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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Mar. 13, 2013

 





English language learners funding change could hit Calgary, Canada, schools hard
Metro News
Canada: Calgary school trustees are worried students learning English as a second language could suffer as a result of funding cuts outlined in the newly released provincial budget. Going forward, English language learners funding will now only be provided to students for their first five years in Alberta's school system, down from seven years previously.
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Survey: Big districts lack strong ELL materials
Education Week
Teachers and administrators working with English language learners in some of the nation's largest school systems believe that much of the instructional material published for ELLs is of poor quality and needs a major upgrade if these students are to succeed in the common standards era. In a new survey published by the Council of the Great City Schools, the majority of respondents reported that the materials they use to teach English learners fall short of what's needed to raise the performance of ELLs. When asked if the current materials available for ELLs reflect the rigor in the Common Core State Standards, 82 percent of respondents answered either "somewhat" or "not at all."
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What parents need to know about race-based academic goals
NBC Latino
What is the No Child Left Behind Act, and why do some states have waivers from it? The No Child Left Behind Act, a federal school-accountability law passed by Congress in 2001, called for all students to be proficient in reading and math by the end of the 2013-2014 school year. Schools are required to report on the progress of all students, but they must also break out certain groups of students, including racial minorities, English language learners and students in special education.
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Public Policy Sessions at 2013 TESOL International Convention
TESOL
Are you headed to Dallas, Texas, for the 2013 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo? If so, be sure to check out the special sessions featuring speakers from government agencies and other experts to discuss public policy information. Updates will be presented on K–12 policy and the Common Core State Standards, adult education, student visa information and legislative updates.
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Not able to attend the 2013 convention?
TESOL
You can still join your colleagues for the Opening General Session at 5:30 p.m. CDT Wednesday, 20 March. The session will be streamed live on the TESOL web site for members only. Experience John Hunter's Keynote, "Solving for X: Critical Thinking and Problem-Solving Essentials," along with the TESOL Teacher of the Year Award (presented by National Geographic Learning) and the TESOL Award for Distinguished Research (presented by ETS). Use your TESOL login and password to access the live event.
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Action alert — Help preserve adult education funding in the US
TESOL
TESOL International Association has issued an Action Alert for members living in the United States. A bill that could threaten federal funding for adult education has been passed by the Education and Workforce Committee in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is heading for a floor vote this week. Read more information and contact your Representatives now.
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Education Forum for Asia announces 2013-2014 scholarships
Education Forum for Asia
Education Forum for Asia is pleased to offer 56 scholarships for the 2013–2014 academic year from 7 different universities across China. The scholarships are available to students from all around the world. See details.
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Help in reading foreign languages
Science Daily
Recent research into how we learn is set to help people in their efforts to read a second or foreign language more effectively. This will be good news for those struggling to develop linguistic skills in preparation for a move abroad, or to help in understanding foreign language forms, reports, contracts and instructions.

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10 creative ways to teach English that deliver outstanding results
The Guardian
London: As a creative school, with a track record in fantastic English results, teachers at Holy Trinity and St. Silas School in London are often asked what their specific approach is: How do we teach through the arts yet manage to maintain such high expectations from all our pupils?

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Sequestration and aid to ELLs: What happens to Title III?
Education Week
Unless a standoff between President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans gets rapidly resolved, across-the-board federal spending cuts will be triggered and set off a cascade of effects for public schools, including programs that serve English language learners.

