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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Apr. 10, 2013

 





LDP panel: To communicate in English, TOEFL is vital
The Japan Times
Japan: English language education at public schools should shift in emphasis to verbal communications skills, and for that purpose, universities must adopt the Test of English as a Foreign Language for entrance exams, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party's education reform panel said. If the TOEFL is introduced in line with the panel's proposal, it would drastically change public English language education at junior high and high schools, Toshiaki Endo, head of the panel and a Lower House member from Yamagata Prefecture, said in a recent interview with The Japan Times.
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Testing consortia struggle with ELL provisions
Education Week
When a low-level English learner answers a long-division problem incorrectly on a state exam, is it because the student can't do the math? Or is it because the student lacks the English proficiency to understand the directions? With the tests used now, discerning the reason is difficult, if not impossible. But as test designers work to craft the new, common assessments set to debut in most of the nation's public schools in the 2014-2015 school year, their goal is to provide all English language learners, regardless of their language-proficiency levels, the same opportunities to demonstrate their content knowledge and skills as their peers who are native English speakers or former English learners.
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Hiring heats up in K-12 teaching specialties
U.S. News & World Report
Big changes in education, driven by changing curriculum standards, demographics and diagnoses of kids with special needs, are creating opportunities for graduates with the right skill sets. Josh Fernandez is one new teacher who has capitalized on these changes. In 2008, Fernandez, a communications grad of East Carolina University, began working as a paraprofessional at Maryland's Gaithersburg High School, helping a paraplegic student with his day-to-day activities.
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Sponsored Content





TESOL Core Certificate Program accepting applications
TESOL
The TESOL Core Certificate Program offers 130 hours of online training in the theory and practice of English language teaching. The program is designed for current or prospective teachers worldwide who have little to no formal training in ELT. If you would like to participate, however, you must act quickly. Applications are due Sunday, 28 April. For more information, please contact corecertificate@tesol.org.
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2013 TESOL Academies
TESOL
Register now for the 2013 Academies to be held 21–22 June 2013 in Baltimore, Md., and St. Paul, Minn., USA. The TESOL Academies provide intensive, hands-on workshops for a wide variety of TESOL practitioners. The university campus is a perfect setting for peer-to-peer learning on a topic highly relevant to your needs.
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SHOWCASE
  Put your passion into practice

Teach with a purpose. SIT students learn to teach language for social change, advocacy, education, and empowerment. SIT now has a summer low-residency program that offers current teachers the same highly regarded TESOL graduate education as the SIT on campus program.
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New fromTESOL Press
TESOL
TESOL Press announces publication of "ESL and Digital Video Integration: Case Studies." It should come as no surprise that digital video technology is of particular interest to English language learners; students are drawn to its visual appeal and vibrant creative potential. The seven original case studies in this book demonstrate how video can be an effective and powerful tool to create fluid, fun, interactive and collaborative learning environments. Read a free chapter.
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Deadline extended for author contributions
TESOL
Authors have until 1 June 2013 to send short (400–800 words) contributions for a new book in the popular New Ways Series from TESOL Press. "New Ways in Teaching Business English," edited by Clarice S. C. Chan and Evan Frendo, will include business English teaching ideas and activities. Read the full guidelines.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  System 44

System 44 is the breakthrough foundational reading program for our most challenged students in Grades 3-12+. State-of-the-art technology helps these students master key foundational literacy skills and provides educators with a comprehensive set of tools to get students on the path to the Common Core. Learn More
 


TESOL 2012 Annual Report
TESOL
Read about TESOL International Association's successful year in Building a Community of Excellence, now available online.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Adult education funding at the center of California school budget
The Independent Voter Network
Gov. Jerry Brown put forth his idea for improving the way California's schools are funded with the Local Control Funding Formula. It would pool categorical funds and allocate that money to school districts based on enrollment levels of disadvantaged students.

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Why every professor needs linguistics 101
The Chronicle of Higher Education
By now it should be obvious that grammar instruction doesn't benefit anyone. Students hate it; teachers never learned grammar themselves, or if they did, they promptly forgot most of it.

