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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   March 21, 2014

 





Turkish students fail to go beyond 'hello' in English courses
Hurriyet Daily News
Turkey: A majority of Turkish students are unable to improve their English language skills due to poor language training methods at state schools, according to a joint report from the British Council and the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey. The English skills of more than 90 percent of students in Turkey remain at the most basic level and cannot improve even after 1,000 hours of training, according to the report titled "National Requirement Analyses for English Training at State Schools," which has also been conveyed to Education Minister Nabi Avcı.
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Learned helplessness in the classroom
By: Erick Herrmann
In an educational setting, students may feel that any effort is fruitless, as they do not understand the content, and so refuse to make any effort whatsoever. Learned helplessness may also result from low expectations of students, and students not being held accountable in the classroom to engage in academic tasks or activities. When considering how to avoid or help students overcome learned helplessness, it is important to remember that success builds success and failure builds failure. The more students have already failed, the more successes they will need to have to overcome the failures.
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Strategies to reach every student, regardless of language barrier
MindShift
Helping every student experience meaningful, deep learning is a constant challenge, in no small part because no two learners are alike. To reach students who are particularly challenged — whether because of their ability to speak English or some other reason — educators can find a way in by tapping into students' interests and passion.
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Strategies to reach every student, regardless of language barrier
MindShift
Helping every student experience meaningful, deep learning is a constant challenge, in no small part because no two learners are alike.

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Los Angeles schools' plan for non-English speakers: Segregation or solution?
The Christian Science Monitor
Los Angeles schools are moving forward with a plan to separate English language learner students from native speakers in all core elementary school classes. Protests have erupted.

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US experts to train Saudis in English language teaching
Arab News
Saudi Arabia: The Ministry of Education has invited specialists from Columbia University in the United States to train Saudi teachers on methods of teaching the English language.

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Race to Top Reports detail winners' progress, challenges
Education Week
Annual progress reports from the U.S. Department of Education showcase just how far the 12 state-level Race to the Top grant winners have come as they seek to deliver on the promises that won them, collectively, $4 billion in the Obama administration's signature education-improvement program. On a call with reporters Tuesday in advance of the reports' release, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called out four states for leading the Race to the Top effort: Delaware, Hawaii, North Carolina and Tennessee, based on the implementation of their plans and their resulting increases in student performance.
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Q-and-A: A crash course on Common Core
NPR
Confused about the Common Core State Standards? Join the club. That's not to say the new benchmarks in reading and math are good or bad, working smoothly or kicking up sparks as the wheels come off. It is simply an acknowledgement that, when the vast majority of U.S. states adopt a single set of educational standards all at roughly the same time, a little confusion is inevitable.
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Report: As teacher demographics change, districts must prioritize retention
Education Week
It's been recently documented that the K-12 teacher workforce is greener than ever: In 2007-2008, the amount of experience that the most teachers reported having was just one year. Now, a new report takes a look at what that phenomenon means for the teaching profession as a whole. In sum, districts and programs that prepare teachers will need to seriously rethink how they retain and cultivate these new teachers, concludes the report, issued by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
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Zoom schools work to improve skills in ELL students
KLAS-TV
A representative from the Department of Education visited Tate Elementary School. Assistant Deputy Secretary Libia Gil says Nevada has one of the largest populations of children learning to speak English. Tate is a zoom school, meaning extra attention is given for English language learning through the state program. "I'm very impressed with the fact that there is this unity of purpose and focus on trying to improve support for English language learners, understanding how they're performing in schools, particularly in Clark County and Nevada as a whole," Gil said.
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High percentage of Lafayette, La., students struggle with language
WBFO-FM
As Buffalo Public school parents kicked off a campaign Monday to demand transferring their children out of failing city schools, one school continues working on its turnaround plan. Leaders of Lafayette High School in Louisiana are trying to improve their graduation rates. In our Focus on Education report, WBFO's Eileen Buckley reports there's not an unwillingness to learn, but it's a matter of some students learning a new language.
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Homelessness, poverty and English as a second language
Lexington Clipper-Herald
The Lexington Clipper-Herald looked into various student demographics present at Lexington Public Schools and asked LPS staff about what they and parents can do to help students in these categories improve their learning skills. Many Pershing staff members noted that it could take on average anywhere from seven to 10 years for a student learning English as their second language to become literate and fluent.
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Roger Williams University to help Providence schools improve math scores for English language learners
Providence Journal
The Rhode Island Office of Higher Education has awarded a $145,000 grant to Roger Williams University for starting a new partnership with the Providence public schools to improve math achievement for English language learners. It will involve five local elementary schools.
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GCSE English language review finds 'no sizable disparities' between marking and pupil outcomes
Wales Online
United Kingdom: A review into this year's GCSE grading controversy has found 'no sizable disparities' between marking and pupil outcomes. Cardiff-based exam board WJEC said the GCSE English language marking scheme had been applied consistently in all but one of the cases reviewed and, on the whole, examiners had marked question papers correctly. In the one case where marking was "slightly inconsistent," WJEC has agreed to undertake a re-mark and the centers affected have been informed. The internal review also identified an error in adding up the total marks on two candidates' papers, which WJEC has since corrected and communicated to the relevant centers.
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Kenya: What should we do about the poor English results?
AllAfrica.com
Kenya: The last four years have been very bad for the English language at the national examinations. This is because the last three ministers in the education docket have decried the declining performance of English at both the primary and the secondary levels. It was no surprise therefore when the education cabinet secretary, Prof. Jacob Kaimenyi, followed in the footsteps of his predecessors and did the same as he released the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results a while ago. The only difference is that the latter did not sound serious. As the dust settles it is high time we asked ourselves hard questions. What is the problem with the teaching and testing of English in our schools?
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Language is better learned in 'casual study' (Ecns.cn)
English language learners and California's NCLB testing waiver (Education Week)
3 ways international students can improve academic writing (U.S. News & World Report)
Online universities 2.0: Taking education to the next level, worldwide (The Huffington Post)
7 intriguing facts about the brain (eSchool News)

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


PTP to improve students' English
New Straits Times
Malaysia: Port of Tanjung Pelepas recently launched its inaugural English language program to improve the language proficiency of Form Four students. PTP chief corporate officer Azharuddin Nordin said the program, called 2014 English Development Program, ends in November. He said the program is carried out in collaboration with the District Education Office and University Teknologi Malaysia.
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Language learning: What motivates us?
The Guardian (commentary)
United Kingdom: "Where's your name from?" I wasn't expecting to be the subject of my interview with John Schumann, but the linguistics professor had picked up on my Persian surname. Talking to me from California, where he is one of the world's leading academic voices on language learning, he effortlessly puts my own Farsi to shame. Schumann learned Farsi in Iran, where he was director of the country's Peace Corps Teaching English as a Second Language program. He then went into academia, becoming a professor at the University of California, where he specializes in how we learn languages and neurobiology.
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Teaching students to embrace mistakes
Edutopia
Hunter Maats and Katie O'Brien, authors of "The Straight-A Conspiracy", write: "For the last ten years, we've worked one-on-one with students from elementary school through graduate school. No matter their age, no matter the material, when you ask what they're struggling with, students almost universally name a subject: 'math,' 'English' or, in some instances, 'school.' Doubting that all of school is the issue, we then ask to see their last test."
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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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