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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Apr. 11, 2012







Register now for TESOL Virtual Seminars
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL has some exciting virtual seminars coming up in April and May. On 25 April, Brock Brady will lead "Responding to 21st Century Demands for ELT." The registration deadline is 19 April. On 2 May, Danielle Zawodny Wetzel and Ryan Miller will lead "Teaching Academic Reading and Writing in English." The registration deadline is 26 April. And on 23 May, Roger C. Rosenthal will lead "The Rights of Immigrant Students and English Language Learners in U.S. Public Schools." The registration deadline is 17 May. For more information on TESOL education programs, please visit the TESOL website or contact edprograms@tesol.org.



TESOL 2013: Submit a proposal or apply to be a reviewer
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
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.

Public University in Panama seeks Fulbright scholar
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Universidad Especializada de las Américas in Albrook, Panama, has applied through the U.S. Embassy for a Fulbright scholar to help assess the teaching of English at the university, make recommendations for improvement and conduct some teacher training. To apply for the program, please visit the Fulbright Scholar Program website.

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Did the TESOL 2012 photographer catch you having fun?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To find out, visit the TESOL Convention Facebook page for TESOL 2012 photos. TESOL attendees also shared comments on video. Did you have your picture taken with Ben Franklin? Or maybe you have some great candid shots of you and your friends enjoying the convention or Philadelphia? Please share your them in the TESOL Convention Facebook page timeline.

TESOL seeks book chapter proposals
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL seeks proposals for chapters of Language Teaching: Insights From Other Fields, to be edited by Chris Stillwell. Contributors should be language teachers or practitioners who have experience in fields outside TESOL that is demonstrably relevant to language teaching. Proposals should detail basic principles of a field outside TESOL and how those principles can enhance language teaching. For more information, please read the call for proposals.



What would big, giant proposed cuts mean for your K-12 program?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
So if Congress doesn't stop the big, giant across the board cuts to set to hit (almost) every education program under the sun next January, what would that mean for you? The Committee for Education Funding, an uber-lobbying coalition, has taken a stab at answering that question. CEF put out a series of very helpful charts estimating what would happen if the planned cuts, which were put into law under a deal to raise the debt ceiling last August, go through. The cuts, which could be as high as 9.1 percent, are known inside-the-beltway as "sequestration." More

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Parental engagement proves no easy goal
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Few would quarrel with the goal of increasing parents' and families' engagement in education in the name of school improvement. But there's far less consensus on what that engagement should look like — and on how educators and policymakers should be promoting it. Those questions are evident in the federal No Child Left Behind Act, which requires thousands of schools receiving Title I aid to set aside a portion of that money for family-engagement activities. The Obama administration, among others, would like to boost the amount of money devoted to parental outreach in reauthorizing the law, the current version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. More

Political, legal fights over school vouchers' fate
The Associated Press via Google News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students like Delano Coffy are at the heart of brewing political fights and court battles over whether public dollars should go to school vouchers to help make private schools more affordable. He was failing in his neighborhood public elementary school in Indianapolis until his mother enrolled him in a Roman Catholic school. More

Common Core: Nobody said it was going to be easy
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Stephanie Day, director of teaching and learning at the Friendship Public Charter School in Washington D.C., writes, "As debate rings out on nearly every policy question, we are consistently seeing gridlock win out over progress. In this political climate, it is no small feat that 44 states have chosen to hold their students to the same set of high quality academic standards embodied in the Common Core State Standards. However, as with any meaningful change, nobody said it was going to be easy. Now that states are beginning to transition to the standards, the real work is kicking in. As a teacher, I certainly understand the frustration among my colleagues and everyone else participating in the implementation process. Yet with so much at stake, we can't let these growing pains get the best of us." More



BC post-secondary schools to offer free ESL classes for all Canadian citizens
The Vancouver Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canada: English language courses are now available free of charge at 17 B.C. post-secondary institutions for all Canadian citizens. Previously, free ESL classes were only offered to new immigrants. But now the province is extending that service all citizens, the government said. Instruction will be provided at basic, intermediate and advanced levels for people whose first language is not English. More



