Welcome to the TESOL English Language Bulletin
Welcome to the inaugural issue of the TESOL English Language Bulletin, a weekly compendium of news and information for the English language teaching community. You're receiving this newsletter because you have expressed an interest in TESOL. I hope you'll find it useful.
Each week, you'll receive timely news relevant to your area of interest from a wide range of important sources. For your convenience, the newsletter presents the items in categories: adult education, K-12, secondary education, higher education and language and education policy as well as association news. Each item also has buttons that enable you to share it with your Facebook and Twitter contacts and your colleagues, so when you find something interesting, please pass it along and enrich the professional conversation.
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TESOL Executive Director
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Language testing rules criticized as unrealistic
The Tennessean Share
Research shows it takes the brightest, most motivated students three years to learn English well enough that they can test in it. But federal law allows newcomers only a one-year pass on testing. Some lawmakers want to see the rules regarding students designated English Language Learners changed because they are particularly tough — and some say unrealistic — for schools and districts with high numbers of immigrant students. In Nashville, Tenn., 22 percent of students have a first language other than English, and the district missed testing benchmarks three of the past four years largely because of their standardized test scores. More
US education secretary criticizes No Child Left Behind
The Associated Press via The San Antonio Express-News Share
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said, a federal education accountability law has led to a dumbing-down of academic standards and a narrowing of curriculum. Duncan said during an appearance with Gov. Bob McDonnell that the No Child Left Behind law punishes underperforming schools and is too narrowly focused on testing. Duncan said fixing the law would include adopting a system that rewards educational success, raises educational standards, and allows school systems to be flexible in raising student achievement. McDonnell said a planned overhaul of the federal education law should respect the ability of states to set their own academic standards. More
ESL cuts leave students behind
Almost a year after New York found that thousands of the city's students were not getting the language help mandated by law, the city still does not have a plan in place to fix the problem. And this year's budget cuts have made the situation even worse, teachers and parents say, as English as a Second Language instructors have been cut and services reduced even further. More
Successful strategies for English language learners
District Administration Share
Sen. Jose Peralta, D-N.Y., suggested in December that New York City Public School System's Chancellor Cathie Black consider establishing an immigrant school in Queens, N.Y., to solve overcrowding in nearby Newtown High School, which is also on the state's persistently lowest-achieving school list. "With immigrant English language learners who would otherwise attend Newtown receiving the intensive language development help they need in a different setting, Newtown could provide more individualized and direct services to students," Peralta stated in a letter to the Chancellor. While Black did not immediately respond, the plea shines light on the current situation many school district leaders are facing: a growing number of ELLs and how to ensure they succeed and graduate. More
Intentional, deliberate adult learning
Education Week Share
We all know the school is the site for student learning. We may engage in substantial discourse about what students are to learn, how they are to learn it, and when, but student learning remains the ultimate goal. We also know the most significant factor in whether student learning is taking place at school is teaching quality. Not just teacher quality, but teaching quality. If teaching quality is the most important influence on student learning, how do we maintain, increase, enhance, or improve teaching quality? The answer is continuous professional learning. And the most powerful setting or environment for continuous professional learning is the community of professional learners. More
Rote memorization: Overrated, or underrated?
HechingerEd (commentary) Share
Among the countless catchphrases educators generally despise are "drill-'n-kill" and "rote memorization." In keeping with their meanings, both sound terrifically unpleasant. To learn something "by rote," according to the Random House dictionary, is to learn it "from memory, without thought of the meaning; in a mechanical way." More
Ottawa ESL program takes hit from federal cuts
Canada: An Ottawa organization that provides language training to recent immigrants will be forced to scale back its services after the federal government slashed its annual funding. English Language Tutoring for the Ottawa Community provides English language tutoring to recent immigrants and refugees who are unable to attend traditional language classes. Federal funding for this program, provided by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, will be cut by 20 percent this year, with more cuts to come in 2012, which will result in a dramatic reduction in services. More
Survey reveals educators' must-have technologies
eSchool News Share
Interactive whiteboards are the classroom technology that teachers say they most value, and although tablet-style eReader devices such as Apple's iPad haven't been around for long, they already are considered the second most useful mobile classroom technology behind laptops, according to a national survey of teachers' digital media use. Educators are incorporating more Internet-dependent technologies into their instruction, the survey also reveals — but shrinking school budgets are prompting many educators to look for free resources. More