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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   April 15, 2014

 





Those who can't do, shouldn't teach: learning English in Saudi schools
Al Arabiya News
Saudi Arabia: The government's education department in the Riyadh region has pointed out several deficiencies in the teaching of English language in Saudi Arabia's schools. To admit that there is a problem is a sign that solutions are possible; if there is a will to find and implement these solutions, there is a way. Among the negative aspects in the teaching of English outlined by the education department were poor and incorrect pronunciation, the use of Arabic in teaching English, no homework, carelessness in writing and no practical use of English writing skills.
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Improving English channels
Times Higher Education
United Kingdom: Language, culture and education systems are inextricably linked. Yet increasingly, the desire of ambitious higher education institutions to internationalize is leading to an "unbundling" of language, culture and education. Driven by highly influential models of what a "great" university looks like, leaders of all kinds of tertiary institutions are adopting the model of the global research university, with its international flows of academics and students using a common language. That language is English. In Europe alone, there has been a 42 per cent increase in taught master's programs in English since 2011.
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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 are due Monday, 2 June 2014, 11:59 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time. Find the deadline in your time zone.
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TESOL research agenda 2014
TESOL
The 2014 Research Agenda Task Force welcomes your comments about both the content of the draft agenda and ways in which TESOL International Association can make use of the agenda to advance professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide. Please visit the TESOL International Association Research Agenda 2014 in the newly launched TESOL Resource Center to add your feedback.
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Language structure: You're born with it
Northeastern University College of Science via Science Daily
Humans are unique in their ability to acquire language. But how? A new study shows that we are in fact born with the basic fundamental knowledge of language, thus shedding light on the age-old linguistic "nature vs. nurture" debate.

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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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With time running out, Arne Duncan discusses his lengthy to-do list
Education Week
In the waning years of the Obama administration, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan sees several important and difficult priorities ahead of him, he told Education Week in a wide-ranging 30-minute interview. Chief among them: The transition to new standards and tests, the debut of new teacher evaluations tied to test scores, and the costly drive to expand preschool. That's "a lot of change in a short amount of time — none of it easy," he said in an April 11 interview in his Washington office.
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NY State Education Department releases 'Blueprint for English Language Learners Success'
LongIsland.com
The New York State Education Department the released "The Blueprint for English Language Learners Success," a statewide framework of eight guiding principles for administrators, policy makers and practitioners to prepare ELLs for success beginning in prekindergarten to lay the foundation for college and career readiness. Over the last decade, there has been an increase in the number of ELLs enrolled in public schools in New York State. Today there are more than 214,000 ELL students in the state who speak more than 160 languages.
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Mandatory ELL training gets mixed marks
Wicked Local
When 61 percent of Massachusetts voters in 2002 elected to have all students learn core subjects in English, the new law immediately changed bilingual education across the state. The landmark vote abolished the traditional bilingual model of education, whereby students were slowly acclimated to their new language, and fully immersed them in English, limiting exposure to their native tongue. Theresa Castagnetti, an English language learner teacher at the McGlynn Elementary School in Medford, was one of thousands across the state suddenly presented with a group of students who weren't ready for the new system.
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English language learners, Hispanic students catching up to peers
Times-Call Schools
English language learners and Hispanic students don't yet graduate from St. Vrain Valley School District schools at the same rate as their white counterparts, but district officials believe they are on the right track to correct that. The Board of Education on Wednesday approved the district's unified improvement plan, which will be submitted to the Colorado Department of Education as part of the state's accreditation process. The plan, like the district performance frameworks, looks at the district's academic achievement, academic growth, gaps in growth among different groups of students and postsecondary and workforce readiness — including graduation rates.
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Minnesota surge in bilingual students calling for teaching shift
Pioneer Press
Spanish teacher Javier Blazquez was tired of seeing Hispanic students' bilingual abilities languish, so he found a way to challenge them. The Burnsville High School instructor created his Spanish-for-native-speakers class for those students who grew up speaking the language at home with the aim of improving their writing and grammar skills. "All these kids were taking Spanish I or Spanish II, and it is such a waste for them to spend time on things like vocabulary they already know," Blazquez said. "What I'm trying to get for them is the ability to read and write Spanish well because it will help them in their future careers." His class is the latest example of how educators across Minnesota are trying to better serve growing diverse student populations.
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Multilingual Vietnamese advises English learners to start with listening
Tuoi Tre News
Learners should start with listening and then move on to grammar, vocabulary and other skills to study English effectively, a Vietnamese language aficionado told Tuoitrenews in a recent interview. Nguyen Hoang Khanh, who knows eight foreign languages, has just graduated from the English Faculty at the Ho Chi Minh City University of Social Sciences and Humanities.
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Pennsylvania district agrees to improve services for English learners
Education Week
Another district, this time in Pennsylvania, has entered into an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights to provide more equitable educational opportunities for its English language learner student population, after an investigation found that the district was failing to meet these students' needs. The office for civil rights found that the Hazleton, Pa., school district was in violation of Title VI of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, which prohibits discrimination based on race, color or national origin.
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English universities losing international students
The New York Times
The number of international students enrolling in English universities has dropped for the first time in nearly three decades, interrupting a long-term trend of double-digit growth. A new report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England examines recent shifts in enrollment patterns and discusses their possible causes. The nations that make up the United Kingdom have individual responsibility for higher education, and the report addresses only the situation in England.
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English: A divider or equalizer?
Business Mirror
Philippines: The Philippines has a love-hate relationship with the English language. Some say that speaking a foreign tongue almost goes against the sovereignty and nationalism that every country needs. Yet, we take pride in the fact that the Philippines took the multibillion-dollar business-process outsourcing industry away from India, primarily because of our English language skills, since the cost factors were almost identical.
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Language structure: You're born with it
Northeastern University College of Science via Science Daily
Humans are unique in their ability to acquire language. But how? A new study shows that we are in fact born with the basic fundamental knowledge of language, thus shedding light on the age-old linguistic 'nature vs. nurture' debate.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Everything you wanted to know about teaching English in Peru (Peru this Week)
For Latino parents, bilingual classrooms aren't just about language (Boise State Public Radio)
Alphabet soup for English teachers, learners (The Phuket News)
Dyslexia and the English learner dilemma (Language Magazine)
Issues in assessing ESL students (By: Douglas Magrath)

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




Schools use student data to find signs of trouble, help struggling kids
MindShift
At Miami Carol City Senior High in Florida, a handful of teachers, administrators and coaches are gathered around a heavy wooden table in a conference room dubbed the "War Room," looking through packets of information about several students. There are others at the table, too: analysts from the group Talent Development Secondary, which monitors student data; City Year, a nonprofit that provides mentors; and Communities in Schools, which connects kids with health care and social services.
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The power of performance assessments
Edutopia
Education is, of course, about so much more than filling minds with facts and figures. Teachers everywhere know that education is about developing minds for all kinds of future experiences: college, careers that will evolve over time, and community and civic life. So how can we know if we are developing minds — and citizens — for the future? The right kinds of assessment tell us far more than whether or not students are gaining knowledge.
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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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