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California to tighten rules for teaching English learners
Education Week
California's credentialing board plans to expedite new rules governing intern teachers — those who came into the profession on alternative routes — in what will likely require them to take more upfront training on how to teach English language learners. The decision came after more than two hours of emotional testimony from parents, teachers, researchers and charter school officials at the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing meeting.
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States draw a hard line on third-graders, holding some back over reading
The Washington Post
A growing number of states are drawing a hard line in elementary school, requiring children to pass a reading test in third grade or be held back from fourth grade. Thirteen states last year adopted laws that require schools to identify, intervene and, in many cases, retain students who fail a reading proficiency test by the end of third grade. Lawmakers in several other states and the District are debating similar measures.
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Shocked by Sandy Hook, South Dakota allows teachers to arm themselves
The Christian Science Monitor
South Dakota became the first state since the shootings in Newtown, Conn., to allow teachers to carry a gun into the classroom. The bill, signed by Gov. Dennis Daugaard, does not mandate that teachers carry guns. Instead, it allows any school board to create a so-called "school sentinel program" that involves the local county sheriff and establishes a firearms-training course for employees in K-12 schools.
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Quebec puts brakes on intensive English language program aimed at improving rates of bilingualism
National Post
Canada: Quebec's eternal debate between sovereigntists and federalists is spilling into the classroom as the Parti Québécois government moves to reshape the provincial curriculum. The Education Minister Marie Malavoy announced she is putting the brakes on a program that would have provided intensive English instruction to francophone children in Grade 6, saying that the teaching of English is a "sensitive" subject in Quebec.
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Sequester harms education and our economy
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
There has been a noisy debate in Washington over whether sequestration's harm is real and at what point our public schools will feel the pain, but for educators outside of Washington, D.C., that's a settled question. They're not wasting time debating it, because some had already eliminated jobs and cut programs in anticipation of Congress's dysfunction. Right now they are focused on figuring out how to deal with an even worse situation next school year.
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Muhyiddin: English a compulsory pass subject as early as 2016
The Malaysian Star
Malaysia: The proposal to make English a compulsory pass subject in the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination could be implemented as early as 2016, Deputy Prime MInister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said. Students who fail English will not receive their full certificate but will have the opportunity to resit the paper in July the following year, soon after the SPM results are released. Muhyiddin said in preparation for this, the Education Ministry had started training 61,000 English teachers to be more proficient in the language.
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Rational decisions and heartbreak on school closings
The New York Times
When it comes to school closings, the arguments may make sense on paper, but the reality is much messier. At University City High in Philadelphia, staff members and students were trying to absorb the decision by a state commission to close the school along with 22 others in the city. At an often-heated and sometimes tearful hearing, 19 protesters, including Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, were arrested. School district officials said they needed to shut down schools to close a gaping budget hole.
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New poll shows while most back government cutbacks, they'd also like more spent on pet programs
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
As President Barack Obama and lawmakers spar over huge federal deficits, they're confronted by a classic contradiction: Most Americans want government austerity, a survey shows, but they also want increased spending on a host of popular programs: education, crime fighting, health care, Social Security, the environment and more. Less for defense, space and foreign aid.
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Advocacy group to monitor reform efforts in public schools
The New York Times