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Possible solutions to learners' poor English performance in schools
New Era
Namibia: To attain a good command of a second language, learners should either be exposed to it in real circumstances and with natural frequency, or painstakingly learn words and sentence structures assuming that learners have some contact with natural input.

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Sequestration hits impact aid districts
District administration Magazine
Most districts won't feel the impact of sequester cuts for another year. But Silver Valley, Calif., USD is already facing the harsh reality of nearly $500,000 in funding cuts this year alone. Located on the National Training Center at Fort Irwin in the middle of the Mojave Desert, Silver Valley is a district of 2,500 students, 61 percent of whom are from military families. It is one of approximately 1,350 school districts located on tax-exempt property, such as military bases or Indian reservations, that are heavily reliant on federal Impact Aid, which the government provides to help fund the schools. Today, these districts are facing immediate and often severe cuts at the hands of sequestration.
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Getting the best people into the toughest jobs
Center for American Progress (commentary)
It is indisputable that teachers and principals have the greatest impact on student learning. Unfortunately, the education system has hired and tenured thousands of ineffective teachers and principals, particularly in high-poverty urban and rural schools. As a consequence, these schools have low levels of student learning.To remedy this problem, the nation is engaged in multiple activities to get effective teachers into all classrooms and effective principals into all schools through more "strategic management" of education talent. Strategic talent management is an approach that manages all human resource programs — recruitment, selection, placement, development, evaluation, tenure, promotion, dismissal and compensation — around a set of effectiveness metrics that capture instructional practice and student-learning growth.
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Minorities in special education: Are they underrepresented?
Education Week
Among special education advocates, it's an article of faith that minority students are enrolled in special education in greater proportion than their white peers, and that this is a problem that needs fixing. But what if minorities are actually underenrolled in special education? What if minority students, even those who show characteristics similar to their white peers, aren't getting the services they need? That would mean a major shift in the way the federal government and special educators look at this issue.
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SHOWCASE
  Managing Multicultural Language Programs

Check out this week’s feature video – The Realities of Multicultural Management. The Professional Development Exchange provides practicing English language teachers with access to professional development videos and handouts for download on a variety of teaching and management topics. Visit www.thepdexchange.ca to browse our full video catalogue.
 


Bill Gates: A fairer way to evaluate teachers
The Washington Post (commentary)
Tom Brady may be the best quarterback in football, but he is also infamously, hilariously slow. YouTube videos of his 40-yard dash have gotten many thousands of hits from sports fans looking for a good laugh. If the New England Patriots had chosen a quarterback based only on foot speed, they would have missed out on three Super Bowl victories. But National Football League teams ask prospects to run, jump and lift weights. They interview them for hours. They watch game film. In short, they use multiple measures to determine the best players.
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New rule: National Spelling Bee will now include definitions test
NPR
As if it weren't hard enough to spell "cymotrichous," now the National Spelling Bee will expect contestants to know that it means. "This is a significant change in the Scripps National Spelling Bee, but also a natural one," Paige Kimble, director of the bee said. "It represents a deepening of the Bee's commitment to its purpose: to help students improve their spelling, increase their vocabularies, learn concepts and develop correct English usage that will help them all their lives."
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Why there's a backlash against Common Core
National Review Online (commentary)
The federal government has spent billions to move Common Core forward, and it has put billions more on the line. Unfortunately, parents, teachers, tea-party activists and governors have every reason to believe Common Core represents major, unprecedented federal intervention into education.
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Quebec's war on English: Language politics intensify in Canadian province
TIME (commentary)
Canada: To live in Quebec is to become accustomed to daily reminders that French in the Canadian province is the most regulated language in the world. Try, as I did recently, to shop at Anthropologie online and you'll come up empty-handed. The retail chain (which bears a French name) opened its first Montreal boutique in October, but "due to the Charter of the French Language" has had its site shut down: "We hope you'll visit us in store!" Montreal's transit authority maintains that under the present language law, its ticket takers must operate in French, which lately has spurred complaints from passengers. Last year, the city of Montreal erected 60 English safety signs nearby Anglophone schools in an effort to slow passing vehicles.
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Hartford, Conn., schools, civil rights officials agree on services for ELLs
Education Week
Six years after an advocacy group first complained about inadequate services for refugee students and English learners in Hartford's school system, civil rights officials with the U.S. Department of Education have hammered out a resolution to address those concerns with Connecticut's largest school district. In a 15-page resolution agreement with the Education Department's office for civil rights, Hartford's education leaders have agreed to a prescribed set of actions and reporting requirements to ensure that refugee students and immigrant children who are English language learners are properly identified, receive better language instruction, and are provided bilingual tutors and other types of language support to help them access mainstream, academic content courses.
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Challenge: Teaching more students English with fewer funds
The Observer-Dispatch
Chit Myaing waited in line to register her 4-year-old for kindergarten. Unlike other parents enrolling their children in the Utica City School District, the Karen refugee who arrived here in 2007 needs something more for her son. He doesn't speak English. "The English is very important to communicate to other people," Myaing said. There are about 1,512 English language learners in the district, with more on the way.
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Text Pairs Make Content Accessible


