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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   February 13, 2015


The 4 C's of 21st century learning for ELLs: Communication
By: Erick Herrmann
In the first part of this series, we explored critical thinking as an important skill that students will need to master in the 21st century. The jobs of tomorrow are unknown today, and while the world is changing quickly, it is also shrinking. Small and large companies alike are building global teams, selling services and products all over the world. Global communication is instantaneous. Given this, tomorrow's workforce will need to be skilled in communication, the second of the four C's of 21st century skills explored in this series.
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Are English learners neglected in early education?
NBC News
In San Antonio's Harlandale school district, pre-kindergarten students learn English and Spanish together. They help one another through instructions and assist each other in the language they are most familiar with, a structure that they'll stick with until they reach sixth grade. Similar programs can be found in Washington, D.C. and elsewhere as more and more parents want their children to speak more than one language. But as children under 5 are increasingly Latinos with Spanish spoken at home, such pre-K programs are becoming more vital.
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Children with English as second language outperforming native English speakers at GCSE
Birmingham Mail
United Kingdom: Children across the Midlands who speak English as a second language are outperforming native British speakers at GCSE, new figures have revealed. Statistics released by the Department for Education show that in the last academic year, 64.3 percent of children in Birmingham who speak English as a first language got five GCSE passes at A* to C — while 64.8 percent of children who speak English as a second language managed the same achievement. And the gap is far greater in other parts of the region — with pupils who have English as an additional language outstripping the performance of native speakers.
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FREE TESOL/Oxford University Press Virtual Seminar, 20 February
Noun Phrases in Academic Language: A Neglected Area of Grammar Learning. The second in a series from Oxford University Press, this webinar will suggest some helpful ways to approach the teaching of noun phrase structure and provide participants with a number of exercises and activities for helping ESL students practice this important aspect of academic language.

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.

Pre- and Postconvention Education
There is still time to register for PCIs, educational site visits, K–12 Dream Day, and Adult Ed Day for TESOL 2015 in Toronto, Ontario Canada. Hurry! The advance registration deadline is 20 February 2015.

Call for contributions: New Ways in Teaching With Humor
Editor John Rucynski, Jr., seeks contributors for a volume in TESOL's New Ways Series entitled New Ways in Teaching With Humor. The content will include teaching ideas and activities for using or teaching about humor in English.

Call for articles: TESOL Connections
TESOL Connections, TESOL International Association's membership newsletter, is seeking feature articles that are about innovative, unusual, or interesting things you have found in your years of experience in ELT; about trends in ELT and how they might influence teaching; and/or that contain useful, tested classroom practice tips or strategies. Read submission guidelines and check out the current issue.

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

Assistant Professors, Sookmyung Women's University, South Korea

ESOL Program Specialist, The Montgomery Coalition for Adult English Literacy (MCAEL), USA

Curriculum Development Specialist, University of Central Asia, Kyrgyzstan

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

Glimmer of hope in 8-year battle to replace No Child Left Behind
The Christian Science Monitor
The eight-year effort to reauthorize No Child Left Behind, the controversial bill that sets federal education policy, has come down to a battle over testing and accountability among some odd bedfellows. All sides agree that an updated law is an urgent necessity. But the question of what role standardized tests should play and how to hold underperforming schools to account divides deeply.
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Education group wants to halt high-stakes testing for evaluations
District Administration Magazine
Education advocacy group ASCD is calling for a two-year moratorium on using standardized test results for teacher or school evaluations. The move represents a growing push nationally to cut back on testing and limit its use as an accountability measure because it may not accurately reflect a teacher's classroom performance.
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Lessons from Texas on the relationship between school funding and the academic achievement of ELLs
Recently, Texas' Intercultural Development Research Association held a research symposium titled "Securing Educational Equity and Excellence for English Language Learners." The symposium was the inaugural event for IDRA’s José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellow Program, which supports promising school finance scholars’ engagement with research on how to secure equity and excellence for all public school students. The 2014 fellow was Dr. Oscar Jimenez-Castellanos, an associate professor at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University, who presented his research on school funding and academic achievement for secondary English language learners in Texas.
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The mute leading the mute
The Economist
Mexico: Agustin has spent 29 years teaching English in Mexico City. It has often been a thankless task; many pupils yawn their way through class. But their lack of interest may be compounded by his lack of English. Ask him where his next lesson is, and he replies, "nine o'clock." His case is not unusual in Mexico, despite Mexico's proximity to America. A recent survey by Mexicanos Primero, an education NGO, found that four-fifths of secondary-school graduates had "absolutely no knowledge" of English, despite having spent at least 360 hours learning it in secondary school. English teachers were not much better: one in seven had no English whatsoever.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Mobile game uses gestures to teach language (THE Journal)
Common core just might be the greatest (or worst) thing to happen to DLLs (Education Central)
Reading instruction and the achievement gap (The Huffington Post)
Making reading your own (Language Magazine)
Testing burden on ELLs needs easing, federal officials say (Education Week)

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

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Monett, Mo., shows gains in English language learners
The Monett Times
Each year, the Monett School District in Missouri undergoes one residual assessment left over from the No Child Left Behind Act. Scores on state standardized tests reflect how well the English language learners are performing in Monett classrooms. In 2014, students met two out of three standards, better than last year, while still leaving the district classified as "needing improvement."
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Language study offers new twist on mind-body connection
Medical News Today
Research from Northeastern professor of psychology Iris Berent and her colleagues finds that spoken language and motor systems are intricately linked — though not in the way that has been widely believed. Spoken languages express words by sound patterns, some of which are preferred to others. For instance, the sound pattern "blog" is preferred to "lbog" in English as well as many other languages.
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Depression in teachers impacts classroom learning
Elementary school teachers who have more symptoms of depression may have a negative influence on some students' academic performance, a new study suggests. In the small study, third-grade teachers who were struggling with symptoms of depression — such as poor appetite, restless sleep, crying spells and feeling like a failure — were generally less likely to create and maintain a high-quality classroom environment for their students compared with teachers who had fewer signs of depression.
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How spelling keeps kids from learning
The Atlantic
Johnny in Topeka, Kansas, can't read, but Janne in Helsinki is effortlessly finishing his storybooks. Such a disparity may be expected by now, but the reason might come as a surprise: It probably has much less to do with teaching style and quality than with language. Simply put, written English is great for puns but terrible for learning to read or write. It's like making children from around the world complete an obstacle course to fully participate in society but requiring the English-speaking participants to wear blindfolds.
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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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