Diane Ravitch, the historian and former assistant education secretary who has become an outspoken critic of those who favor high-stakes testing, tenure reforms and other controversial measures aimed at the public schools, has joined with other education advocates to form a group that will grade and endorse political candidates.
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CPPCC deputy: English language studies 'destructive' to China's education
South China Morning Post
China: The head of a national research institute in China said English language studies were "destructive" to education, which is facing an "unprecedented crisis". Schools are placing too much emphasis on English, said Zhang Shuhua, head of the Intelligence Research Academy, adding that language studies should be treated as a means for social reform and development, but, instead, they are seen as an end. He called it putting the cart before the horse. Zhang made the remarks on Monday at a discussion session during an annual gathering of China's political advisory body, the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference.
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School district accommodating growing English language learning community
Laramie Boomerang
The number of English language learners in the Albany County School District in New York more than quadrupled in the last five years, from about 35 to more than 160. Barbara Farley, the English language learners, or ELL, coordinator, said the district has invested money, hired teachers and expanded the ELL program in an effort to accommodate the growing population of students learning English. Those investments are paying off, she said.
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Student mentors: How 6th- and 12th-graders learn from each other
MindShift
When Tracy Edwards posted on Facebook last October that she was searching for a part-time writing instructor for a middle school program, Kip Glazer jumped immediately at the chance. But Glazer wasn’t applying for herself. Instead, she envisioned her 100 senior high school English students, who were about to become virtual writing mentors to 200 sixth-graders halfway across the nation.
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Pingu's English language training franchise for young children launches in Kuwait
AME Info
Kuwait : Pingu's English Kuwait launched their first English language center for children, with open days and free trial classes for parents and children. The enormously popular animated television character, Pingu, is now in Kuwait, ready to teach preschoolers to speak English through Pingu's English, a unique English language course for young children from the U.K.
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Lost in translation: District's cost-cutting move targets non-English-speaking parents of special needs students
Las Vegas Sun
When his son was diagnosed with autism a few years ago, Fernando Romero worked with the Clark County School District in Nevada to develop a personalized curriculum for the boy. Teachers reviewed test scores and grades, recommended special services and set annual learning goals for Romero's son, now 8. All of the information was written into an Individualized Education Plan, or IEP, a federally mandated contract between parents and schools that governs the education of a special needs child.
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Pronunciation is key
Inside Higher Ed
With more Chinese students showing up on University of Iowa class rolls than ever before, the Henry B. Tippie College of Business last month invited its faculty and staff to a workshop on how to pronounce the students' names. Meanwhile, Chinese students are flocking to the tutoring center to become fluent in English.
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Salem State University will offer English language classes
The Boston Globe
Salem State University in Massachusetts will offer English language learners from the Salem community a chance to strengthen their academic skills through a recent $128,227 grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Education. With the funds, the university plans to hold an academy for English language students this summer. Teachers from the city's public schools will work alongside Salem State faculty who have been trained for the program and community educators from local organizations to offer the literacy program.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Why every professor needs linguistics 101 (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Defining an English language learner: Can states agree? (Education Week)
Study: What makes a good teacher (The Washington Post)
Cuts imminent, Senate rejects stopgap efforts (The Associated Press via Google News)
English is a second language to 1 in 13: More than 100 dialects are spoken by large numbers of people in the UK (Daily Mail)

