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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   March 10, 2015

 





ESL teachers improvise under Common Core
New America Media
The nation's sweeping changes in education under the new Common Core State Standards have yet to catch up with teaching materials. That leaves educators like Sabrina Silverman with little choice but to spend extra time creating their own lesson plans, sometimes from scratch. Silverman, 25, is an English as a Second Language and math instructor at William C. Overfelt High School, part of the East Side Union High School District in San Jose. Some 74 percent of students at Overfelt are classified as English Language Learners. Statewide, ELL students account for about 22 percent of all public school students, according to the California Department of Education.
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Tanzania dumps English as its official language in schools, opts for Kiswahili
Quartz
Tanzania: Tanzania is set to become the first sub-Saharan African country to use an African language as the medium of instruction throughout the schooling years. As part of far-reaching plans to reform education, President Jakaya Kikwete's administration announced last week that, going forward, education in Tanzania will have Kiswahili as the sole language of instruction. Currently, public education in Tanzania is bilingual, as it has been since the country's independence from the British in 1961. At primary level, students are taught in Kiswahili, with English a part of the curriculum as a language subject. At secondary school level, and all the way up to university, the learning process is reversed, with English becoming the medium of instruction.
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How 1 teacher changed the life of 1 child
The Washington Post
Andres Rodriguez Jr., now 63 years old, moved to New York City from Puerto Rico when he was a child, in 1960. He didn't speak a word of English. The kindness of a single teacher at the first school in which he was enrolled changed his life, and all these years later he remains grateful. He tells his story in the following post.
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SPONSORED CONTENT





10 Steps for a Successful Conference Experience
TESOL
Conferences are great for professional development, but they can be daunting. With the 2015 TESOL annual convention just around the corner, be sure to get the most out of your conference experience using these tips. Other recent TESOL Blogs: Speed Paraphrasing; ELs Living With Trauma, Violence, and Chronic Stress; Disney Music for Business English Training; Building Vocabulary Through Word Parts: 6 Helpful Websites; Teaching Idioms to Young English Learners
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Call for TESOL Bloggers
TESOL
The TESOL Blog is seeking four regular bloggers to post topical blogs bimonthly (once every other week). We are looking for ELT professionals who are interested in sharing their knowledge about classroom practice (activities, lessons, resources), trends in teaching, and practical ways to improve classroom practice and develop professionally. We are seeking bloggers in the areas of teacher education; secondary education; adult education; and speech, pronunciation, and listening. DEADLINE: 20 March. Read the full call.
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Funding Available for Adult Education Classroom Materials: Deadline 31 May
TESOL
The Tina B. Carver Fund offers grants for funding the purchase of student classroom learning materials and/or teacher-related materials (e.g., ancillary materials that can be used in conjunction with textbooks or other instruction materials) to support adult ESL education programs in the United States. Applications should be submitted online by 31 May.
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TESOL Press Call for Contributions: Voices from the TESOL Classroom
TESOL
Abstracts due 20 July.
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TESOL Press Call for Contributions: New Ways in Teaching with Humor
TESOL
Submissions due 21 March.
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Call for Proposals: Singapore 2015
TESOL
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. Submit today!
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TESOL Research Agenda
TESOL
TESOL's 2014 Research Agenda attempts to bridge the current gap between research and classroom practice. This agenda has been designed to raise interest in TESOL's research direction as well as to bring researchers and practitioners together in the field of English language teaching. TESOL plans to start commissioning research in July 2015.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Register Now: CAL Institutes
Professional Development Opportunities in Washington DC

CAL Institutes provide research-based strategies and practical, hands-on tools to help educators develop effective classroom activities on a variety of key topics, including meeting the demands of the Common Core State Standards.

Learn more and register.
 



Some parents across the country are revolting against standardized testing
The Washington Post
A growing number of parents are refusing to let their children take standardized tests this year, arguing that civil disobedience is the best way to change what they say is a destructive overemphasis on tests in the nation's public schools. The resistance comes as most states roll out new tests aligned to the Common Core academic standards and as Congress struggles to rewrite the federal law that has defined the role of testing in schools for the past decade.
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Program for English language learners grows in Augusta, Georgia schools
The Augusta Chronicle
When Jafat Estrada entered Georgia's Bayvale Elementary School this year, his teachers found him willing to talk but unable to communicate. The 6-year-old native Mexican had never set foot in an American classroom before and had only a rudimentary understanding of English. But he proved willing to try his best. "He was very sharp. One of the smartest students I've worked with ... many students in his position are quiet and withdrawn, but he was ready to interact with all of us," said Tonya Caractor, a teacher in the English to speakers of other languages program. "The language barrier was the only thing holding him back."
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS.


PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  LAS Links Assessments Go Online
Identify the needs of your English Language Learners with an automated, time-saving assessment tool in speaking, listening, and reading. LAS Links Online™ is designed to strengthen your English Language Development Program and provides research-based results to support your instructional decisions.
Visit CTB.com/LASLinksOnlineDemos for an in-depth look at LAS Links Online.
 


Enrollment growth prompts diverse strategies in teaching
This Week Community News
The Worthington school district has grown in diversity over the past few years, and the number of "English language learners" is growing, too, according ELL curriculum leader Ben Rule. Rule and Slate Hill Elementary School teacher Margaret Wilcox recently updated the Worthington Board of Education on how the district serves students who need to learn the English language before they can succeed at other lessons. Rule said the number of ELL students has grown from 400 to 550 since 2009.
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Florida district rolls out 'neuroplasticity' language development programs
eSchool News
Alachua County Public Schools, a district serving 27,000 students in North Central Florida, has partnered with Scientific Learning Corp. to help students improve their language, literacy and reading skills by addressing the underlying foundational difficulties that keep students from making progress in school. Initially, the district will deploy Fast ForWord and Reading Assistant online programs in 10 schools.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  REACH STUDENTS WHERE THEY ARE

Teachers are challenged by the need to engage students with real-world content and extended opportunities for language learning beyond the classroom. SANSSpace™ is a virtual platform with tools for students to practice communication skills anytime, anywhere and for teachers to review and assess their work 24/7. Learn more…
 




For international students, challenges are more than distance
The Daily Pennsylvanian
Penn has the largest international student population in the Ivy League, but foreign students don't always feel quite at home. Every year, around 300 international students leave their homes across seas, traveling to Penn while still on the brink of adulthood. This year, 14 percent of the freshman class comes from abroad. College freshman Greta Lu went to a local high school in China. When she came to Penn, she struggled to adjust in the first few months. "I guess I'm just not used to the ways of communication and networking in the States," Lu said. "I guess I'm just not that outgoing."
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    9 lessons learned during ELL immersion (MiddleWeb (commentary))
The tangled roots of English (The New York Times)
Cross-cultural communication: Much more than just a linguistic stretch (McGill University via Science Daily)
Can English villages work in East Asian countries? (By Dr. Jing Fu)
Make language learning a national priority (The Huffington Post)

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





Research: Video games driving English language skills, other languages suffer
Yle
Research has shown that students who spend time playing online computer or console games reap an added benefit — good grades in English. The study by Helsinki University research student Olli Uuskoski shows that boys in particular tend to enjoy a big payoff, since they can more often be found with a game controller in hand than girls. As English grows in popularity among students, other languages are being left behind.
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Miss an issue of the English Language Bulletin? Visit the English Language Bulletin archive page.


NIH study: Bilingualism boosts the brain
HealthCanal
About 22 percent of school-age children speak a language other than English at home, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. The percentage is even higher, 64 percent, among Hispanic children. Still, it is commonly believed by some that teaching more than one language to children confuses them. Now, new research shows that in fact, bilingualism actually boosts the brain. Shifting back and forth between two different sets of vocabulary and grammar provide a real mental workout.
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Empowering educators through cultural competence
Edutopia
The act of listening is perhaps the most underrated skill there is in education. As teachers, we are often asked to "do" a lot more than necessary: memorize standards, plan lessons, prepare for various assessments, call homes, provide a warm environment for our students and visitors, attend faculty meetings with varying effectiveness and relevance, grade mounds of papers, and take what little time we have left to eat and sleep, usually less than we should.
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Less is more: 4 strategies to streamline your curriculum
TeachThought
Educators often wonder how they are going to meet all the demands of Common Core. One important point is that the standards require more depth and less breadth. Meeting these standards can be done by doing less, not more. In this post, we'll look at three effective ways to do this: integrating curriculum, combining test prep into daily learning and cutting topics.
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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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