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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Mar. 20, 2013

 





In Hong Kong, few school spots for English speaking children
SmartPlanet
Hong Kong: In Hong Kong, 5-year-olds have resumes listing violin lessons, horse-riding sessions, language classes and more, and interview to get into a prestigious school. But in the past few years, families whose children speak English have had to face a difficult road of getting their children into any school, especially an affordable one. "It is extremely stressful not knowing if your child is going to be accepted into a school. It's not simply a question of finding another school. If your child is not accepted, what do you do? Home school?" said Amanda Chapman, a British teacher who moved to Hong Kong 15 years ago.
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Stemming the tide of English learner dropouts
Education Week
English language learners are two times more likely to drop out of school than their peers who are either native English speakers or former ELLs who have become fluent in the language — a trend that, if unabated, will have far-reaching negative consequences, says a new report.
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Mathematically speaking
Language Magazine
Do you speak math? Not sure what we mean? Well, math can be thought of as a language filled with vocabulary, symbols and sentence structures. These can make things difficult for students who wish to relate math to their everyday language and experiences. For students learning English as their second language, learning the language of mathematics may seem as though they are simultaneously learning yet another language. And like any language, students have to speak math proficiently in order to use it efficiently.
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All about TESOL 2013
TESOL
The world of English language teaching comes together at the 2013 TESOL International Convention.
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Follow TESOL 2013 on Twitter and Facebook
TESOL
Whether you are attending TESOL 2013 in Dallas or participating from home, you can follow the excitement on Facebook and Twitter. To read tweets or post your own comments about the TESOL convention, be sure to use Twitter hashtag #TESOL13. Post photos and comments on the TESOL 2013 Facebook page. Enjoy the convention, everyone.
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TESOL CALL interest section offers TESOL 2013 webcasts
TESOL
The TESOL Computer-Assisted Language Learning interest section invites you to join its Technology Showcase and the Electronic Village live webcasts from the convention. Find the list of sessions, along with access links to each session and instructions on how to participate, at http://callis2013.pbworks.com.
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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. (Central Time) 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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Stemming the tide of English learner dropouts
Education Week
English language learners are two times more likely to drop out of school than their peers who are either native English speakers or former ELLs who have become fluent in the language — a trend that, if unabated, will have far-reaching negative consequences, says a new report.

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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, we are often asked what our 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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Minnesota superintendent pioneered ELL reforms
Education Week
Few top-tier school administrators can claim as high a level of intimacy with the education of English-language learners as Valeria Silva, the superintendent of the school system in St. Paul, Minn. A native of Chile, Silva, 51, spoke no English when she first came to Minnesota in the late 1980s to help take care of her sister's children for a few months.

