TESOL 2011: Preconvention opportunities for professional development
Welcome to the second issue of the TESOL English Language Bulletin, your weekly compendium of news and information for the English language teaching community. As always, TESOL welcomes your comments and suggestion. We hope you'll enjoy this issue.
The TESOL 2011 Convention and Exhibit is only a month away, but there's still time to register and book your hotel. The last day to take advantage of the advance registration discount is March 1. After that, you'll have to pay the full on-site rate. We have some exciting news about the convention hotels: The hotel reservation deadline has been extended to Feb. 18, and the Hilton, Doubletree, and New Orleans Marriott are now offering free in-room high speed Internet. TESOL has also reserved shuttle busses from the Hilton, the Doubletree, and the New Orleans Marriott, so you can travel in comfort from your hotel to the convention center. Book now — some hotels are already sold out.
And while you're taking care of registration, check out these preconvention opportunities for professional development.
Click here for more TESOL association news.
Korea: Language education policy
The Korea Times Share
Korea: Language education policy rarely attracts headlines in Korea or elsewhere. English education policy makes the news on and off in Korea, but news about other languages is rare. This is regrettable because the language education policy needs greater coordination so that it can effectively promote individual development and the national interest. More
English a problem in Namibia, Africa
Namibia, Africa: Education Minister Abraham Iyambo expressed great concern that the low proficiency in English of teachers, especially in the northern regions, is widely regarded a considerable impediment to educational progress in Namibia, Africa. Lyambo, who was speaking when he launched an English book for teachers titled "Policy and Practice in English Language" here said many practicing teachers have poor reading skills, grammar skills and too limited a vocabulary to adequately explain concepts in English. Thus, teachers' poor English proficiency affects the teaching and learning process negatively in the content subjects that are taught in English. More
Report: Blended learning could hit or miss
eSchool News Share
Blended learning has the ability to transform education, according to a new report — but if certain guidelines and practices aren't ensured, blended learning could become just another add-on to an archaic system on its way out, the report warns. The report, titled "The Rise of K-12 Blended Learning," by Michael B. Horn, co-founder and executive director of education at the Innosight Institute, and Heather Clayton Staker, a senior research fellow for education practice at the institute, describes how blended learning can affect education, but why it also could fall short of its potential. More
Latino advocacy group starts bilingual cyber charter school
Education Week Share
ASPIRA of Pennsylvania, a Latino advocacy group, has launched the first bilingual online charter school in Pennsylvania and possibly in the nation. The ASPIRA Bilingual Cyber Charter School so far has a principal, four teachers, and 31 students in grades 8-12 and was authorized by the Pennsylvania Education Department. The national association supports Latino children and youths through clubs in schools and in after-school programs but it doesn't run charter schools. More
Teaching ESL abroad creates new opportunities for adventure
Latina Lista Share
Patricia Hernandez is proof that the spirit of adventure isn't just reserved for the young. This 53-year-old California grandmother of three decided to venture out of her comfort zone and try her hand at teaching English — in Iraq. For anyone wanting to teach ESL abroad, Hernandez writes that a four-year degree is a necessity. It can be in any field but especially helpful if it's in English. The person should also be a native English speaker, have a Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages or TESOL certificate and, perhaps most importantly, be willing to have an open mind about living in a different culture. While teaching ESL abroad can be rewarding, Hernandez says everyone needs to exercise caution when choosing an ESL school. More
Europe's push to teach in English creates barriers in the classroom
The Chronicle of Higher Education Share
Denmark: Like a growing number of scholars in Europe, Philipp J.H. Schröder, a popular professor of economics at Aarhus University in Denmark, is something of a polyglot. A native of Germany, he earned his undergraduate degree in England and now lives and teaches in Denmark's second-largest city. His English, though moderately accented, seems flawless in conversation, so he would appear the ideal candidate to preside over an increasingly common type of classroom in Europe: One with few native English speakers but where English is the language of instruction. More
Inside Higher Ed Share
Online Spanish courses are perfectly adequate for jogging the memories of college students whose high-school Spanish has slipped away from them. But those taking the language for the first time are better off spending at least some of their seat time in a traditional classroom. More
International students find their English voice
Wyoming Tribune-Eagle Share
Twice a week a group of adults ranging from their early 20s to 70-plus sits together in a classroom at Laramie County Community College in Wyoming and practices reading aloud. They progress sentence by sentence, often pausing over vocabulary words and always encouraging each other. These students are English Language Learners in a free Adult Career Education System class, and they are learning to speak and read in English. More
Funding cuts threaten English lessons
The Guardian Share
United Kingdom: Lumnije Bajrami was stunned when told she may have to abandon her dreams of a better job and of a university place because of new coalition government funding rules for adult education. The single mother of an autistic child arrived in the U.K. from Kosovo in 2005, speaking no English, but determined to make a new life. But new regulations for Esol courses threaten all that. Under the government strategy on skills, the only people eligible for full funding are those on "active benefits" — jobseeker's allowance (JSA) or employment support allowance (ESA). Those on support described as "non-active benefits" such as income support or on low incomes, including spouses, will not be eligible, nor will asylum seekers, migrant workers and refugees. Even where there is other support, individuals must pay at least half the full cost of the course under a system of co-funding to share the costs between government, employers and individuals. More