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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Apr. 17, 2013

 





English learners and the new science standards
Education Week
The final set of new science standards released to the public presents an unprecedented opportunity for English-language learners to learn rich, academic language at the same time they are learning rigorous science content, language experts say. At the same time, the new science standards present a far more sophisticated level of language that will challenge many ELLs and their teachers.
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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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Language learners and proficiency levels: What is their level?
By Erick Herrmann
Once students have been identified as having an influence of a language other than English — done at registration through some form of Home Language Survey — they are tested to determine to what degree the influence has had on their English proficiency. There are numerous measures used in schools across the country that categorize English learners into proficiency levels. While the names and number of proficiency levels vary according to the state, it is important to understand what the proficiency levels tell us about students and what they are able to do in our classrooms.
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Industry Pulse: Is it difficult to identify the proficiency level of your students?
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As standardized testing grows, parents opt out
The Washington Post
A decade into the school accountability movement, pockets of resistance to standardized testing are sprouting up around the country, with parents and students opting out of the high-stakes tests used to evaluate schools and teachers. The opt-out movement is nascent but growing, propelled by parents, students and some educators using social media to swap tips on ways to spurn the tests.
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Last call — Survey on ESL credit policies
TESOL
Deadline to participate is 20 April 2013! TESOL International Association is conducting research into policies at postsecondary institutions in the United States and Canada regarding academic and degree-granting credit for ESL/ESOL courses. If you work at a college, university, or other type of higher education institution, you are invited to complete a brief survey of the ESL credit policies at your institution. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and your participation will help us learn more about ESL students’ experience in higher education. The survey data will be analyzed and published in a final report. Please access the survey here.
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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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US Department of Education seeks comments on Native American English Learners
TESOL
The U.S. Department of Education requests information pertaining to the identification and placement of Native American students who are English learners (ELs) in language instruction educational programs. The goal is to help State and local educational agencies, schools, tribes, and other interested entities identify, share, and implement practices for accurately identifying Native American students who are ELs. Written submissions in response to this request must be received by 3 May 2013. You may access the document here.
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Registration now open! ESL for the Secondary Mathematics Teacher
TESOL
The previously sold-out online course ESL for the Secondary Mathematics Teacher will run again from 3–30 June 2013. Participants will learn about core ESL principles and practices, the role of language and culture in learning mathematics, planning and implementing instruction for English language learners, and assessment. Deadline to register is Sunday, 27 May 2013. Don't miss your opportunity. Places fill quickly! Questions can be sent to edprograms@tesol.org and put ESL Maths in the subject line.
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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
 


Need a video for some classroom instruction?
Speaking In Tongues
Speaking In Tongues follows four diverse kids on a journey to become bilingual. This charming story will challenge you to rethink the skills that Americans need to succeed in the 21st century. Check it out today!
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Obama Administration 2014 budget released
ED.gov
The Obama Administration continued to prioritize education in the 2014 budget by proposing key investments in education that would strengthen the middle class, grow the economy, and provide opportunities for success to all Americans — especially the nation's most vulnerable children.
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
5 ways international freshmen can develop active social lives
U.S. News & World Report
As an international student, you will face obstacles that include bridging initial culture gaps, adopting the American way of life and overcoming homesickness.

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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.

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LDP panel: To communicate in English, TOEFL is vital
The Japan Times
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.

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Language instruction improved with fun and games
ScienceDaily
Playing simple games using words and pictures can help people to learn a new language with greater ease, researchers from The University of Nottingham have shown. Their study, published by the scientific journal PLOS ONE, revealed that using fun, informal ways of learning not only helped complete novices to acquire a new language but also made more traditional methods of language learning more effective.
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Instruction of students learning English bleak
The Associated Press via ABC News
Of the many challenges minority students and their schools face, English learners are at a high disadvantage. Finding qualified teachers to instruct these students is a struggle and every single program varies. For students like Duna Lopez, starting school without knowing a single word of English, the challenge she faced with her communication barrier is very common nationwide.
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Keeping cursive in the classroom
District Administration Magazine
In 2014, elementary students in 45 states must know how to type on a computer when the new Common Core State Standards are implemented, but some states are holding on to an old, basic skill — the art of cursive handwriting. The movement to keep this form of writing alive in 21st century classrooms is growing.
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13 states receive funding to turn around persistently lowest achieving schools
U.S. Department of Education
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that 13 states will receive funding to turn around their persistently lowest achieving schools through the School Improvement Grants program. Read more to find out which states received funding.
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'Core' curriculum puts education experts at odds
NPR
The Common Core is an attempt to get all states to adopt the same, rigorous standards, beginning with English and math. But at Shawnee Mission East High just outside Kansas City, Kan., Duncan MacLachlan, the 17-year-old co-editor of The Harbinger Online, the award-winning student news site, says its impact on learning in the classroom is unclear.
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Study: Preschool program bridges the achievement gap
Phys.Org
Researchers at the John W. Gardner Center provide several years of data to support the benefits of high-quality early childhood education. Low-income elementary school students who participated in a San Mateo County preschool program in California performed as well as — and at times better than — their peers who, for the most part, attended private preschool, a new Stanford study reveals.
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Tools for teaching: Ditching the deficit model
Edutopia
Children are more than one test, once a year, in one sitting. It seems as if many schools and districts have lapsed into a deep state of amnesia of Maslow's hierarchy of needs — a possible lingering hangover from NCLB. So here's a radical assertion: When assessing and teaching children, the time has more than come for education to embrace the whole child. This approach calls for schools and educators to curtail the deficit model and replace it with the abundance model.
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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.
 


