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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Mar. 21, 2012







The TESOL 2013 call for participation is now available
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Yes, it's that time already. The TESOL 2013 call for participation is available for download here. Proposals are due Friday, 1 June, 5 p.m. EDT. If you would like to review proposals for the 2013 convention, you need to fill out a reviewer application. The deadline for reviewer applications is 20 April. TESOL members and nonmembers may submit convention proposals and apply to be reviewers. The 2013 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo will be held 20–23 March in Dallas. More




Need to start or revitalize an English language program?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Then the TESOL: Training of Trainers, Strengthening English Language Programs online course can help. This course allows you to reflect on your current (or would-be) program, learn how to boost your program's capacity, and, most importantly, bring your program into the 21st century. Participants will receive free online resources. The registration has been extended to Tuesday, 3 April. To register, please visit the TESOL website. Please send questions to edprograms@tesol.org and put "Training of Trainers" in the subject line.

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

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TESOL and First Book join forces
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL International Association and First Book are joining forces to put more high-quality books into the hands of children in need throughout the United States and Canada. TESOL and First Book will work together to connect thousands of educators to new books for the students they serve. In addition, TESOL 2012 attendees and exhibitors can donate to help bring up to 4,000 new books to children in need throughout Philadelphia. Teachers in North America can also sign up their schools to receive free and deeply discounted books and resources. For more information, please read the full announcement.



Education department pursues NCLB waivers for districts
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education, which is in the middle of granting waivers to states from many of the core tenets of the No Child Left Behind Act, already is thinking ahead to how it can offer the same flexibility to school districts in states that choose not to seek a waiver. Top Education Department officials are signaling that once states are given a chance to apply for waivers in September during a third round of judging, the department plans to open up some sort of flexibility options for districts, too. More




Survey finds teachers don't trust annual state skills tests
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Despite years of rhetoric from lawmakers and education reformers about the importance of tying teacher pay to student test scores, fewer teachers now believe the move will keep good teachers in the classroom. A new online survey of 10,000 U.S. teachers finds that only 16 percent believe linking student performance and teacher pay is "absolutely essential" or "very important" in retaining good teachers. That's down from 28 percent in 2010. In all, only 52 percent of teachers say it'll make any difference at all, down from 65 percent two years ago, the first year the survey was done. More

Nation's state teacher pension funds significantly underfunded in parts of the country
The Associated Press via The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a new generation of teachers replaces retiring baby boomers, financially strapped states face a quandary — what to do about teacher pensions. A majority of states' teacher retirement funds are underfunded, some significantly below rates considered solvent, according to a recent analysis by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a research and policy group that seeks to improve the quality of teachers. The situation has stoked political fights in statehouses across the country as legislators weigh options such as moving teachers from a traditional defined benefit pension to a 401(k)-style plan, raising the retirement age or making teachers wait a decade to be vested in their plans. More

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School teaches English through the arts
Severn Patch (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The following was submitted by Kate Collins, an ESOL teacher at Odenton, Millersville and Waugh Chapel Elementary School. English Language Learners at Odenton Elementary School recently showcased their skills in acquiring English proficiency. During the month of February ESOL students at Odenton participated in an afterschool event called "Poems, Puppets and Pizza!" The students engaged in Artful Thinking Routines and performed Puppet Theater for their parents. More

Teacher: I dare you to measure my 'value'
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This was written by Donna McKenna, an elementary ESL teacher who is passionate about language learners and language learning, and a new mom trying to raise her daughter in a bilingual/bicultural home. "Tell me how you determine the value I add to my class. Tell me about the algorithms you applied when you took data from 16 students over a course of nearly five years of teaching and somehow used it to judge me as 'below average' and 'average.' Tell me how you can examine my skills and talents and attribute worth to them without knowing me, my class or my curriculum requirements." More

