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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   March 25, 2014

 





English taught as a foreign language at a school in Leeds
The Telegraph
United Kingdom: A comprehensive school where native English speakers are in a minority is to start teaching English as a foreign language to all of its pupils. Teachers at City of Leeds School, a multi-ethnic secondary, plan to teach English as a second language even to its British-born pupils in a radical attempt to improve standards at the 314-pupil secondary judged to 'require improvement' by Ofsted. Head teacher Georgiana Sale said the school was having to “rethink the way we do things” because less than a quarter of pupils have English as their first language and the majority of the children were new to the country within the past four years.
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Transferring ESL skills to the business world
By: Douglas Magrath
Students need to transfer their ESL skills to their academic subjects or careers. A 2012 study indicates that being involved as a student in an L2 classroom does not automatically lead to motivation to transfer L2 beyond that classroom. The instructor needs to keep ESL exercises interesting and relevant to the business classes the students will take. A mismatch between the language-learning activities and the academic material would mean students are just working through structured exercises. Such activity is not beneficial since the students may just store the forms away in memory and not really acquire the material.
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Critics question Common Core's effectiveness
eSchool News
Common Core State Standards are a set of rigorous academic standards in math and English. The Common Core has been adopted in 45 states and the District of Columbia. Funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers, this academic initiative was intended to ensure that students graduate from high school with critical thinking skills to help them lead a successful life.
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Not attending the TESOL convention? Keynotes are live-streamed to you
TESOL
Bring the convention keynote speakers right to your desk or device. TESOL is live streaming the Opening Keynote, English as a Powerful Instrument of Community Building in East Asia (Surin Pitsuwan, Wednesday, 26 March 2014, 5:30–7 p.m. Pacific Time), and the James E. Alatis Plenary, Five Megatrends Shaping the Future of TESOL (David Graddol, Thursday, 27 March 2014, 8–9 a.m. Pacific Time). The recordings will still be available after the live sessions using the same links: Opening Keynote and James E. Alatis Plenary.
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Call for participation for the 2015 TESOL convention
TESOL
The 2015 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo takes place 25–28 March in Toronto, Canada. Session proposals and proposals for Pre- and Postconvention Institutes (PCIs) are due Monday, 2 June 2014, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Find the deadline in your time zone.
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2013 Annual Report —TESOL Across Cultures
TESOL
The TESOL 2013 Annual Report chronicles a successful year for TESOL International Association and its members. The report includes financial results as well as a mini tour of art from around the world that is on display in the TESOL Central Office in Alexandria, Virginia USA. The annual reports are located here.
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English language learners get help finding classes
The Tennessean
Nashville has many places where non-native speakers can learn English, and now they'll have a single place to find out where they can go. A new online map has debuted at www.ESLmap.com to bring together what its creators said could be as many as 50 different venues hosting English as a second language courses.

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Why Chinese schools must push English more than ever
WorldCrunch
China: After months of public debate, China's Education Ministry has finally decided that the college entrance exam will no longer include the subject of English. Instead, students will take several English tests spread over the course of the school year.

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What it takes (and means) to learn English as an adult
NPR
Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she's "desperate" to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it.

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Center for American Progress: Race to Top states making good progress
Education Week
It's the final year of Race to the Top, so how are the dozen winners doing when it comes to the four main areas of the program, including turning around low-performing schools, improving teacher effectiveness, beefing up state data systems, and bolstering standards and assessments? Overall, states have made great progress in a short amount of time, but there have been bumps in the road, according to a report by the Center for American Progress, a think tank in Washington that many consider to be closely aligned with the Obama administration.
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Mandatory ELL training for all teachers
Medford Transcript
Teachers today have a lot to juggle with prep time, correcting homework and parent conferences, to name a few of their many responsibilities. So it's hard to blame any educators who felt stressed in 2011 when the federal government mandated English language learner training for all core academic teachers in the state. The state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education had been offering teachers training on techniques ELL specialists utilize in the classroom in order to more effectively develop the English skills of non-native English speakers, but the training sessions were voluntary and often poorly attended.
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  LAS Links Assessments Go Online