Kids learn to listen while they chomp
NPR
School lunch is often synonymous with loud noise. Studies have shown the decibel level in some cafeterias is as high as a lawn mower. Every so often, though, students at Alice Terry Elementary School, southwest of Denver, are asked not to make any noise. Music teacher Ami Hall knew students here didn't have a lot of exposure to live instruments, so she started asking musicians to come in at lunch.
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Computer scientists create educational Java game
The Guardian
University of California, San Diego computer scientists have created an educational game geared to teach students from elementary to high school how to use the programming language Java. The concept of programming and its top-down and bottom-up approaches are becoming more important to students in today's technology-driven society, according to lead graduate students Sarah Esper and Stephen Foster.
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5 ways international freshmen can develop active social lives
U.S. News & World Report
As an international student, you will face obstacles that include bridging initial culture gaps, adopting the American way of life and overcoming homesickness. Below are some tips to build a network of friends and develop a full social life.
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  LAS Links Assessments Go Online

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Education schools innovate to supply STEM teachers
U.S. News and World Report
Biologist Kaleigh LaRiche spent most of her first two years after college working in wildlife education at the Akron, Ohio, zoo. Today, she's a first-year science teacher in a Cleveland middle school. LaRiche, who earns her master's in education from the University of Akron this spring, thanks the Woodrow Wilson Teaching Fellowship for her confidence in the classroom.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Why every professor needs linguistics 101 (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
LDP panel: To communicate in English, TOEFL is vital (The Japan Times)
Testing consortia struggle with ELL provisions (Education Week)
Hiring heats up in K-12 teaching specialties (U.S. News & World Report)
Bill Gates: A fairer way to evaluate teachers (The Washington Post)

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


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Need Phonics for Adults?

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English classes give UAE laborers a 2nd chance
The National
Standing at the front of the brightly lit classroom, a student nervously takes a board marker from the teacher and tentatively writes "my father is an editor" on the white board. With an encouraging nod from his teacher, he returns to his seat and passes the pen on to the next student, who does the same but writes that his father is a farmer.
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Get inspired to earn your graduate degree in TESOL at NSU’s Abraham S. Fischler School of Education, one of America’s largest schools of education.

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Some states dropping GED as test price spikes
The Associated Press via ABC News
Some states are searching for alternatives to the GED test because the 2014 version of the test will cost more and only be available online. Forty states and the District of Columbia are taking part in a group initiative that is exploring options to replace the test.
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Narrowing the achievement gap with a psychological intervention
Scientific American
There is an academic achievement gap in the United States. Compared to their white peers, African-American and Latino American students earn lower grades and are more likely to drop out of school. Recently, a small intervention, aimed at easing the psychological burdens that impair minority performance, has been found to interrupt this downward trajectory, improving the performance of minority students and narrowing the achievement gap with long-lasting effects.
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How to help teachers integrate assistive technology in the classroom
EdTech Magazine
When asked to name the three biggest challenges of using assistive technologies in the classroom, Tracy Gray of the American Institutes for Research is unequivocal in her answer. "Professional development, professional development and professional development," she says. "I can't stress it enough." To equip teachers with the knowledge and skills they need to effectively integrate these tools into their curriculum, educators recommend the following best practices.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
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Forget prepping for the test — we should be teaching tenacity, self-control
The Philadelphia Inquirer
In the last five to seven years, researchers and teachers across the country have begun to focus on qualities that may be more predictive of kids' long-term achievement, and more crucial to their well-being, than performance on standardized tests: traits such as grit, zest, self-control, curiosity and resilience.
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The importance of mobile learning in — and out of — the classroom
Edudemic
There has always been at least some sort of disconnect between how things are taught in a classroom and how things work in the "real world." In some cases, the disconnect is very distinct. It's interesting to take a look at some of the mobile trends highlighted in this handy infographic to see where education might best make use of mobile learning, since this is what our students will be working with when they enter the workforce.
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Math and science the right way
ED.gov Blog (commentary)
"That's it! I'm digging in!" With that, a third grader at Griggs Elementary in Mobile, Ala., pulled on his surgical glove to examine an owl pellet for rodent bones. Engaging explorations in STEM content are daily occurrences for the young mathematicians and scientists-in-training at Griggs and other schools throughout the state of Alabama. Here, students benefit from rigorous, hands on, investigative science and math instruction provided through a partnership with the Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative, or AMSTI. This state-funded initiative partners with K-12 schools to ramp up the integration of STEM education at the elementary school level.
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SHOWCASE
  Learn TESOL in summer in Vermont!
Saint Michael's College


• 4-week Intensive Diploma Program (a practical, fast-paced   introduction)
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Experts: Discussions on classroom technology ask wrong questions
Desert News
In the education community, there is a common analogy comparing emerging technologies and blended learning models with the common pencil. The concept behind the analogy is a hypothetical world where writing, pencils and books do not exist. Then, when the pencil appears as an emerging technology, as tablet devices and competency-based learning programs are now, the question is whether it would be quickly embraced, or whether policymakers would call for pencil pilot programs to study their effect on classroom learning.
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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.Professional Development Calendar






Language Center Director, The American Cultural Association, Mohammedia, Morocco

Assistant Professor, Marshall University, USA

Assistant Director of ELTI – (Program Director, Intercultural Outreach Programs), University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 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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