TESOL Conference Samples and Session

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Future promise drives English-medium trend
The Times of India    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India: While Tamil Nadu's retains its pride in the state's official language, school enrollment rates show a growing number of people in the state are choosing English-medium education for their children. Tamil-medium schools have steadily lost students over the past five years and schools with English as the medium of instruction have been taking in those students. While the rate of enrolment in Tamil-medium schools dropped from 65.83 percent in 2009-2010 to 63.43 percent the next academic year, enrollment in English-medium schools increased from 33.24 percent to 35.82 percent in 2010-2011. The shift to English medium schools is an unspoken admission that children are unable to learn the language in a Tamil medium school. More

UGA researchers use area schools as study site
The Gainesville Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The University of Georgia has been running a study in local schools since the beginning of the year and hopes to see the effort come to fruition as it progresses. Researchers from UGA have used Gainesville City Schools and Hall County Schools as a test site for their "Instructional Conversation" study, aimed to jump-start intellectual conversation in today's classrooms. More

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Judge questions need for two gifted programs in U-46
The Daily Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A federal judge questioned the need for separate gifted programs in Elgin Area School District U-46 for native English speakers and their peers for whom English is their second language. Federal Judge Robert Gettleman asked U-46 Superintendent Jose Torres during the ongoing racial bias trial to explain why former English Language Learner students who showed proficiency in English and were identified as gifted were not entered into the general education gifted population with necessary supports at the district's School Within a School. More

English-language schools crisis spells hard business lessons
Oman Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hong Kong: A Shortage of English-language school places in Hong Kong is hurting expatriate families and damaging the city's reputation as a regional business hub, parents and lobby groups say. The situation is driving some companies to look at alternatives such as Singapore, Bangkok and Shanghai, they say. More



Faculty to Bloomberg: Tell your police chief to go
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Today, we along with more than 400 other faculty sent Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City a letter calling for the resignation of Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly and Deputy Commissioner of Public Information Paul J. Browne. Faced with skyrocketing numbers of NYPD stop-and-frisks and revelations of the department's widespread surveillance of Muslim life, in particular on college campuses throughout the city and the Northeast, we have joined other faculty to say enough is enough: Such rights abuses do not keep us safe, and they indiscriminately criminalize young people of color. The leadership that promoted these policies should face sanction. More

Master's in Teaching TESOL
The MAT@USC TESOL is a Master’s in Teaching program delivered online by the USC Rossier School of Education. The program is the first of its kind to blend interactive online learning with field-based teaching experiences to prepare students to be English language teaching specialists in a variety of settings and educational levels.

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American English language teacher killed in Yemen
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Al Qaeda-linked militants who claimed responsibility for the death of an American teacher in Yemen said he was targeted for being "one of the biggest American proselytizers" in the Arab nation. While Joel Shrum was known by Yemenis to be a devout Christian, his employer — the International Training Development Center — denies the claims of proselytizing, saying he was a "very professional employee who highly respected the Islamic religion." The controversy highlights the sensitive nature of Christian aid workers in Yemen, an almost entirely Muslim country. While Christians from Catholic sisters to African expatriates have lived and worked for decades here, isolated cases of proselytizing by foreigners have occasionally raised suspicions about the activities of Christian nonprofit organizations and workers. More
Related story: American killed in Yemen 'highly respected' Islam (NBC News via MSNBC)


Adult learners: The forgotten majority
The San Diego Union-Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Is the goal of a "four-year degree for all" realistic? Frankly, it is more idealistic than realistic. Nationally, the statistics for high school success are disappointing. Only about one-third of seniors graduate and continue on to college. Another one-third graduate, but never set foot on a college campus. The remaining third (about 1.2 million each year) never complete high school. More




McGraw-Hill Research Foundation policy paper cites urgent need to improve effectiveness of instruction in adult education
Comtex via MarketWatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Studies forecast that from 2007 to 2032, better-educated individuals retiring from the U.S. workforce will be replaced by younger workers who have lower levels of skills and education. This statistic, combined with the fact that the gap between our most and least educated is already among the highest in the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries, underlines the critical need for improving the quality of adult education programs to ensure the future competitiveness of the American workforce. Helping undereducated and underprepared adults to learn requires a targeted set of skills and the cornerstone to strengthen these programs is to improve the preparation and effectiveness of adult education teachers, tutors and administrators. More



