applies to language learning through brain's motor systems: Blog Vs. Lbog
Medical Daily
Are words that are harder to pronounce by default more difficult to understand? Or is it the other way around and our ability to recognize a word is what affects how easy it is to say? This question has puzzled researchers for many years and stands at the heart of helping dyslexic children learn to overcome their disability. A recent study used electromagnetic readings of volunteers' brains in order to answer this question, and what researchers found may change the way we perceive how our brains learn a language.
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How student-centered is your classroom?
In the education world, the term student-centered classroom is one we hear a lot. And many educators would agree that when it comes to 21st-century learning, having a student-centered classroom is certainly a best practice. Whether you instruct first grade or university students, take some time to think about where you are with creating a learning space where your students have ample voice, engage frequently with each other, and are given opportunities to make choices.
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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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