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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Apr. 24, 2013

 





Challenges of teaching English
New Straits Times
Malaysia: Unlike the hard sciences, the teaching of English in schools has to be the work of much ardor. It is not a question of dealing with equations or formulas but with conveying feelings and registering emotions. That's why English cannot be taught dispassionately. A teacher of English has to be moved by empathy and emotions.
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English learners need federal commission, suggests MALDEF chief
Education Week
Thomas A. Saenz, the president and general counsel of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, or MALDEF, said today that he believes that English language learners — the fastest growing subgroup of students in public schools — deserve heightened attention from the federal government, akin to the Equity and Excellence Commission, a three-year-long effort to address the entrenched achievement gaps between poor students and their more affluent peers.
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Parental support for limited-English-speaking parents
By Kitty Warsame
This article explores need of support for limited-English-speaking parents in public schools, the effect it has on new teachers, and a call for action. The focus of this article is divided in the following areas: brief summary on immigrant families entering the United States, how the lack of support for limited-English-speaking parents affects new teachers and a call for action.
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Industry Pulse: Do you often get asked to translate for limited-English-speaking parents?
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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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  Put your passion into practice

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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 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 request for information here.
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Call for submissions: TESOL Connections
TESOL
TESOL Connections is TESOL International Association's monthly online newsletter that features practical articles and useful resources for English language teachers. TC is looking for previously unpublished feature articles of no more than 1,200 words that are practical in nature and written for a general ELT audience; contain useful, tested classroom practice tips or strategies; and/or discuss trends in ELT and how they might influence teaching. Read the full submission guidelines or email tc@tesol.org.
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TESOL Academies: 21-22 June 2013
TESOL
Join TESOL at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minn., or University of Maryland Baltimore County in Baltimore, Md., for intensive hands-on workshops. The academies feature six 10-hour workshops focused on key issues and areas of practice for a wide variety of TESOL practitioners. Earn continuing education credits, network with colleagues from across the U.S., and gain practical insights on how to implement the latest classroom practices. Discounted early registration rates end 24 May, so don't delay. Register online or access the form for Bethel University or University of Maryland.
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i3 project combines English with science to meet the needs of ELL students in both subjects
U.S. Department of Education
Investing in Innovation Development grant projects allow school districts and their educational partners to take a good idea and make it better.

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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.

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Sequestration and aid to ELLs: What happens to Title III?
Education Week
Unless a standoff between President Barack Obama and Congressional Republicans gets rapidly resolved, across-the-board federal spending cuts will be triggered and set off a cascade of effects for public schools, including programs that serve English language learners.

