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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   February 20, 2015


How cultural differences can affect learning
By: Douglas Magrath
Culture is a part of language. Even vocabulary can be culturally loaded. For example, the dictionary may say that "pain" in French and "bread" in English represent the same physical object, but the cultural load will be different. In Turkish, "ekmek" is bread, but it is more than a food item. One does not merely throw old bread away; it is carefully wrapped before being put out. The instructor cannot be an expert on every culture but should be aware of some of the more common areas of potential conflict.
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Teaching in tandem
Language Magazine (commentary)
The current emphasis in ESL instruction is on a "push-in" rather than "pull-out" method of intervention: ESL teachers collaborate with a content-area teacher and co-teach in the content classroom to ensure ELLs can master vocabulary and concepts. Co-teaching is a great model, and I have had successful co-teaching experiences at the high school level in biology, algebra, and English language arts. However, my current position at a middle school, where I teach two different subjects (French and English as a second language) to three different grade levels, does not allow time to co-teach in a content classroom or to attend PLC meetings with the various grade levels.
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New York compels 20 school districts to lower barriers to immigrants
The New York Times
Twenty New York school districts found to be blocking access for undocumented immigrant children will be forced to modify their enrollment policies to break down illegal barriers to education, the state attorney general's office said. A joint review by the State Education Department and the attorney general's office found a broad pattern of intransigence on the part of districts that, despite repeated instructions from federal and state law enforcement agencies, continued to bar children based on their immigration status, said Kristen Clarke, the chief of the Civil Rights Bureau in the attorney general's office.
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TESOL 2015: Advance registration deadline extended!
You have a bit more time to take advantage of the discounted advance rate for the 2015 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo in Toronto, Canada — and there is still time to register for PCIs, educational site visits, K–12 Dream Day, and Adult Ed Day. Advance Deadline extended to Friday, 27 February! Hotel deadline extended to Monday, 2 March.

Prepare Your Program for NCATE/CAEP Review
25 March 2015, Toronto, Ontario Canada
Is your institution preparing for NCATE/CAEP recognition? If so, don't miss TESOL's workshop Preparing Your TESOL P-12 Teacher Education Program for NCATE/CAEP National Recognition prior to the start of the 2015 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo. Experts at the workshop will review the revised TESOL/NCATE standards and advise faculty and staff on how to prepare their institution for compiling a TESOL program report. Plus, as a special feature, you can add on a private, one-hour consulting session with a trained reviewer. Register by 27 February to receive the advance rate.

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.

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. Proposals are due 15 April 2015. Submit today!

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

Curriculum Designer — ELL Expertise Grades 3–5, Expeditionary Learning, USA

ESL Teachers, Escuela Superior Politecnica del Litoral, Ecuador

Academic Coordinator of English (K-12), Colegio and Kinder Fontanar, Mexico

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

Obama vows to fight back after federal ruling stalls immigration protections
Education Week
A federal judge in Texas has temporarily blocked President Barack Obama's sweeping executive action on immigration, but the White House has promised to fight back. The programs at issue are Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents and expansions to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, the program protecting undocumented immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. United States District Judge Andrew S. Hanen slammed the brakes on the programs, which the Obama administration saw as tools to ease longstanding concerns about separating school-aged children from their families.
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GOP in driver's seat as Congress tackles NCLB rewrite
Education Week
Recently, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have continued to plow ahead with efforts to update the much-maligned No Child Left Behind Act, the latest iteration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Republican lawmakers are in the driver's seat in both chambers where Title I portability, testing, and accountability continue to be the most hotly debated policy issues.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords NCLB.

Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Immigrant parents and student learning (Scholastic Administration)
More expert thoughts on updating No Child Left Behind's Title III (EdCentral)
Education reform is driving teachers out of the classroom (Forbes)
The 4 C's of 21st century learning for ELLs: Communication (By: Erick Herrmann)
Are English learners neglected in early education? (NBC News)

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

West Michigan superintendent says English language learners should factor into rankings
Godfrey-Lee Public Schools superintendent David Britten said school rankings that fail to account for English language learners and limited English proficiency are flawed even if they include income levels. "This is a factor that often has a greater negative impact on learning than any other factor," said Britten, referring to recent rankings from Bridge Magazine and the Mackinac Center.
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Language isn't the problem
Times Higher Education (commentary)
United Kingdom: The debate about inadequate English language proficiency often focuses on the wrong issues ("Scholars highlight inadequate language skills," News, 5 February). We should instead focus on how universities select their future students. We need to question how reliable are personal statements, references and formal English language test scores. Courses that struggle with quality should consider adding a second stage to their admissions process. Much can be done with technology to allow assessments in groups: webinars, Skype conference calls and Google+ hangouts to name a few. These may not be accessible to all applicants, but they would cater to many.
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Report: Fewer kids are frequent readers
The Boston Globe
Books can be a hard sell as kids get older and spend more time texting, on YouTube or playing games on their phones. A new report by children's publishing company Scholastic shows how reading habits change through childhood, and offers hints for parents looking to get their kids to read more. The biannual Kids & Family Reading Report, based on a 2014 survey of more than 2,500 parents and kids, found that the number of kids ages 6-17 who frequently read books for fun (i.e., 5-7 days a week) is lower than it was four years ago — 31 percent versus 37 percent. While more than half (53 percent) of kids ages 6-8 are frequent readers, that figure falls to just 14 percent for kids ages 15-17.
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Social media for teachers: Guides, resources and ideas
Although students are evermore connected to the social web, many of these networks remain out-of-class digital playgrounds where students congregate. In a 2014 survey of 1,000 teachers, just one in five said they use social media regularly with students. Of course, it can be a challenge to incorporate social media into lessons. There are many gray areas for teachers to navigate, like setting guidelines, accessibility at school and student safety. But to help teachers navigate this ever-changing landscape of social media tools, here are some of the best guides on the web for four popular networks, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.
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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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