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RM270 million spent on English yet no results
Free Malaysia Today
Malaysia: Despite the government paying RM270 million, a mentoring program implemented since 2011 to improve English language teachers' skills has had minimum impact on the quality of English among students and teachers alike. The Dewan Rakyat was told today that the Program Penutur Jati Bahasa Inggeris, which hires foreign teachers to mentor local English language primary school teachers from rural areas, was unable to prevent last year's UPSR results for the English subject plunging lower than ever.
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Schools coping with Common Core turbulence
District Administration Magazine
The rollout of the Common Core State Standards in classrooms nationwide this school year has been "bumpy" as states struggle to provide professional development for teachers, align curricular materials and create assessments that adequately measure the standards, according to the February report "Common Core in the Districts: An Early Look at Early Implementers" from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute.
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English lessons for Jamaica
Jamaica Observer
Jamaica: The British Council of Jamaica will, in a matter of weeks, roll out an international program to help local educators better prepare students to speak and use the English Language effectively as it has now been determined that Jamaica is not quite an English-speaking country. In fact, Jamaica is the only so-called English-speaking nation in the world to benefit from the program and only one of two countries in the Caribbean, the other being Cuba, whose official language is Spanish.
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No wonder maths is suffering when pupils need help with English
The Tablet (commentary)
United Kingdom: It is clear from recent studies outlined by Jeremy Sutcliffe in this week's Tablet Education Supplement that England's schools are under-achieving in maths. While I cannot deny that maths teaching requires improvement, there are a number of factors hindering the nation’s success in the subject. As a primary school teacher who has worked in two inner London schools I have celebrated great results through my hard work and dedication. But like many primary school teachers, I have faced considerable challenges.
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Cutting to the Common Core: Changing the playing field 2
Language Magazine
The transition to the Common Core State Standards offers a window of opportunity to fortify what and how we teach. It also provides a chance to reflect on how our most marginalized students most effectively learn the most difficult knowledge and skills. The CCSS challenge us to teach students much more than loosely connected pieces of knowledge and test-taking skills. They offer an opportunity to equip diverse students with deeper understandings of content, more expert thinking skills and stronger communication skills
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  TESOL Conference Samples and Sessions

Visit Booth 230 at the TESOL conference for a FREE sample of accessible texts, Reader’s Theater, or intervention materials. Plus, check out our presentations on Closing the Achievement Gap with Technology and Connecting the Common Core to Comprehension and Fluency. Click here for session information and a FREE SAMPLE online.
 


English language cuts at NSW schools 'hurting students'
ABC news
United Kingdom: Teachers say cuts to specialist support for English language training in New South Wales public schools threaten to marginalise a whole generation of students from migrant backgrounds. The NSW Teachers Federation says 32 multicultural, refugee, and English as a second language support officer positions were slashed last year. The federation's multicultural officer Amber Flohm says their phones are ringing off the hook because teachers and schools were not told the positions would be gone this year.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Will classroom technology help English language learners? (Reflejos)
International students boost US enrollment (District Administration Magazine)
Study: San Francisco's bilingual programs as effective as English only (Education Week)
Learned helplessness in the classroom (By: Erick Herrmann)
Strategies to reach every student, regardless of language barrier (MindShift)

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


New Orleans charter schools scramble to teach non-English speakers
The Hechinger Report
Every school night, Ramon Leon helps his older son, a third grader at a New Orleans charter school, with his homework. Typically, they speed through the math worksheets. Word problems take longer because Leon's son has to translate them into Spanish for his father, who speaks little English. Grammar worksheets sometimes stump them both. Leon, who moved to New Orleans from Mexico with his two sons just before the start of the school year, is an involved parent: He attends all report card conferences — using his third grader as an interpreter. On the nights when he can't help his older son figure out an assignment, he won't sign the homework form. Instead, he writes "No entiendo" — Spanish for "I don't understand."
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Free English coaching on campus finds many takers
The Hindu
India: About 200 girls pursuing various courses at Kakatiya University make a beeline for the Zoology seminar room every evening. It is here that they are offered free English coaching that prepares them for campus interviews and other competitive examinations. "This is a gift for us. We are shy to go for Spoken English classes outside. We are happy that classes are offered on campus," said Raja Kumari, an M.Com student.
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English language learners get help finding classes
The Tennessean
Nashville has many places where non-native speakers can learn English, and now they'll have a single place to find out where they can go. A new online map has debuted at www.ESLmap.com to bring together what its creators said could be as many as 50 different venues hosting English as a second language courses. They can be searched by cost, location, frequency and the level of instruction. Until now, information about ESL classes has traveled by "word of mouth," said Angela Harris with the Tennessee Foreign Language Institute.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ELL.






Social feedback loop aids language development
Science Daily via Association for Psychological Science
Verbal interactions between parents and children create a social feedback loop important for language development, according to research. That loop appears to be experienced less frequently and is diminished in strength in interactions with autistic children. The research also showed that socioeconomic status seems to affect the interactions making up the feedback loop.
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Like a wood duck: Finding peace in the classroom
Edutopia (commentary)
Ben Johnson, a high school principal, consultant, author and instructional learning coach, writes: "After a hard day of teaching, I often plop down on my desk chair at home and gaze up at a framed drawing hanging on the wall above my desk that a dear friend of mine gave me. It is a detailed depiction of a pair of wood ducks serenely floating on a calm pond. One of the ducks is male that has brightly colored feathers and beak; the other is female that is plain gray and nondescript. Yet both are at peace and comfortable with each other. Struggling to help students to learn can sometimes destroy our internal peace and serenity, especially when students resist our best efforts."
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Homework loads haven't changed much in 30 years
U.S. News & World Report
The idea that American students spend hours on end toiling away with burdensome amounts of homework is unfounded, argues a new report from the Brookings Institution's Brown Center on Education Policy. In fact, homework loads haven't changed all that much in the past three decades. The center's annual report on American education examined student-reported homework levels in the National Assessment of Educational Progress from 1984 to 2012 and found that for some students, such as those in middle school, homework loads actually have lightened slightly.
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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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