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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   April 17, 2015


English language test for 457 visa to be more flexible
Australia Forum
Australia: Changes to the English language test for Australia's 457 visa program have been welcomed and will ensure the integrity of the exam, it is claimed. Foreign applicants for a 457 visa need to show a certain level of English and under changes to the program, which is popular with overseas workers moving to Australia for up to four years, it will be more flexible. Applicants will now have to average a score of five across the four components, instead of passing each one. Assistant Immigration Minister Michaelia Cash said it would benefit everyone and rejected claims it was dumbing down the test.
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Thousands more Calgary English language learning students, and the funding is dropping
MetroNews Canada
Canada: City school boards have already seen their funding to support students learning English as an additional language decline, even before cuts were announced in this year's provincial budget. Metro compared the number of students classified as English language learners by both the Calgary Board of Education and Calgary Catholic School District and the amount of money received in their provincial grants. In 2011-2012, CBE had $901 per ELL student and CCSD had $972. In the current school year, however, those amounts have declined to $851 and $808, respectively.
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Simple exercises to improve ELL reading skills — Part 3
By: Douglas Magrath
One of the problems in basic-level reading is that many reading texts on the market are often too advanced for beginning learners because they contain both complex structures and a flood of new vocabulary. Such material can overwhelm the reader and create a feeling of frustration and discouragement. A creative teacher is not without recourse, however. The following teacher-made materials have proven to be useful in ESL classrooms where beginners were working on developing reading skills.
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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 resources and takeaways from convention for publication in the May 2015 special convention issue. Selected resources will include a sentence or two about the resource, how to use it, and in what context, and selected takeaways 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 21 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.

TESOL Academy: Stockton University, New Jersey, USA
19 - 20 June 2015
The academy features six 10-hour workshops focused on key issues and areas of practice in the profession such as teaching science to ELLs and teaching ELLs with special needs. Register now.

TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit
Washington, DC, USA, 21 - 23 June 2015
Learn about U.S. federal education issues, enhance your leadership skills, and advocate for policies that support English learners and the field of English language education. Register here.

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

English Language Learner Specialist, Léman Manhattan Preparatory School, USA

Language Specialist, SEAMEO Regional Language Centre, Singapore

Assistant Professor of EFL, Woosong University, South Korea

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

4 key principles for NCLB rewrite that would help vulnerable kids
The Washington Post
Congress is now attempting to rewrite the fatally flawed No Child Left Behind, the current version of the 1965 Elementary and Secondary Education Act. NCLB was supposed to be rewritten in 2007 but Congress never saw its way to getting the job done, so it and its impossible goals — such as having virtually all students scoring proficient in math and reading on standardized tests by 2014 — remained the law. The Obama administration offered waivers to states from the most onerous parts of NCLB, but those waivers came with controversial conditions.
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The 7 big language learning issues facing the U.K.
The Guardian
United Kingdom: Despite the U.K.'s pivotal role on the global stage and its melting pot of cultures, the country remains largely a nation of monoglots. But what is holding back Brits from learning a foreign language? The Guardian and the British Academy launched the Case for Language Learning to investigate the reasons behind the U.K.'s shortage of foreign language skills, discussing the importance and value of learning a foreign tongue. "The Living Languages" report highlights many of the debates and thinking generated by the two-year project, and brings together some of the dominant themes.
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Language learning improves educational experience
Ottumwa Courier Online
Iowa's Ottumwa High School students spend their precious few minutes between classes catching up with friends, but this chatter is always in English. Roughly 10 percent of Bulldog students are considered to be non-English speakers, making it hard for them to bridge the language gap and excel in their courses. English as a Second Language Instructor Zach Smith aims to develop his students' social and academic English voices so that they are able to get the most out of their educational experience.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS.

Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    3 tools to support ELL students (MiddleWeb)
Students get extra help to cope with Common Core's new language demands (EdSource)
Study: Latino children's language skills are lagging by age 2 (The Washington Post)
English-Only PhDs (Vitae)
The 4 C's of 21st century learning for ELLs: Creativity (By: Erick Herrmann)

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

Why it's so hard to learn English in Boston
Walk up Mass Ave. and you might hear a different language on every block. More than a quarter of Boston's residents are foreign born, and nearly half of all kids in Boston have at least one foreign-born parent, according to city figures. But learning English isn't so easy. More than half of those in need of English language classes end up on wait lists. About 3,400 adults are enrolled in English to Speakers of Other Languages classes in Boston, but another 4,000 are waitlisted, according to Alejandra St. Guillen, director of the city's Office of New Bostonians. That's only for state-funded programs in the city; but the pattern is the same for private courses.
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Learning a language in later life: Are you ever too old?
The Guardian
United Kingdom: Ronald Williams, 85, started learning Welsh, his native language, at the age of 70. He grew up in south Wales, where he was raised and educated in English, and since the age of 23 has lived and worked in Solihull, near Birmingham. After retiring he decided that he wanted to reconnect with his roots: "I'm a Welshman and everybody should be able to speak their national language."
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Bilingual people take greater risks when feedback is given in their native language
Medical Xpress
Recent research from Bangor University has revealed that Chinese-English bilingual individuals take more risk in gambling when feedback is given to them in Chinese, their native language, than in English, their second language. A recent study published in the Journal of Neuroscience investigated risk taking in different language contexts. As part of the study, Chinese-English students were asked to gamble in a computerized trial. They were given feedback in either Chinese or English in different parts of the experiment.
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What undocumented students bring to the classroom
The Atlantic (commentary)
Andrew Simmons, a contributor for The Atlantic, writes: "Teaching requires flexibility, the ability to manage a class that could be made up of English language learners, half-comatose stoners and confident National Merit semi-finalists alike — and somehow inspire all factions. At the California public school where I currently teach, the population is roughly two-thirds Latino; the ratio was far larger on my last campus. Some of these students are undocumented and, in my experience, likely to have language-acquisition needs, contend with family and work obligations, and feel alienated in the school community."
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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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