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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   April 03, 2015


Cutting to the Common Core: Fostering academic interaction
Language Magazine
A primary goal of English language development and world-language coursework is to ensure that students develop the verbal and written language skills to communicate effectively in social and academic settings. To develop communicative competence, students at all grade levels and proficiency levels need daily supported opportunities using their second languages for diverse purposes. Simply providing provocative questions and exhortations to "share with a neighbor" will not yield impressive linguistic results. In this frequent classroom scenario, students are likely to respond inefficiently and inaudibly, using brief phrases punctuated by everyday vocabulary, without being able to recall their lesson partners' contributions.
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What we talk about when we talk about best practices: Assessment
By: Debra Josephson Abrams
In this part of the best practices series, we will examine assessment and the many manifestations it takes. Assessment is not limited to traditional testing. It includes programmatic and student needs analysis, alternative approaches to evaluating learning and student self-reflection. Best practices research indicates that traditional placement tests do learners an injustice.
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Immigrants to Metro Vancouver's Tri-Cities battle language barriers, isolation
The Vancouver Sun
Canada: Immigrants who settle in the Tri-Cities, one of the top destinations in the province, face significant challenges in terms of English language ability, navigating the health care system and social isolation, new research finds. The region, which includes Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Anmore and Belcarra, receives about 2,100 new immigrants each year, according to the 2011 Census. Forty per cent of Tri-Cities residents are immigrants.
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Call for TESOL 2015 Takeaways
Did you attend the TESOL International Convention in Toronto? Bursting to share what you learned with your colleagues? TESOL Connections is compiling the best takeaways from convention for publication in the May 2015 special convention issue. Selected submissions will be 75–200 words and include insightful, innovative, or practical tips, strategies, activities or resources. Please include the session title where you obtained the takeaway; the presenter names; and your name, affiliation, and location. Submit by 15 April to for consideration. *Note: By submitting your response, you give permission for it to be edited for grammar, punctuation, and length, and printed in TESOL Connections.

FREE TESOL and Oxford University Press Virtual Seminar: Teaching Modals Across the Levels
22 April 2015, 10:30 am-12:00 pm ET. Register by 19 April to participate.

Singapore 2015 Call for Proposals: Deadline Approaching
Time is running out to submit a proposal for Excellence in Language Instruction: Supporting Classroom Teaching & Learning, a TESOL conference in Singapore. Organized in partnership with the National Institute of Education, this 2½ day event will feature leading experts in teacher education, classroom instruction, and international assessment. Proposals are due 15 April 2015. Submit today!

Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program
PP100: Foundation Course
13 April – 24 May 2015
Develop the skills you need to effectively teach English language courses online or blend online segments with your traditional face-to-face courses. The foundation course (PP100) introduces participants to the major design parameters of online courses. Space is limited and registration closes 8 April.

TESOL Training of Trainers
15 April – 26 May 2015
Looking to revitalize or kick-start your continuing professional development program? Register for TESOL's Training of Trainers online course and take action to boost your program's profile and transform your current ELT continuing professional development program using the latest technologies.

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

Assessment Specialist — ELL, Questar Assessment, Inc., USA

English Instructors, Laureate Vocational Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia

Director, Center for English Language Programs, New Mexico State University, USA

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

ESEA's 50-year legacy a blend of idealism, policy tensions
Education Week
Fifty years ago this month, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the Elementary and Secondary Education Act outside the former one-room schoolhouse in rural Texas he'd once attended. The new law dramatically ramped up Washington's investment in K-12 education, carving out a role for the federal government in educating the nation's poorest children. But shortly after that cinematic ceremony, administrators in the U.S. Office of Education — the predecessor of today's separate, Cabinet-level department — found themselves with a difficult task.
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One person: One language and bilingual children
Psychology Today
A well-known approach used with children who are acquiring two languages simultaneously is for each parent to use his or her own language with their child. Thus, for example, parent 1 will use Spanish and parent 2 English. This is known as the one person — one language strategy or OPOL. The strategy has probably been around since the beginning of intermarriages between people belonging to different language groups. In recent times, however, its onset has a precise date: 1908. It was in that year that a baby boy, Louis, was born to the Ronjat family in France.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS.

5 Key Benefits Of U.S. Community Colleges For International Students
U.S. News & World Report
Community college should be familiar to most international students and their parents. However, many parents often misunderstand several key things about this type of U.S. college. They may think that community colleges have zero admission requirements, for example, or that they are for students who are not good at school. This is definitely not correct. Here is some information on what community colleges really are and how they are different from four-year institutions, as well as which types of international students may want to consider community college.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Study: Urban charters, districts serve equal numbers of ELLs (Education Week)
'STEM focus is undermining pupils' language skills' (The Telegraph (commentary))
Ludic learning (Language Magazine)
With fewer new teachers, why do some stick around? (NPR)
International students stream into US colleges (The Wall Street Journal)
Simple exercises to improve ELL reading skills — Part 2 (By: Douglas Magrath)

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

Is learning on the job the best way to master a language?
The Guardian
What’s the best way to learn a foreign language? While every student is different, the promise of travel and adventure has led some to ditch traditional, academic methods in favour of moving to a country where they can be fully immersed in the language they are trying to acquire. For many people wanting to stay for longer periods, that includes getting a job. Roles that require little or no language skills, such as au pairing or bartending, are often popular with language learners living abroad, not just as a means of paying the bills, but because work is also an opportunity to improve fluency. Other less obvious options include volunteering and even working on a farm to learn a language.
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Adult education lagging way behind in tech
THE Journal
While schools have placed a great deal of attention on technology in the classroom, it appears one instructional segment, adult education, has been left behind. Although 86 percent of adult education administrators and practitioners said they believe that technology solutions can "effectively support" adult education, only 54 percent of students in those programs always have access on site to computers for instructional purposes. Another 36 percent have only "occasional" access, and the bulk of the remainder have even less.
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A majority of English-speaking Hispanics in the US are bilingual
Pew Research Center
About 1 in 6 U.S. adult Hispanics (62 percent) speak English or are bilingual, according to an analysis of the Pew Research Center's 2013 National Survey of Latinos. Hispanics in the United States break down into three groups when it comes to their use of language: 36 percent are bilingual, 25 percent mainly use English and 38 percent mainly use Spanish. Among those who speak English, 59 percent are bilingual.
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Does speaking English limit our sense of smell? The ability to identify and describe odors depends on the language you speak
Daily Mail
Inhaling the delicate bouquet of a glass of wine can leave most of us at a loss for words to describe what we are smelling. But it turns out it may be our language that is hampering our sense of smell. Scientists have found that English speakers struggle to identify and describe odors compared to other languages.
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8 strategies to keep informational reading fun
John Spencer, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "One of the biggest complaints I hear about Common Core is the push toward informational texts. This is often accompanied by the complaint that we are no longer allowing students to read for the sake of reading. Just yesterday, a teacher said to me, 'I wish we could read novels. With all these informational texts, kids are losing the love of reading.'"
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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 or contact us at

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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