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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Mar. 7, 2012







Register now for Training of Trainers online course
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Don't miss this opportunity to reflect on your current (or future) English language program. "Training of Trainers, Strengthening English Language Programs" provides you with the tools you need to review your program and transform it for the digital age. Joe Tillman, an assistant professor in the Teacher Education Unit at York College CUNY in Jamaica, Queens, will lead the course, which runs from 9 April to 20 May. For complete program and registration information, please visit TESOL's website. The registration deadline is 3 April. More




TESOL offers course on separating difference from disability
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Separating Difference from Disability with Students Learning English as an Additional Language" addresses specific issues in assessment, intervention, and identification strategies that are most effective in working with at-risk language learners and learners with a variety of disabilities. Catherine Collier, director of Curriculum Integration for Responsive, CrossCultural, Language-Based Education at Western Washington University will lead the online course, which runs from 2 to 29 April. For complete program information, please visit TESOL's website. The registration deadline is 30 March. More

Visit the TESOL 2012 Exhibitor Showcase
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As you plan your itinerary for the 2012 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, don't forget to visit the Exhibitor Showcase. In the showcase, exhibiting companies present and demonstrate their latest products, research, and services in 45-minute sessions in the exhibit hall. The TESOL convention website has a complete schedule.


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Value-added evaluation hurts teaching
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Here's the hype: New York City's "worst teacher" was recently singled out and so labeled by the New York Post after the city's education department released value-added test-score ratings to the media for thousands of city teachers, identifying each by name. The tabloid treatment didn't stop there. Reporters chased down teacher Pascale Mauclair, the subject of the "worst teacher" slam, bombarding her with questions about her lack of skill and commitment. They even went to her father's home and told him his daughter was among the worst teachers in the city. More




How to demoralize teachers
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two weeks ago, New York state's highest court ruled that the New York City Department of Education could release for public scrutiny the value-added ratings of teachers of mathematics and English in fourth- through eighth-grade. Rupert Murdoch's New York Post, joined by other media, had filed a "freedom of information" request to obtain the testing data, and the United Federation of Teachers opposed their release, saying that the ratings contained many inaccuracies. More

House panel gives partisan approval to ESEA bills
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On a partisan vote, the House Education and the Workforce Committee gave its stamp of approval to GOP-backed legislation reauthorizing portions of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. A pair of bills, both of which were introduced by U.S. Rep. John Kline, R-Minn., the chairman of the committee, would scale back the federal role in education and give states much more running room when it comes to K-12 policy, a 180-degree pivot from the current version of the law, the decade-old No Child Left Behind Act. The measures passed on a party-line vote of 23-16. More

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Common core brings K-12, higher education together
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If college and university faculties do not embrace the common-core standards as solid indicators of college readiness, what do the standards mean? That was one of the big questions hovering over a national forum here this week about how pre-collegiate and higher education can work together to use the new English/language arts and mathematics standards as the basis for stronger curricula, instruction, teacher preparation and college success. The three-day gathering was organized to showcase Kentucky's push to bring its K-12 and higher education systems together to improve students' preparation for further study after high school. More

Teacher-prep negotiators divided over federal rules
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The tenor of discussions held here last week by negotiators rewriting federal rules on teacher preparation underscored deep-seated philosophical divisions within the field, including the thorny issue of how much responsibility schools of education should bear for producing effective teachers. Though the panelists did reach compromises on several occasions, negotiators differed on the degree to which teacher-preparation programs should be rated on outcome measures; how aggressive the federal government should be in holding programs accountable for such results; and the ramifications of any new requirements on states with training programs of varying sizes and missions. More

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Parliament snubs national language rule
Swiss Broadcasting Corporation    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sweden: A proposal to ban English as a first foreign language taught in Swiss schools has failed to win a majority in parliament. The House of Representatives rejected a call by a French-speaking Green Party representative to draft an amendment to the language law. He argued that schools in the majority German-speaking part of the country were sending the wrong signal if they preferred English over a national Swiss language. More



Confessions of a 'bad' teacher
The New York Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I am a special education teacher. My students have learning disabilities ranging from autism and attention-deficit disorder to cerebral palsy and emotional disturbances. I love these kids, but they can be a handful. Almost without exception, they struggle on standardized tests, frustrate their teachers and find it hard to connect with their peers. What's more, these are high school students, so their disabilities are compounded by raging hormones and social pressure. More

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Hard-working teachers sabotaged when student test scores slip
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For 15 years, Anna Allanbrook has been the principal of Public School 146 in Brooklyn, N.Y., one of the highest-achieving elementary schools in the city. In that time, she has never had a more talented and hard-working bunch than the current team of fifth-grade teachers. The five have lunch together daily, using the time to plan. They stay until 7 p.m. on Fridays to prepare for the following week. More

An open letter from undocumented students
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In this election year, the dysfunctional immigration system in the United States is back in the spotlight. While presidential candidates debate how to solve its problems, and state and local governments pass reactionary legislation, it is estimated that more than 1 million undocumented-immigrant children attend our schools every day. Yet we are failing these vulnerable children. Their achievement levels and school success are among the lowest of any demographic group, and their high school dropout rate among the highest. Regardless of the political wrangling on this issue, or anyone's personal politics, it's time that we acknowledge these young people, their needs and their potential. More