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GOP senator: No more federal money for Common Core
Education Week
Congress wouldn't pump another penny into encouraging states to adopt the common core standards, or overseeing their implementation, at least if Sen. Chuck Grassley, a Republican from Iowa, has his way. Grassley wrote a letter to Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat who also hails from the Hawkeye State, asking him to include language in the bill that funds the U.S. Department of Education prohibiting the education secretary from using any of the money in the measure to oversee state implementation of the standards, develop tests to go along with the standards or give a leg up in any federal competition to states that adopt the standards. Harkin, who will retire after this Congress, is the chairman of the panels overseeing K-12 policy and spending — Grassley isn't a member of either of them.
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Statement of US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan — FY 2014 budget request
U.S. Department of Education
Arne Duncan, secretary of Department of Education, writes: "Good morning Mr. Chairman and Members of the Subcommittee. I'm pleased to be here today to talk with you about President Obama's priorities and plans for the Department of Education. I'm happy we were able to submit the President's 2014 Budget to the Congress last week, and to have this opportunity to talk with you today about some of the President's major proposals. I want to begin by expressing my appreciation to Chairman Harkin and others on this Subcommittee for your support over the past 4 years in making critical investments in our schools and our students. I am happy to report today that while we clearly have further to go, those investments are beginning to pay off."
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States pull back from Common Core
U.S. News & World Report
Lawmakers in some states hope to halt the transition to the Common Core State Standards, even as school districts across the country are rolling them out. In Alabama, senators are considering a bill to repeal the standards, which the state's Board of Education adopted in 2010. Alabama schools are already using the new math standards, which aim to give the subject context by teaching high school students to use mathematical models to analyze everyday situations, and are set to implement the English standards before the start of the next school year.
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PARCC releases draft policy on ELL accommodations
Education Week
The first of two groups of states working to design assessments aligned to the Common Core State Standards released its recommendations for the types of supports that can be used to help English learners demonstrate their content knowledge and skills. The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers, or PARCC—composed of 22 states — has issued its draft accommodations manual for English language learners and students with disabilities.
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i3 project combines English with science to meet the needs of ELL students in both subjects
U.S. Department of Education
Investing in Innovation Development grant projects allow school districts and their educational partners to take a good idea and make it better. In 2008, school leaders in California's Sonoma Valley School District launched an initiative to bring not just science instruction to the elementary grades, where it had been neglected, but to also combine hands-on science with English in a novel multidisciplinary approach that they knew had significant potential to help the district's growing population of English language learners.
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TOEFL and TOEIC programs set global standard for English language assessment
India Education Diary
India: As the United Nations celebrates English Language Day, there are almost two billion English language speakers around the world. English has become an increasingly important international language used by people from different geographic, cultural and linguistic backgrounds to communicate with each other. As such, the need for assessing English language proficiency for the global workplace and educational institutions continues to grow. As the world leader in English language assessments, ETS's TOEFL and TOEIC tests meet this demand.
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Gov. Brown to meet with local school superintendents
Imperial Valley News
Gov. Edmund G. Brown Jr. will meet with local school superintendents from across California tomorrow to discuss his proposal to provide more flexibility to local school districts over how state money is spent and provide additional funding to school districts with more lower-income students and English language learners.
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Senators to Arne Duncan: Stop flat-funding key K-12 programs
Education Week
The Obama administration has been a big fan of using competitive grants to drive its agenda on everything from teacher quality to standards to "personalized learning," much to the chagrin of some advocates for school districts. So far, Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives have resisted that strategy. But Democrats in the U.S. Senate have continued to finance the administration's favorite competitive-grant programs, such as Race to the Top, although not always at the level the administration has sought.
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Bill introduced to help students learn English, stop cheating in Texas
KFOX-TV
A bill written and put forward by El Paso, Texas, state representative Mary Gonzalez is aiming to prevent another cheating scandal from hitting school districts not just in El Paso, but the entire state of Texas. HB 2004 would allow English language learners to not have their performance on standardized tests count toward their school's ratings for at least two years. The bill would also require English language learners or recent immigrants to be enrolled in a U.S. school for at least 60 consecutive days to count toward a school year of enrollment.
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Evaluating teachers on kids they've never even met? Yes, this happens
TakePart
The battle over controversial teacher evaluations is headed to federal court. The National Education Association and the Florida Education Association filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Florida and three local school boards. It challenges the evaluation of teachers based on standardized test scores of students they don't teach or based on subjects they don't teach.
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English language teachers did well
Albert Lea Tribune
As our weather gets warmer and you venture out a little more, you may have witnessed some very happy teachers skipping around the community of Albert Lea, Minn. Well, perhaps not actually skipping, but cheerful and happy, nonetheless. Those happy teachers are the English language teachers. The EL teachers work with students learning English as a second (or additional) language. After five years of not making the state's Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives, or AMAO, the district happily reached the EL AMAO goal for the 2011-2012 school year.
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Vallejo, Calif., lauds students gaining English fluency
Vallejo Times herald
More than 400 Vallejo, Calif., students reached English proficiency this year — a fact celebrated by the Vallejo City Unified School District. "Thank you for everything you did to prepare for this year," said Steffan Manor Elementary School Principal Lucius McKelvy as he handed his students certificates marking their achievement. Last year, there were more than 2,300 English language learners in the district, or about 15.6 percent of total enrollment, according to the state Department of Education.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ENGLISH PROFICIENCY.