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


Who cares if immigrants have English as a second language?
The Guardian
United Kingdom: If folk are going to be cross, they are as well to be specific about what they are cross about. Is it that they encounter too many people who cannot speak English? Or a more basic irritation that so many people apparently have English as a second language, i.e., they're not local. The two repeatedly morph into an unfocused grumble about difference and alienation. And the tabloids don't help. "English is a second language for 40 percent in parts of Britain," lamented the Sun, adding: "It's hard not to conclude that many migrants have no interest in learning English because they simply don't want to integrate."
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Status of language proficiency test questioned by experts, students
Global Times
China: The CET is a national standardized English test that has been overseen by the Ministry of Education since its appearance in 1987. It consists of two levels, abbreviated as the CET4 and CET6, and takes place twice a year, in June and December. The CET4 was once required for college graduation. In 2005, the MOE removed the national passing score for the test and stated that it would no longer be a graduation requirement. However, many universities still say that 425 out of the 710 points is a passing score and make it a prerequisite for a diploma.
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Bigger proportion of US students interested in going overseas
The New York Times
The percentage of U.S. students who say they want to study overseas is almost three times that of their British counterparts, according to a new study that the British Council's research arm, Education Intelligence, released during the Going Global conference in Dubai. Only 20 percent of students in Britain said they would consider studying overseas, compared with 56 percent of U.S. students, according to an online poll of more than 10,000 students conducted in cooperation with the National Union of Students in Britain and Zinch, an online student network in the United States.
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A global language for a global Kingdom
Saudi Gazette
Saudi Arabia: With about 27 percent of the global population speaking English, it has been established as the agreed upon international vernacular for several key industries, including technology, energy and banking. English is the third most commonly spoken language in the world, behind Mandarin and Spanish, though it remains the first and only language considered a bridge-language in the age of globalization. Ross Smith of Cambridge University published an article in the Cambridge Language Journal describing English as a lingua franca, or the working language, of global business. The Kingdom's global economic standing attracts investors from around the world, most of whom speak English as a first or second language.
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What's happening to adult education?
KQED
In his budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2013-2014, Gov. Jerry Brown announced that California is no longer facing a budget deficit. In relation to funding education, his budget increases state funding per student in K-12 schools to $2,700 by 2016-2017. For K-12 and community colleges, funding is projected to increase by $2.7 billion next year and $19 billion by 2016-2017. What of adult education? The plan recognizes that K-12 school districts and community colleges are authorized to provide adult education instruction, but highlights a lack of coordination between the two systems in terms of serving adult learners. The contention is that the system is currently inefficient and unaccountable.
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Sequestration: The challenges ahead for learners
The Huffington Post
Many people are wondering: what impact can adult learners expect to feel as these cuts take effect? According to the National Skills Coalition's recent report, Disinvesting in the Skills of America's Workforce, one area that is sure to be hit hard is workforce education and training. We are living in an economy where, although we have an unemployed population of over 12.3 million, employers consistently cite their inability to find skilled workers for existing jobs. It is no surprise, then, that the demand for workforce training funds is on the increase.
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Study: Best and worst teachers can be flagged early
Education Week
New teachers become much more effective with a few years of classroom experience, but a working paper by a team of researchers suggests the most — and least — effective elementary teachers show their colors at the very start of their careers. "This is a fundamentally different time period for teachers, when we know they are going through changes," said lead author Allison Atteberry, a research associate in the Center on Education Policy and Workforce Competitiveness at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
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Help in reading foreign languages
Science Daily
Recent research into how we learn is set to help people in their efforts to read a second or foreign language more effectively. This will be good news for those struggling to develop linguistic skills in preparation for a move abroad, or to help in understanding foreign language forms, reports, contracts and instructions. The ability to read a second or foreign language can be of great benefit to academics, business people, politicians, professionals and migrants trying to master an unfamiliar language. Surprisingly, little is known about how an ability to read in another language develops.
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Career tips for teaching ESL
By Archita Datta Majumdar
If there was ever any language that came close to being the Esperanto or the universal communicator, then English would be it. The 21st century has seen many path-breaking changes, one of which has been the rapid and deep outreach of English around the world. And with the opening of the global economy, English’s importance has risen as more and more businesses and nations come together to work in unison. This has given rise to the need for a global English curriculum and trained instructors for teaching English as a second language. No matter how academic it sounds, this holds the key to better business communication in the future.
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Community Pulse: What is the most difficult aspect of English for non-native speakers to learn?
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4 keys to success with digital textbooks
eClassroom News
Moving to digital textbooks is easier said than done — it takes months of planning, stakeholder buy-in and perseverance. A new infographic from OnlineCollege.org pulls data from the Federal Communications Commission's Digital Textbook Playbook to highlight important aspects of digital textbook implementation. Each year, school districts spend $7 billion on textbooks, but most textbooks are 7-10 years old before they are replaced. In a survey, 81 percent of teachers said they think tablets can enhance students' learning. For example, laptops or tablets can use internet connectivity, interactive and personalized content, learning and video games, applications that encourage collaboration, and instant teacher and student feedback to boost engagement and understanding.
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What does 'design thinking' look like in school?
MindShift
Design thinking can seem a bit abstract to teachers. It's not part of traditional teacher training programs and has only recently entered the teachers' vernacular. Design thinking is an approach to learning that includes considering real-world problems, research, analysis, conceiving original ideas, lots of experimentation and sometimes building things by hand. But few schools have the time or wherewithal to integrate these processes into the school day.
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Schools shift from textbooks to tablets
eSchool News
Well before the cleanup from Superstorm Sandy was in full swing, students could read about the weather system that slammed the East Coast in their textbooks. Welcome to the new digital bookcase, where traditional ink-and-paper textbooks have given way to iPads and book bags are getting lighter. Publishers update students' books almost instantly with the latest events or research. Schools are increasingly looking to handheld tablets as a way to sustain students' interest, reward their achievements and, in some cases, actually keep per-student costs down.
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TESOL: Training of Trainers, online course for those who want to start or revitalize an English language program, registration deadline 7 April 2013

Upcoming TESOL Academies: Bethel University, University of Maryland, São Paulo, Brazil

2013 Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program
Register today

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




MA TESOL Faculty, World Learning, USA

English Language Instructor, Booz Allen Hamilton, Saudi Arabia

Visiting Assistant Professor in TESOL/Applied Linguistics, Salisbury University, USA

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.
 

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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