Report details Latino education gap in California and nationwide
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Just 16 perecent of California Latinos have college degrees compared with 39 percent of all California adults, an education gap for Latinos that is reflected widely across the country, according to data compiled by a nonprofit research and advocacy group. The national and state-by-state data was compiled from various official sources and released by Washington, D.C.-based Excelencia in Education. More

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Honolulu school puts English language learners new to the country in 'newcomer center'
The Associated Press via The Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students at a Honolulu middle school who are new to the country and learning English are put in a "newcomer center" where they get English lessons and learn about the American school system. This is part of a program at Kalakaua Middle School as the number of English language learners in Hawaii has been growing in recent years. Last school year, there were about 19,700 English language learners in Hawaii's public schools, an increase of about 22 percent from the 2007-2008 school year. More

Oakbrook Elementary has strong focus on boosting student achievement
Lakewood Patch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Test score by test score, the Oakbrook Elementary School Eagles are working hard to soar. That was the message relayed by Principal Jeff Murrell in a presentation to the Clover Park School Board on Monday night at district headquarters. "We're doing all right," he told the board. Oakbrook has an enrollment of 305 students in kindergarten through grade five; 3 percent of the students are English Language Learners and 19 percent are enrolled in special education. The student body is 47 percent white, 19 percent Hispanic and 13 percent multi-racial, and 48 percent qualify for free or reduced-price lunch. More

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Language skills are being lost in translation
The Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Amazing as it may seem, not all foreigners speak English — or want to do so. How then to explain the last government's puffing up of "multi-culturalism" while they hacked away at the most vital of all inter-cultural skills, the discipline of learning foreign languages? In 2004, labor dropped a requirement that all pupils learn at least one foreign language to GCSE standard. The consequence is that language learning in our state education sector is collapsing. More



Chinese government will increase scrutiny of overseas educators' ads
The Chonicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China: The Chinese government is increasing its scrutiny of overseas education providers, reports the Xinhua news agency. In an announcement on its website, the Ministry of Education said it would more closely examine advertisements for foreign programs. And the government agency called on universities to formalize their overseas partnerships, such as developing standardized agreements for educational exchanges and setting out clear and transparent rules for curriculum, teaching plans and diploma requirements in joint education programs. More

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Scrutiny of UK student visa changes reveals 'concerns' about English learners
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Applications for visas to study English in the U.K. surged during the summer of 2009 in advance of the introduction of tighter student visa rules and prompted immigration officials to suspend applications from south China because of fears about how demand for English language tests in the region could be met. The revelation of serious concerns about the availability of secure English language tests in parts of China was revealed in a report by the National Audit Office into the introduction of the Tier 4 student visa rules in 2009 and 2010. More

New twists in online recruiting of international students
The Chonicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
International students are often in an online wilderness as they search for universities to apply to. They run into confusing websites, search ads that can make shady institutions look genuine and "contact us" pages that may not effectively connect them with admissions counselors. An India-based company, Erudient, had students send Facebook messages to 162 universities in eight countries, including the United States and Canada. Only 51 percent of the universities responded within three days. Often when the universities did respond, the responses weren't relevant. Some universities just referred those submitting inquiries back to the university's website. More



Forum to focus on English teaching challenges
Arab News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Saudi Arabia: Imam Muhammad bin Saud Islamic University will hold a three-day seminar on the challenges facing English language teaching in Saudi Arabia. The seminar, entitled "English Language Teaching in the Kingdom: Realities and Challenges," the topics will include preparing and training English language teachers through the relevant training programs in various Saudi universities and colleges, the reality of English language teachers, factors and requirements for the success of training programs, the role of universities and the private sector in the training process, and the English teacher: between regulations and practice. More

The challenges of recruiting Africans for graduate programs
The Chonicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Universities in the United States appear eager to enroll more Africans in their graduate programs. A group of administrators from American institutions, including Ohio University and University of Cincinnati, visited Botswana to explore partnerships, which could bring students from the sub-Saharan country to their campuses. In general, universities see African students as a way to diversify their classrooms and, at the same time, help fix Africa's massive shortage of locals with graduate degrees. More