 
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Students master second language
Ventura County Star
When the number of pupils at Marshall School in Oxnard, Calif., who passed the California requirements to be classified as English-proficient jumped to 32 this year from nine last year, Principal Cindy Hallman decided to hold a celebration. She invited the pupils and their families to a dinner Sunday at the elementary school, where they were not only treated to chicken Alfredo, lasagna, salad, bread and cakes, but they also were honored. "This is a huge accomplishment. We want to let the students know we are proud of them. This doesn’t come without a lot of hard work," Hallman said.
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South Korea hadn't stopped English from coming, it came just the same
AMERICAblog
South Korea: English is the world's language. For those who wish to compete in a global economy, English literacy is a crucial stepping-stone to success. But for many, the economic promise that English proficiency offers creates an overwhelming incentive to get ahead, despite incredible short-term costs. Nowhere is this more apparent than in South Korea, where the government has gone as far as to outlaw the teaching of English in early education for the sake of preserving its own native language.
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Language skills
The Times of India
India: With the Test of English as a Foreign Language focusing on the usage aspect of English, students should prepare for integrated tasks that test more than one skill, says Shaista Baljee. The TOEFL is required of non-native speakers of English when they are aiming to study internationally at the undergraduate, graduate or postgraduate level. There are two types of tests — the TOEFL iBT (the internet based test scored from 0-120 points) and the TOEFL PBT (paper-based test with scores ranging from 310-677 ). The test is offered over 50 times a year in different cities.
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The rise of online learning in higher education
SBWire
Advances in educational technology have allowed universities worldwide to create dynamic online learning environments containing an engaging mix of streaming video lectures, podcasts, webcasts, interactive discussion boards and multimedia activities. These new online courses emphasize flexibility and are adaptable to a variety of individual learning styles.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    English learners and the new science standards (Education Week)
Language learners and proficiency levels: What is their level? (By Erick Herrmann)
Engaging learners through games: Help or hype? (eSchool News)
Instruction of students learning English bleak (The Associated Press via ABC News)
As standardized testing grows, parents opt out (The Washington Post)

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


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Students rally to support adult education programs
Los Angeles Times
A group of adult education students held a rally to demand greater funding for adult education programs. About 30 members of the group United Adult Students gathered at the Evans Community Adult School in downtown Los Angeles to gather signatures for petitions that will be presented to lawmakers in Sacramento. With about 10,000 signatures already in hand, they are calling on Gov. Jerry Brown to dedicate greater funding to adult education and to keep programs located in local K-12 school districts. The group also wants to be included in decisions about how to reform the program.
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How to pronounce foreign languages
The Telegraph
United Kingdom: Many language learners will work tirelessly on their pronunciation skills, spending long hours (and sometimes large sums of money) in hopes of attaining that clear and perfect native accent. In this teacher's opinion, it's a goal that sets you up for failure. First off, it's incredibly hard to imitate a flawless accent, especially as adult learners. Moreover, it's not essential. Instead of trying to pass as a native speaker, language learners should instead focus on honing their pronunciation so that it's clear and easy to understand.
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How to foster collaboration and team spirit
MindShift
Once they get to the working world, most students, in almost any job, will collaborate as a member of a team. And every student needs to be prepared for that environment — partly for employment opportunity, but mainly because the deeply embedded mental model of learning and creating as an individual process is obsolete. Collaboration has become the chief way in which things are done. Powerful collaboration is driven by incisive communication — and out of that process come the very best expressions of innovation, creativity and critical inquiry.
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More than 50 years of putting kids' creativity to the test
NPR
Let's start with a question from a standardized test: "How would the world be different if we all had a third eye in the back of our heads?" It's not a typical standardized question, but as part of the Next Generation Creativity Survey, it's used to help measure creativity a bit like an IQ test measures intelligence. And it's not the only creativity test out there. So why bother measuring creativity? James Catterall, a psychologist and director of the Centers for Research on Creativity in Los Angeles, says the simple answer is that if society, business and education demands it, then we need to know when it's happening; otherwise, we're just guessing when it's there.
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Focusing Web searches for K-12 students
THE Journal
Today's K-12 students have a plethora of information at their fingertips — a phenomenon that presents a double-edged sword for educators who want to give pupils access to the information superhighway in a safe, age-appropriate manner. Forsyth County Schools of Cumming, Ga., tries to strike that balance by using an educational search tool designed for schools.
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Don't plan for technology; plan for learning
eSchool News
You never know how someone will react when you suggest that they junk their title and replace it with a new one that leads to a different focus of work — not to mention the confusion this could cause across the faculty, or the possible political tension it might generate.
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In an era of global competition, what exactly are we testing for?
MindShift
In this era of global competition, test scores are used as the primary benchmark to call out which countries will produce "successful" students. Knowing that American students are competing against a global pool of the best and brightest has led education leaders to focus more on how they score on international tests compared to students from other countries. But high test scores don't provide a complete picture of students' success, according to Yong Zhao, world-renown author, scholar and professor of education at University of Oregon.
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Creative classes: An artful approach to improving performance
NPR
Over the years, there have been a lot of claims about the benefits of the arts on the mind: Listening to Mozart makes you smarter; playing an instrument makes you better at math. One program — funded in part by the federal government — is putting these theories to the test.
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EFL Instructor for the UAE, Diplomatic Language Services, United Arab Emirates

EAP/ English Literature, Kaplan Higher Education, Chognqing Center, China

Full-time Faculty of English for Academic Purposes Program, Akita International University, Japan

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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