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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   April 22, 2014

 





More than half new primary pupils struggle to speak English
The Bolton News
United Kingdom: More than half the children admitted into primary schools in Bolton in the last 12 months struggled to speak English, figures show. This brings the number of primary school children who have English as an additional language to 3,841. The number of primary school youngsters rose by 779 from October 2012 to 2013 and of those 387 had a mother tongue other than English.
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English language learners need help, not an inflexible state mandate
The Boston Globe
In 2002, when Massachusetts passed a ballot measure restricting bilingual education and mandating English-only immersion as the official policy for students with limited English, it substituted one inflexible, state-mandated approach for another. The hope was that most students placed in so-called sheltered immersion programs would learn English far faster — indeed, within a year. That presumption proved too optimistic in many cases. Now, lawmakers need to reconsider the immersion-only requirement and enact a policy aimed at producing the best academic results for students.
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Studies offer insights on implementing Common Core
Education Week
In 2013 alone, state legislators introduced nearly 300 bills related to the Common Core State Standards. This year, they are on track to do the same, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Yet in a series of meetings convened last year by the Center on Education Policy at George Washington University, lawmakers, advocates, and educational leaders said they were starved for research that might help them make evidence-based decisions about the standards.
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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 (PCIs) are due Monday, 2 June 2014, 11:59 pm 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 to add your feedback by 15 June.
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Using Proverbs in a Writing Class
TESOL
Learn how to use proverbs with your ESL students to prompt their writing: Promote deep thinking, discussion, debate, and creativity. Other recent TESOL Blogs: TED Talks for English Language Teaching, ESL Games: Hink Pink — Word Game, the Live From TESOL 2014 series (with live blogging from the TESOL 2014 annual convention in Portland, Oregon), and the new TESOL president's first blog entry, Greetings From Yilin and Important Initiatives From TESOL.
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English learners seek place in Fort Collins, Colo., culture
Coloradoan
Bertha Castro knows that English is important to her family's success in Fort Collins — even if it's "very difficult" for her. Castro, 41, and her family have lived in Fort Collins for 14 years.

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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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Common Core: Honoring the societal contract of success through education
U.S. News & World Report
From all sides, this appears to be the main question surrounding the Common Core State Standards — the set of K-12 math and English standards created by education professionals from all 50 states, which promote higher-order thinking skills aimed at preparing students for college, career and life. My students ask why they are reading and writing in math and science class.
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Common-assessment groups differ on accommodations
Education Week
The Common Core tests being developed by two state coalitions offer the promise of more inclusion and self-sufficiency for students with special needs and for English language learners. At the same time, some acutely different decisions each group has made on test administration and accessibility features mean the testing experience for students in those special populations will vary widely depending on the state they call home.
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Chinese students learn English and share culture with local peers
Seaway News
Canada: Mike Liu is having a great time in Canada. The resident of Suzhou, China is picking up English quickly, while learning the finer points of Canadian life — such as how to toss a snowball. Liu, a student of the Suzhou International Foreign Language School, is one of 10 Chinese elementary students from the school who are studying at Viscount Alexander Public School in Cornwall. He is studying with the Upper Canada District School Board as part of the international education program of the Upper Canada Leger Center for Education and Training. The program allows the students from China and other foreign countries to study in Canada, be immersed in the English language to help make them proficient, while sharing culture and values with their peers.
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English learners seek place in Fort Collins, Colo., culture
Coloradoan
Bertha Castro knows that English is important to her family's success in Fort Collins — even if it's "very difficult" for her. Castro, 41, and her family have lived in Fort Collins for 14 years. Her native — and preferred — language is Spanish. But Castro's eldest daughter will move from a bilingual school to Poudre High School next year, and she knows being able to communicate in English with her daughter's teachers is important. "It's hard for me, but I practice all the time," Castro said. "It's pushing me forward because it's necessary now that I try."
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Parents in Hong Kong struggling with rising cost of English language education
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong: After almost 20 years in Hong Kong, English teacher Amanda Chapman may soon be forced to leave the city because of difficulties in finding a suitable and affordable school for her daughter. Chapman, who works at a government-funded school, pays HK$8,600 every month for her seven-year-old's schooling at Renaissance College, a private independent school in Ma On Shan set to provide an alternative curriculum for local families. The monthly fee will rise to HK$9,230 in the coming school year, says Chapman, and she will not be able to afford it any more if it continues rising at this rate.
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English higher education faces enrollment slowdown
The New York Times
The credit ratings of English universities risk being damaged by a slowdown in their enrollment of full-time students from outside the European Union, according to a recent credit outlook paper published by the Moody's rating agency. The agency cited a recent report by the Higher Education Funding Council for England that said enrollments had stagnated for the past two years, following strong growth in previous years, raising fears that Britain might be losing out to rival international education providers in the United States, Australia and Canada.
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Partnership helps teach English as a second language
Aiken Standard
Aiken's Goodwill and the Aiken County Public Schools Department of Adult Education have merged to provide educational and practical training for those learning English as a second language. The partnership is a work in progress, combining two different programs — traditional education coupled with conversation and practical application, according to Goodwill's Aiken Community Director Jennifer Hart.
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Our brains are hardwired for language
Northeastern University College of Science via Science Daily
People blog, they don't lbog, and they schmooze, not mshooze. But why is this? Why are human languages so constrained? Can such restrictions unveil the basis of the uniquely human capacity for language? New research shows the brains of individual speakers are sensitive to language universals. Syllables that are frequent across languages are recognized more readily than infrequent syllables. Simply put, this study shows that language universals are hardwired in the human brain.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Those who can't do, shouldn't teach: learning English in Saudi schools (Al Arabiya News)
Improving English channels (Times Higher Education)
ELL students neglected in school turnaround efforts (THE Journal)
How toddlers learn verbs: New insight (University of Liverpool via Science Daily)
Complex perceptions of Korean English speakers (The Korean Herald)

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




Can you teach students to be visionary?
Edutopia
Can you teach students to be visionary? Can visionary thinking even be taught? Most of us might believe that being able to imagine possibility in the way that moves and inspires people is a mystical or unknowable human quality. Yet, by helping our students see themselves as agents of imagination and members of communities larger than themselves, teachers can create a foundation for a visionary curriculum.
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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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