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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Feb. 29, 2012

Convention housing deadline extended to 1 March
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If you have not booked your hotel yet for the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo in Philadelphia, you have until 1 March. Rooms are still available at Doubletree Hotel Philadelphia Center City and Sheraton Philadelphia Downtown Hotel. To reserve your room, please visit the TESOL convention webpage. More

TESOL welcomes new affiliates
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Since December 2011, TESOL has welcomed three new international affiliates: TESL Nova Scotia, English Teachers Association of Georgia, and Bolivian English Teachers Association. TESOL now has 104 affiliates, and new applications are pending. For more information on TESOL's affiliate program, please contact A full list of TESOL's affiliates is available on TESOL's website.

Registration is now open for TESOL Advocacy Day
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TESOL will host its annual TESOL Advocacy Day on 18–19 June 2012. TESOL members are invited to join association staff and leadership in Washington, D.C., to advocate for education policies that matter to them, their students and the field. Training is provided. The preregistration deadline is 15 April 2012. For registration and other information, please visit the Advocacy Day webpage.

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Upcoming TESOL virtual seminars
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TESOL will host two virtual seminars in April. On Wednesday, 11 April, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST, Elka Todeva will lead "Grammaring — Unpacking the Concept," and on Wednesday, 25 April, 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. EST, Brock Brady will lead "Responding to 21st Century Demands for ELT." Virtual seminars are free for TESOL members; nonmembers may attend for $45. Registration is now open. For more information, please visit TESOL's website.

Special screening of 'Speaking in Tongues' documentary
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TESOL International Association will host a special screening of the award-winning documentary "Speaking in Tongues" on Friday, 30 March, 3:30 p.m.-4:30 p.m., at TESOL 2012 in Philadelphia. The screening is free for convention attendees. The film follows four students from diverse backgrounds as they and their families encounter the challenges and delights of becoming fluent in two languages. The film's website has study guides, a video toolkit and other resources for educators.

Obama chides governors for education cuts
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama told U.S. governors attending a luncheon that they are cutting too much funding for education and need to make reforms while continuing to invest in the future of America's students. While acknowledging the tough economic climate for state governments, Obama cited the need to prioritize the long-range significance of a strong education system. More

Odd pairings on teacher evaluation in ESEA fight
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The always contentious subject of teacher evaluation is creating some unusual divisions on Capitol Hill, as members of Congress debate approaches for the long-delayed renewal of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Two proposals for renewing the law — a measure that passed the Senate education committee last fall and a pair of House bills slated for committee consideration in the coming weeks — represent dueling visions of the federal role in shaping teacher evaluation, an issue that continues to roil state legislatures as well. The House bill, introduced by U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, would require districts to devise new teacher-evaluation systems, mirroring the Obama administration's priorities. More

States try to fix quirks in teacher evaluations
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Steve Ball, executive principal at the East Literature Magnet School in Nashville, Tenn., arrived at an English class unannounced one day this month and spent 60 minutes taking copious notes as he watched the teacher introduce and explain the concept of irony. "It was a good lesson," Ball said. But under Tennessee's new teacher-evaluation system, which is similar to systems being adopted around the country, Ball said he had to give the teacher a one — the lowest rating on a five-point scale — in 1 of 12 categories: breaking students into groups. More

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A flawed approach to reading in the Common-Core Standards
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In reading the recently proposed Common Core State Standards already accepted by all but three states, I could not see many elementary school children of any background or ability meeting the standards at the grades designated. In my view, as a former elementary teacher and principal, the standards overestimate the intellectual, physiological and emotional development of young children, asking them to think analytically as they read or write, extract subtle meanings from a text, and make fine distinctions within and across texts. Such deliberative and intensive behaviors are not supported by the research on child development, nor are they expected anywhere else in children's lives today. More

Genre Books and Reader's Theater

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No student left untested
The New York Review of Books (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The New York State Education Department and the teachers' unions reached an agreement to allow the state to use student test scores to evaluate teachers. The pact was brought to a conclusion after Gov. Andrew Cuomo warned the parties that if they didn't come to an agreement quickly, he would impose his own solution (though he did not explain what that would be). More

Forcing Maryland's Frederick County immigrants to speak English: Dubious motives, obvious benefits
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You're in America. Speak English. That's what my parents say. And it's exactly what they did when they came to this country from Czechoslovakia more than four decades ago, knowing nothing more than the lyrics to the Beach Boys' 'Sloop John B.' Maryland's Frederick County board of commissioners made English the official language of a fast-growing and increasingly diverse place. More

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Mama, would you please speak English
CNN (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Luna only spoke Spanish for her first few years, our feeble attempt to make her bilingual in a home with two parents who are fully bilingual. Like generations of Americans with roots in other countries, we thought it would be an asset for her to learn a second language. Then preschool introduced English, but who would push back against the cuteness of bilingual baby talk. By kindergarten she had drawn the line in the sand. She wanted to speak only the language of her people — the other 5-year-olds in Room K210. More