Matching informational and genre texts for Grades 3-8+ look the same and provide similar content but at different reading levels. Free sampler.
 


Iowa View: English learners deserve extended support
The Des Moines Register
Iowa schools help non-English-speaking students succeed in the classroom through the English language learners program. But while the program assists students in developing the necessary language skills to participate meaningfully in school and society, without appropriate support and flexibility, many of these students may soon be left behind. This year, almost 25,000 English language learners are enrolled at school districts large and small throughout Iowa, a fivefold increase over the past 20 years.
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Students languishing under Massachusetts' bilingual education law, critics say
Lowell Sun Online
Alternating between speaking English and Spanish, mothers, teachers and students urged lawmakers to revamp a decade-old law that nearly eliminated bilingual education, arguing it has left students learning to speak English "languishing" and struggling to advance academically. Advocates want lawmakers to revisit English language learning programs that promote dual-language instruction. In 2002, backers of a successful ballot question argued that allowing students to continue instruction in their native tongue hindered them from learning English.
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Alternative methods for teaching English should be sought
YumaSun
How Arizona schools help non-English speakers learn the language has been a contentious issue for decades, with repeated court rulings and appeals. But barring an appeal — and given the history of the challenges that began in 1992, it is hard to reject that possibility — a recent federal judge's ruling seemingly has ended the dispute. Judge Raner Collins concluded the state was adequately addressing the issue of English learning, and it was not the court's role to micromanage how it does so.
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Cambridge backs tests to evaluate language skills of overseas-trained medical professionals
PRWeb UK
United Kingdom: The Occupational English Test is currently used to test the English language skills of overseas-trained health and medical professionals who want to practice in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. Cambridge English Language Assessment has purchased a 70 percent stake in the OET from Center for Adult Education, a controlled entity of Box Hill Institute, in Melbourne, Australia, in a strategic alliance aimed at increasing the availability of the test to candidates in the U.K., Europe and North America.
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An old ally sends droves of students to US
The New York Times
Which European country sends more students to U.S. universities than any other? Is it Britain, which shares a common language and a reverence for ancient collegiate campuses? Or Germany, whose great research universities did so much to shape U.S. higher education? The answer, it turns out, is neither. Though Britain sent more than 9,000 students to the United States last year — more than ever before — and Germany sent about 9,300, both lagged behind Turkey, which has been sending more than 10,000 students a year to the United States since 2000.
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English language business thrives with 18 percent increase over 2011
Malta Today
Malta: Results showed that almost two-thirds of students came from Italy, Germany, Russia, France or Spain. Italian students accounted for a 19.2 percent share, while students from Germany, Russia, France and Spain came next with shares of 14.1, 13.9, 10.4 and 7.3 percent respectively. The largest proportion of language students fell within the 16-17 age groups and reached 21,791, or 26.6 percent of the total. Students aged 50 and over were in a minority and counted 3,879.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Bill increasing time for English language learners' advances (Check & Balance)
Are schools getting tongue-tied? (District Administration Magazine)
Arizona English learner program upheld in federal court (Education Week)
Quebec community fights to keep English language high school (Ottawa Citizen)
Testing, early learning and the pace of reform: Talking with teachers (ED.gov Blog)