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'Sequester' adds to districts' budget uncertainties
Education Week
Even as they seek to quantify the impact of across-the-board federal budget cuts on K-12 programs, some of the nation's neediest school districts are bracing for tough choices. The pinch from sequestration — or "the sequester," in Washington, D.C., shorthand — is expected to be particularly painful for districts that depend the most on the federal government to supplement their bottom lines. They include districts serving high numbers of disadvantaged children, students in special education, and English learners, along with those near military bases and on Native American reservations.
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State and district NCLB waivers: Good news and bad news
THE Journal
When the No Child Left Behind Act became law in 2002, it provided large sums of money to states for education. The program also had very strict performance requirements, including a 2014 deadline for all students to be proficient in mathematics and language arts. During the past 10 years, concerns about NCLB requirements have mounted among educators, while reauthorization of the legislation has been awaiting congressional action since 2007.
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What's next for early childhood education in America?
Take Part
President Barack Obama is a believer in early childhood education. He often talked about it on the campaign trail in 2008 and 2012, and in his February State of the Union address, he said, "Tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every child in America. Every dollar we invest in high-quality early education can save more than seven dollars later on by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime." The president has yet to lay out a concrete plan on how to achieve this goal, but his message resonated. Congress and state legislatures have jumped onto the early education bandwagon by introducing legislation. A series of bills in Washington and around the country are, fortunately, aimed at educating children before they hit elementary school.
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Secretary of Education Arne Duncan plays not my job
NPR
Arne Duncan is President Barack Obama's secretary of education, and if, while he's on this show, a disaster befalls the president, the vice president, the speaker of the House and every other member of the Cabinet except Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security, he would be president. We've invited Duncan to play a game called "Now, don't be fresh ... I just take dictation!" Three questions for the secretary of education about the education of secretaries.
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English language is changing along with society and culture
Beacon News
Canada: The English language is changing all the time. Not only Baby Boomers, but their children, may find themselves having to learn English all over again. The hardest thing to deal with is to translate not just words, but concepts, if your listeners or readers actually don't know them.
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Teacher interns and English language learners
Education Week
Common sense is evidently in short supply in deciding who is allowed to teach in California. Prior to a recent decision by the state Commission on Teacher Credentialing, college graduates with a degree in any subject and with minimal training were permitted to teach limited English speaking students ("Stricter state controls placed on teaching interns," Los Angeles Times, Mar. 8).
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Hundreds of students hit milestone: English fluency
Marin Independent Journal
For as long as he can remember, 8-year-old Jonathan Vilches has spoken better English than his parents. But according to state standards, his English fell short of what is needed to master academic subjects. That changed when Jonathan was officially reclassified as fluent in English along with 42 classmates at Venetia Valley School in San Rafael, Calif. "It feels really good," Jonathan said.
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Spanish students write their own plays to improve their English vocabulary
The Guardian
Spain: Role play and interactive technology helped primary teacher Jeremy Dean increase his foreign students' English vocabulary at a language immersion school in Spain
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Coming full circle on bilingualism
Los Angeles Times (commentary)
Mandarin was my first language, but once I started school, I refused to speak it. As the only Asian kid in my class, I felt alien enough. I wasn't about to bust out in another tongue, even in the privacy of my own home. My parents were too laissez-faire to enforce a Chinese-only regimen, as my uncle did with my cousins. We soon switched to English instead of Chinese, forks instead of chopsticks. My mom made spaghetti for my brother and me, stir-fries and soups for my dad.
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Karen Mulattieri: Students transitioning to English language need support
Suburban Life Media
Elmhurst Community Unit School District 205 in Elmhurst, Ill., sponsored an English Language Learners Forum, which was focused on information presented by students and staff, as well as expert panelists who shared information about requirements in Illinois for ELL educational programs and provided examples of how other school districts are serving the population. Some 70 people participated that evening, a mixture of teachers, teacher assistants, parents, administrators and community members
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Illinois' efforts to close language gap in preschools may not be enough for some
Medill Reports
Back in the 1980s Allen Rosales could be found at the back of his preschool classroom. Not because he was in trouble, but because that is where all the non-English speaking students sat. "The teachers were not trained. They did not know what to do with us, so they put us in the back," said Rosales, 38, the education director at Christopher House, a social service agency that provides early childhood programs for children. "It was a pretty horrifying experience."
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  TESOL Conference Samples and Session

Receive a FREE sample of our accessible texts, Reader’s Theater, or intervention materials. Visit TESOL booth #720 or click here for samples and session information.
 