Why learn a foreign language?
The Desert News (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As written by May Lundy: "'Hello, hello, hello, how are you?' are words to the first song I learned in English. The teacher sang along while we covered our hands in glue from pasting paper drawings on our workbooks. I was 3 years old and attending a bilingual kindergarten in Veracruz, Mexico." More

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Connecting teachers with neuroscience research
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers in the University of Toronto's neuroscience department are planning to launch a website that will make information about neuroscience and its implications for instruction available to educators this fall. The website is part of a project called "The Adolescent Brain: Implications for Instruction," which will also include a quarterly newsletter and professional development courses. More

If school is not relevant
KQED (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Imagine if schools were judged not by how well students achieved while they were in school, but in how well they achieved once they left. If schools saw their worth not in how many kids got accepted to college, but in how many kids went on to live meaningful and engaged lives and who would point back to their school years as the point of relevancy that was the foundation of it all. If schools gauged themselves not by how many kids passed a test, but in how well it prepared those kids who did not pass the test to see themselves as worthy of respect and ready to take on the challenges of life. More

Massachusetts crafts new rules to teach students who are learning English
WickedLocal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Massachusetts education commissioner Mitchell Chester outlined ambitious and costly plans to strengthen instruction for students learning English, with plans to recommend final regulations in May and improve opportunities for a fast-growing student population. More

United Kingdom school with 700 pupils has only 26 native English speakers
The Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Byron Primary School in Bradford has 26 out of 700 pupils who speak English as a mother tongue, with 96.3 percent using another language. It has the highest proportion of children speaking an alternative first language in the Bradford district, where more than 23,000 of the 54,146 pupils use foreign dialects. Despite the difficulties in teaching, the school ranks in the top 25 percent in the country based on exam results. More

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A toast to National Grammar Day
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Break out the grammartinis and punch-uation, folks. National Grammar Day is fast approaching. And we can't take credit for either of those puns. March 4 — which isn't just a date, organizers note, but an imperative ("March forth!") — has been adopted by language lovers as a day of honoring grammar with equal parts reverence and frivolity. More

Israel's Academy of the Hebrew Language declares war — on English
Haaretz Dily Newspaper    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Israel: The Academy of the Hebrew Language has declared war against the increasing use of English in the country's institutions of higher learning. The academy says students have a right to speak and study in Hebrew in all course work. Academy President Moshe Bar-Asher has met with Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar and demanded that he take action immediately. More

Bilingual immigrants report better health than speakers of one language
Health Behavior News Service via Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Healthy individuals who immigrate to the U.S. often see their health decline over time. A recent study from Stanford University suggests that immigrants who learn English while maintaining their native language might be protected against this puzzling phenomenon. More

Test aims to predict children's language development
Condordia University via Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We depend on a barrage of standardized tests to assess everything from aptitude to intelligence. But do tests provide an accurate forecast when it comes to something as complex as language? A study by Diane Pesco, an assistant professor in Concordia's Department of Education, and co-author Daniela O'Neill, published earlier this year in the Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, shows that the Language Use Inventory does. More

Report examines 'school to home' communications
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new report has identified key trends and issues when it comes to how teachers, parents and students communicate, and it indicates that the growing prevalence of mobile devices could help improve communication among these stakeholder groups. "Connecting in the 21st Century," a report from Project Tomorrow and Blackboard Inc., based on data from Project Tomorrow's 2010 Speak Up survey, reveals new information about the way parents, students, and teachers communicate with one another. It identifies as a key trend the "growing need for more effective, timely, and targeted communication between the school and home." More

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Study: More US kids living in high-poverty areas
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Years of economic setbacks have taken their toll on the nation's youngest residents, with another 1.6 million children living in high-poverty neighborhoods, according to one study that shows nearly 8 million children residing in poor areas in 2010. In 2000, 6.3 million children lived in high poverty in the United States, a report by the Annie E. Casey Foundation found. The growth — a 25 percent increase — reverses the trend just a decade ago that saw fewer children living in communities with high poverty rates, according to the nonprofit group. More

Wot r u doin 2nite: Laziness or creativity?
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canada: De shud b HHIS — which may be translated as "They should be hanging their heads in shame." Such is the scolding that some parents and teachers may want to give children and teenagers after reading the state of their homework, because a new study by a graduate student in linguistics at the University of Calgary confirms what some fear: that text messaging has a negative impact on language skills. More

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English Faculty - United Arab Emirates
The Higher Colleges of Technology will be conducting interviews at TESOL Philadelphia and TESOL Arabia. As the largest Higher Education institution in the UAE, HCT is actively recruiting for English Faculty for our 17 campuses. Book your interview by emailing or visit our website to apply online.
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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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