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


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Adult education funding at the center of California school budget
The Independent Voter Network
Gov. Jerry Brown put forth his idea for improving the way California's schools are funded with the Local Control Funding Formula. It would pool categorical funds and allocate that money to school districts based on enrollment levels of disadvantaged students. State Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Canada Flintridge, introduced Senate Bill 223 which would rival the governor's formula. Liu's bill would still grant spending flexibility, but differs by maintaining amounts distributed by the current system of categorical funds. One category the bill can protect is adult education.
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Study: Immigrants who live, work together less apt to learn English
Purdue University
Adult immigrants living and working in places where they are surrounded by others who share their ethnic backgrounds are less likely to learn or be proficient in the English language, say two Purdue University researchers. In a study of Chinese and Mexican immigrants age 25 and older who came to the United States for reasons other than attending school, Purdue agricultural economists Brigitte Waldorf and Raymond Florax and three research collaborators found that residing and working in ethnic "enclaves" made it easier for immigrants to continue speaking their native language and put off — or avoid altogether — learning English.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Are you an English language program administrator (LPA) or do you want to become one?

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Language by mouth and by hand
Science Daily
Humans favor speech as the primary means of linguistic communication. Spoken languages are so common many think language and speech are one and the same. But the prevalence of sign languages suggests otherwise. Not only can deaf communities generate language using manual gestures, but their languages share some of their design and neural mechanisms with spoken languages.
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Language learners and proficiency levels: Who are they?
By Erick Herrmann
Are you a fluent English speaker? Do you speak another language? If so, how well? It has been said that we are all language learners; we never learn all of the words in a given language. Our vocabulary continually expands as we learn new concepts and skills or integrate new technology in our lives. For our students, the demands of the Common Core State Standards and increased rigor in instruction demand that students develop academic language. This is true for native English speakers, English learners and students learning another language in bilingual programs.
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Industry Pulse: How would you describe the number of English learners in your school?
ANSWER NOW


Ideas for English language learners — Earth Day and the environment
The New York Times
With both Earth Day and Arbor Day coming up, this edition of "Ideas for E.L.L.'s" is dedicated to the environment. Use the ideas in this article, along with this easily adaptable Learning Network post, "10 Ways to Learn About the Environment," to engage your students. And before you begin any of these activities, you might first pose a recent Learning Network Student Opinion question to your class: "What's the Coolest Thing You've Ever Seen in Nature?"
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When kids are afraid to tell teachers about bullying — That is a problem
TakePart (commentary)
Courtney Fox, a first-grade teacher, shares why teachers must create environments where kids aren't afraid to report bullying. She writes: "When I first started teaching, I wasn't exactly sure how I should respond to tattling. I wanted children to tell me what was going on, but I didn't want to hear everything, did I? After all, how did I know if a child was tattling to get someone in trouble, or telling me information that would help another child? Then I started hearing and reading about children who were saying their teachers weren't doing anything about bullying. Or, when they told their teachers about acts of meanness, they were getting scolded ... for tattling."
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Engaging learners through games: Help or hype?
eSchool News
"Engagement" has become a popular buzzword, as educators increasingly cite disengaged students as a problem that needs to be fixed. In this context, games are often trumpeted as the perfect tool for creating student engagement. But what do we really know about how engagement works? What opportunities and risks do games present as tools for increasing engagement? And how can educators judge whether a game product truly helps drive student engagement or is merely hype?
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10 of the best virtual field trips
eSchool News
The benefits of virtual field trips are well known: They're inexpensive — often free — and are less time-consuming than a real trip. But researching which virtual field trips are best can prove labor-intensive, and many resources are out-of-date. To help educators save time, we’ve chosen these 10 virtual field trips based on their relevancy, depth and quality of resources, and potential for student excitement.
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To find out how to feature your company in the TESOL eNewsletter and other advertising opportunities, Contact James DeBois at 469-420-2618.
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Keys to Success in Teaching English to Young Learners, registration deadline 19 April 2013 (virtual seminar)

Upcoming TESOL Academies: Bethel University, University of Maryland, São Paulo, Brazil

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






ESL Programs Director, Campbellsville University, USA

Assistant Professor in TEFL, Kansai Gaidai University, Japan

Lecturer, English Language Institute at Texas A&M, USA

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.
 

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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