A paradise for English language courses
The Slovack Spectator
Malta: Many may think of English as a foreign language courses in Malta as a "holiday with a few hours of lessons for groups of partying young people," says Colin Scicluna, adding that there might be some element of truth to that image. Nevertheless, Malta's ambassador to Slovakia readily adds that language schools in Malta, the country which "has carved quite a niche for itself in the teaching of English," are fully accredited and internationally recognized institutions, and the young are not the only beneficiaries.
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Plea to selective universities over GCSE English
Times Higher Education
United Kingdom: A shift in GCSE grade boundaries in summer 2012 meant that English language candidates needed to score higher marks than those who sat the examination the previous January in order to get the same grade. Those same students will next year be the ones applying to university. Mike Griffiths, president of the Association of School and College Leaders, urged universities to take this into account when considering which students are offered places.
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The professors who make the MOOCs
The Chronicle of Higher Education
What is it like to teach 10,000 or more students at once, and does it really work? The largest-ever survey of professors who have taught MOOCs, or massive open online courses, shows that the process is time-consuming, but, according to the instructors, often successful. Nearly half of the professors felt their online courses were as rigorous academically as the versions they taught in the classroom.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    California to tighten rules for teaching English learners (Education Week)
10 creative ways to teach English that deliver outstanding results (The Guardian)
What parents need to know about race-based academic goals (NBC Latino)
English language learners funding change could hit Calgary, Canada, schools hard (Metro News)
Help in reading foreign languages (Science Daily)

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When teachers are the bully's target
CNN
Several years ago, Brendesha Tynes was taken aback when she received an email from one of her former students. The note directed her to a Facebook event for an all-night bar crawl — an event with which Tynes, an assistant professor at the time, had nothing to do. But it featured an offensive image and listed Tynes as the host; another former student had set it up. As an educator and researcher, Tynes had spent years looking into cyberbullying. Now, she was a victim.
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Positive psychology in the classroom
Psychology Today
In too many schools, teachers deploy control mechanisms rather than motivational mechanisms. Children and adolescents are extrinsically conditioned to respond — they are not taught to intrinsically self-motivate. The behavioral strategies rely heavily on contingency management: reward, poorly understood negative reinforcement, and mostly, punishment. These approaches are more standardized than customized, easier to implement in groups, and dominate the educational culture. The behavioral approaches do not leverage the neuroscience research to help children understand and act on the complex emotional, cognitive and conative connections in their brains.
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Inquiry, curiosity, exploration and the Common Core
Edutopia
The basic idea of the keys is prompting students to learn by asking questions. That means we must teach students to ask questions. We must also make it safe and acceptable to ask questions — questions that are relevant. If a student asks a question to take the class off task, just comment that it's a valuable question and you would love to answer it after school or put it on the list for questions on Friday.
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For low-income kids, access to devices could be the equalizer
MindShift
No device should ever be hailed as the silver bullet in "saving" education — nor should it be completely shunned — but when it comes to the possibility of bridging the digital divide between low-income and high-income students, devices may play a pivotal role. Access to the Internet connects kids to all kinds of information — and for low-income students especially, that access has the power to change their social structure by allowing them to become empowered and engaged, said Michael Mills, a professor of Teaching and Learning at the University of Central Arkansas during a SXSWEdu session.
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It's time teachers move beyond the dusty old grade book
TakePart
America is abuzz about education technology. Teachers trade tips about new tools on social networks; the media frequently report on how schools are using it to improve learning outcomes; recently, educators, thought leaders and other innovators convened at SXSWedu to talk tech in education. From MOOCS and personalized learning to big data and BYOD, attention is on the next trend with the potential to "transform" education. However, that attention may be misplaced.
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'I'm not your enemy': 10 things parents and teachers want each other to know
CNN
Teachers and parents share a common purpose: educating children. But differing beliefs, expectations and methods can make collaboration more challenging. A 2011 story published on CNN.com by author and teacher Ron Clark, entitled "What teachers really want to tell parents," looked at reasons why educators give up on their field. He asserted that negativity from parents places undue pressure on teachers and advised greater cooperation.
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Creating classrooms we need: 8 ways into inquiry learning
MindShift
If kids can access information from sources other than school, and if school is no longer the only place where information lives, what, then happens to the role of this institution? "Our whole reason for showing up for school has changed, but infrastructure has stayed behind," said Diana Laufenberg, who taught history at the progressive public school Science Leadership Academy for many years. Laufenberg provided some insight into how she guided students to find their own learning paths at school, and enumerated some of these ideas at SXSWEdu.
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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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