Lessons make English language, American culture far less foreign
The Tennessean    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Right off the main street, with antiques stores and a feed mill that serves as a country store, several recent immigrants are learning how to tell a doctor what ails them. Williamson County Adult Education teacher Suzanne Marley, who instructs a beginner level English language/civics class, makes a deep-chested hacking sound in front of her students, who come from such far-flung countries as India and Korea in addition to Mexico. More

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Linguists: Perfect accents not realistic for older language learners
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I am an adult language learner. After several years of lying fallow, I have taken up my pursuit of learning Spanish with a great teacher who comes to my office twice a week for one-on-one lessons. In nearly every class, Francisca and I have lengthy conversations in Spanish about our lives, as well as subject matter that I cover in my job here at Education Week: English language learners, public schools, education reform efforts, etc. She works closely with me on building the vocabulary and academic language I need to develop my skills for conducting interviews with Spanish speaking students and their family members. More



Multi-tasking may come easier to bilingual kids; They have a tougher time building vocabulary
New York Daily News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Children who grow up learning two languages are better at multi-tasking but slower at building vocabulary than their monolingual peers, two Canadian psychologists have found. Raluca Barac and Ellen Bialystok tested a total of 104 six-year-old public school children, then compared the results of monolingual anglophones with their Chinese-English, French-English and Spanish-English counterparts. In a test of their ability to pay attention, plan, organize and strategize, the children were all asked to press a computer button while viewing images of either animals or colors. More

Study: Treating dyslexia before kids learn to read
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Treatment for dyslexia can begin even before children start learning to read, a new study suggests. Researchers from Italy found that the learning disability may be linked to problems with children's visual attention. They said their findings could lead to earlier diagnosis and new treatments for those with the condition. "Visual attention deficits are surprisingly way more predictive of future reading disorders than are language abilities at the pre-reading stage," Andrea Facoetti, of the University of Padua, said in a journal news release. More

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What kids should know about their own brains
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Neuroscience may seem like an advanced subject of study, perhaps best reserved for college or even graduate school. Two researchers from Temple University in Philadelphia propose that it be taught earlier, however — much earlier. As in first grade. In a study published in this month's issue of the journal Early Education and Development, psychologists Peter Marshall and Christina Comalli began by surveying children aged 4 to 13 to discover what they already knew about the brain. Previous research had found that elementary school pupils typically have a limited understanding of the brain and how it functions, believing it to be something like "a container for storing memories and facts." More

Trilingual kids who will never be tongue-tied
The Irish Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sri Lanka: My first experience of trilingual children was living in Sri Lanka in 2005, where many of the kids I met spoke Tamil, Sinhala and English. I was astounded when I realized that they could also read and write in these languages, a feat requiring knowledge of three completely different scripts — the Roman alphabet, Tamil script with more than 200 letters and Sinhalese which has more than 50 characters. Indeed, to some of these children it appeared a language wasn't real unless it had its own autonomous script. One young boy remained skeptical, despite my assurances, that French, Irish and English really were different languages. More



Are you sitting comfortably?
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Many teachers tell personal stories to their students. They go into class and illuminate language forms or simply build relationships by sharing personal information and anecdotes. Nothing can help to better illuminate a dry grammar point than putting it into the context of a funny incident or personal reflection. But while blurring boundaries between students and personal life can sometimes be problematic, there is a way to achieve that engagement with learners without breaching confidentiality and that is by telling traditional folk tales in class. More



Technology has revolutionized the way that languages are taught and practiced
Language Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Computer software now rivals traditional textbooks in the market, and oftentimes younger learners respond more to interactive, multimedia activities than the books their parents used to study. Not only are the following software programs excellent for self-study, they can add value to any traditional curriculum and cater to all different learning styles. With the wide range of products now available, every teacher has the opportunity to choose resources that match their means and goals. More

Using social media as a language learning tool
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: There's no denying that enthusiasm for learning foreign languages amongst our schoolchildren is at an all time low. But if things are going to change, teachers and parents need to get smarter. In 2005 the Guardian's Polly Curtis described how more children were learning a language to GCSE level than they were 10 years previously. Apparently, pupils were even willing to explore languages like Arabic, Chinese and Spanish as well as more traditional alternatives such as French and German. Just two years later, this number was down dramatically, with fewer than half of all English school pupils taking a modern European language at GCSE level. More




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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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