Study: ELLs who reach proficiency quickly fare better
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
English learners who complete language-acquisition courses — whether through an English as a second language program or bilingual education — within three years go on to have much more academic success than their peers who remain in such courses for five or more years. A new study from researchers at the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute and Vanderbilt University in Nashville came to that conclusion after examining student data from Texas. The data set tracks all students from first-grade through high school graduation and beyond. More

Why bilinguals are smarter
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Speaking two languages rather than just one has obvious practical benefits in an increasingly globalized world. But in recent years, scientists have begun to show that the advantages of bilingualism are even more fundamental than being able to converse with a wider range of people. Being bilingual, it turns out, makes you smarter. It can have a profound effect on your brain, improving cognitive skills not related to language and even shielding against dementia in old age. This view of bilingualism is remarkably different from the understanding of bilingualism through much of the 20th century. Researchers, educators and policy makers long considered a second language to be an interference, cognitively speaking, that hindered a child's academic and intellectual development. More

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Helping children to succeed by reducing academic pressure and fear of failure
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children may perform better in school and feel more confident about themselves if they are told that failure is a normal part of learning, rather than being pressured to succeed at all costs, according to new research published by the American Psychological Association. "We focused on a widespread cultural belief that equates academic success with a high level of competence and failure with intellectual inferiority," said Dr. Frederique Autin, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Poitiers in Poitiers, France. "By being obsessed with success, students are afraid to fail, so they are reluctant to take difficult steps to master new material." More



Research aims for better diagnosis of language impairments
Science Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recent studies by a UT Dallas researcher aim at finding better ways to diagnose young children with language impairments. Dr. Christine Dollaghan, a professor at the Callier Center for Communication Disorders and the School of Behavioral and Brain Sciences, is author of a paper in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research. The study evaluated data collected from a large sample of about 600 children. Some of the participants had specific language impairments, or SLI. She wanted to determine whether SLI should be regarded as a discrete diagnostic category. More

Learning a second language abroad is good for health, research suggests
Expat Forum    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bilingual immigrants are healthier than immigrants who speak only one language, according to new research from sociologists at an American university. The study found that people with strong English and native language proficiencies report better physical and mental health than unilingual immigrants. But English proficiency gained at the expense of native language fluency may not be beneficial for overall health status, the study from Rice University, Texas, also found. More



Beyond the PTA, how to raise funds for your classroom
Mindshift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Few schools and teachers have access to all the funds they need or want to outfit their classroom. According to a PBS survey last year, only 1 in 5 teachers say they have the updated technology they need. But with some creativity, educators can go beyond the typical PTA fundraiser and earn funding for specific classroom needs. Here are some ways teachers have filled their classroom coffers. More

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How to bring teachers up to speed with technology
The Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's not enough to fill K-12 classrooms with technology and hope that teachers will embrace the new tools and integrate them into their daily lessons. In fact, if there's one thing that districts have learned during this information age it's this: Without adequate support and motivation educators will retreat to their old ways of teaching. The good news is that technology-oriented professional development tools and processes have emerged almost as quickly as the equipment, software and applications themselves have. Whether the programs are created and managed in-house, supplied by product vendors, or handled by third parties, professional development is both accessible and affordable. More

Study: Where should student teachers teach?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teacher educators disagree about whether it is better for teachers-to-be — especially those who intend to teach in the most challenging schools — to have their pre-service teacher practice in easy-to-staff, high-functioning schools or in the toughest teaching environments. Tougher schools might provide critical exposure to the realities of working with disadvantaged students, especially for teacher wannabes from more-privileged backgrounds; easier-to-staff schools may provide stronger mentor teachers and a better learning environment for young teachers. Either claim might make intuitive sense, but neither is backed up by significant research. 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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