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Schools concerned about child neglect
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: We are walking across the bright, airy atrium of a newly refurbished Victorian primary in south London. A little girl reading with a parent volunteer looks up and waves enthusiastically; the headteacher, my tour guide, grins and waves back. The school's positive atmosphere belies the difficulties that some of its pupils face. Half of students here are eligible for free school meals and 37 languages are spoken — "which I think is incredibly enriching," says the head. More

Reading, writing, tweeting
Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Ed Knight wants to find out what his 6-year-old did in school, he can scroll the Twitter feed on his iPhone for clues to start a conversation with his quiet son, who sometimes holds back when recounting details of his day. That's because Evan and others in first-grade teacher Jodi Conrad's class use Twitter to send out a weekly newsletter, update the days' activities and give parents reminders about upcoming programs. More




Putting student writing center stage
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"A prince! And can someone with a quiet hand tell me what our main character the prince's name is?" Dozens of tiny arms shoot into the air. Peter McNerney, who is moderating the performance, chooses one. He leans in and waits encouragingly for the kindergartner to whisper an answer. "Chicken Breath?" McNerney confirms softly. Then, in a booming voice to the 100 other 5- and 6-year-olds sitting on the gym floor, "Yes, that's it! His name is Chicken Breath!" Uproarious laughter fills the room. More

Byron Primary School, Bradford, UK, only has 26 native English speakers out of 700 pupils
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom A primary school has 26 out of 700 pupils who speak English as their native language but this has not stopped the school from receiving positive feedback from inspections body Ofsted and ranking high in league tables. The rest of the pupils, who amount to 96.3 percent of the United Kingdom's Bradford school's population, use another language, a Freedom of Information request revealed. According to the FOI response, primary school children in Bradford speak 140 languages, ranging from Polish to Punjabi. More

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Malay parents struggling to find schools that will teach their children English
Public Radio International    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Malaysia: Malay is the national language in Malaysia, but English used to be widely used as well in the former British colony. Now, as use of English diminishes, some parents are worried their sons and daughters won't be as competitive in a global work force. So they're left to find schools that will still teach them in English. More



NACAC group hears pros and cons on use of paid recruiting agents
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If anything was clear after the inaugural meeting of a commission tasked with making recommendations on international-student recruitment practices, it is that the task ahead of the group is Solomonic. During the daylong session, the 26-member panel organized by the National Association for College Admission Counseling, or NACAC, heard from supporters of paying per-student commissions to overseas recruiters and from those who think the practice is unethical. Testimony was given by representatives of countries with robust regulatory frameworks governing foreign-student recruitment, where the use of commissioned agents is "embedded" in international strategy. Officials from four U.S. cabinet departments weighed in, with four different perspectives on the issue. More



Why every professor needs linguistics 101
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By now it should be obvious that grammar instruction doesn't benefit anyone. Students hate it; teachers never learned grammar themselves, or if they did, they promptly forgot most of it. And study after study shows that overt grammar lessons don't lead to better writing. Right? More



Global executives learning English on their own terms
The Globe and Mail    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canada: A French diplomat recently shrugged at news that Tunisians were rejecting his language and enrolling in English classes. "You can't be in this globalised world without being able to speak English," he said. How will these eager new English speakers fare? If you believe Jean-Paul Nerrière, they will learn enough to communicate with Peruvians and Indonesians, but not enough to talk to Britons, Americans or Australians. More



National Evaluation of Title III Implementation Supplemental Report: Exploring Approaches to Setting English Language Proficiency Performance Criteria and Monitoring English Learner Progress
American Institutes for Research    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education has released a report examining approaches to setting criteria for measuring the progress of English learners in classrooms as part of a four-year project led by AIR. The report, "National Evaluation of Title III Implementation Supplemental Report: Exploring Approaches to Setting English Language Proficiency Performance Criteria and Monitoring English Learner Progress," provides examples of various ways states can use enhanced data systems to address key questions such as: What does English language proficiency mean? How long does it take to become English proficient? How do we take into account the English language proficiency level in setting academic progress for proficiency expectations? More

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Language development predicted in children
Medical News Today    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 they 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

Couch potatoes, rejoice — Learning can be passive
Time    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You've heard it before, and it's true: we learn by doing. But we also learn by watching. Whether it's a salsa teacher running through a dance sequence, a tennis coach demonstrating proper serving technique or a science professor conducting a dissection in front of the class, observing an expert at work is an opportunity to hone our own skills. This is especially true in the case of motor movements, and research in neuroscience is beginning to show why: when we watch someone else's motions, the parts of the brain that direct our own physical movements are activated. Observation accelerates the learning process because our brains are able to map others' actions onto our own mental representations, making them more detailed and more accurate. Using brain scans, scientists are figuring out how this process works — and how we can make the most of what we see. More



Video becoming a key tool in teacher training, evaluation
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As teacher training and evaluation take a front seat in the nation's education reform agenda, a growing number of schools are integrating video into the process. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's Measures of Effective Teaching Project notes that once-a-year teacher evaluations are not enough to help teachers improve, and that multiple observations by trained professionals should be combined with other methods such as student test scores and classroom surveys. Preliminary results from the two-year study were posted in early January. Part of the project involves recording teachers and having their lessons scored by professionals. Teachers are able to watch their own instruction and can identify what concepts seem particularly difficult for students to grasp and at which points during the instruction they "lose" students. 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 teachenglish@hct.ac.ae 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 www.tesol.org or contact us at membership@tesol.org.

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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