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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   April 24, 2015


International students speak out over English testing
The Canberra Times
Australia: International students Antonio Alvarez and Kathy Song had very different paths into the Australian National University, but both agree the English testing to secure their place was expensive and challenging. The minimum threshold of English skills for international students has been questioned in recent days, after a Four Corners investigation into the pressure universities are under to attract full-fee-paying students. Allegations of unethical behavior by recruitment agents used by Australian universities including the ANU were also revealed.
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Training aims to bridge language gap
The Times of India
India: R Saritha, a teacher of Olcott Memorial School in Besant Nagar, teaches theories of hard core economics to children of fishermen and daily wage workers who are students of class 11 and 12. "They understand and know the concepts, but when they move on to graduation and jobs, they could be blanked out as they have not learned this in English," Saritha says. "And, my English isn't too proficient either so communication is difficult." The school, founded by Theosophical Society 121 years ago for marginalized children, is Tamil medium where English is a subject. To help these teachers and children bridge the language gap, the school will have a one year program called Enhancing English Language Skills Program. It will focus on training teachers in teaching methodologies and improving their English proficiency for the benefit of students.
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English: The ticket to prosperity for China
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Chinese use the word "fever" to describe whatever is popular. And in China, "English fever" took hold soon after Deng Xiaoping launched the economic reforms that would eventually roil and reshape the country. The first sign of that fever came one evening in 1982. The few Chinese who had a television set, mainly in large cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, saw a red-haired London woman and two Chinese men teaching English. Dull and pedantic, perhaps, to many in the western world — but it was electrifying to Chinese at the time.
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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 by 1 May to save.

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 Virtual Seminar: Implementing a Research Agenda
Wednesday, 29 April, 10:30am-12:00pm ET
Free for TESOL members, US$45 for nonmembers.

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

English Instructor, St. Mary College/Nunoike Culture Center, Japan

Director of English Language Learners' Programs, Burlington School District, USA

English Instructor, Prince Mohammed Bin Fahd University, Saudi Arabia

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

Reducing testing could surface in Senate ESEA debate
Education Week
Think the debate about annual testing ended when House and Senate leaders introduced bills to rewrite the Elementary and Secondary Education Act that kept annual testing in place? Think again. U.S. Sen. Jon Tester, D-Mont., introduced legislation that would roll back the ESEA's testing schedule, which right now calls for assessments in reading and math in grades 3 through 8 and once in high school. Under Tester's bill, students would take such tests just once in elementary school, once in middle school and once in high school. He could offer the legislation as an amendment when and if the Senate takes up a rewrite of the law — possibly even before Memorial Day.
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Indiana kids learning English are getting less funding, more testing
Chalkbeat Indiana
Seventh grade at Indianapolis' Northwest High School was going to be a big adjustment for Jel Lu Too: He was a newly arrived Burmese war refugee straight from a camp in Thailand who spoke no English and had never attended a formal school. Now, he had to take Indiana's state test during his first week in class. School officials said state and federal mandates left them no choice about whether to administer the exam. So the 15-year-old sat for the test even though he can't read, write or speak in English.
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On the high school diploma: A 'bilingual' stamp of approval?
In the 1920s, Aurora Orozco crossed over from Mexico to Texas — a child of African descent who spoke not a word of English. She was an uneasy transplant. Many years later, in an essay published in 1999, she recalled attitudes towards students who were caught speaking Spanish in school: "My teacher, Mrs. White, would make me stay after class. With a red rubber band, she would hit my poor hands until they nearly bled." Today's students don't have it so bad. Texas recently started offering a "State Seal of Biliteracy." It recognizes high school graduates who have attained a high level of proficiency in one or more languages in addition to English.
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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.

    Valuing languages (The Huffington Post)
Thai schools adopt European framework to boost English language proficiency (Asian Correspondent)
13th English language school closes (RTE News)
France revolting over English takeover of Brussels (Sputnik International)
Simple exercises to improve ELL reading skills — Part 3 (By: Douglas Magrath)

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

Language school ditches 'Isis' name
BBC News
United Kingdom: A leading U.K. English language school called "Isis" is having to change its name because of the associations with the extremist group. A spokesman said it had become increasingly difficult to attend international language events under the Isis banner. There were also a few "negative comments" for staff wearing Isis T-shirts, said the spokesman. The re-branding has adopted the name Oxford International Education Group. The chain of language schools, teaching English to overseas students, has been called Isis for 24 years, taking its name from the part of the River Thames at Oxford that is called the Isis.
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4 Reasons For International Students To Start At A U.S. Community College
U.S. News & World Report
Community colleges — schools that offer two-year programs that introduce students to college life and prepare them to transfer to larger four-year universities to finish their degrees — are a phenomenon distinct to the U.S. That's why many international students have never heard of them, let alone considered attending one. But community colleges are often a perfect fit for international students. Here are four reasons why you should consider them as an option.
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Project explores the 'marvelously diverse' ways we speak English
Yale News
"Here's you a piece of pizza" may sound like an alien way of speaking to some — unless of course you're one of the linguists working on the Yale Grammatical Diversity Project, in which case, it's just one of the "fascinating" variations of the English language that they look forward to studying each and every day. The project, which is currently funded by a two-year National Science Foundation grant, explores the diversity found in varieties of English spoken in North America by documenting the subtle — but systematic — differences in syntax, the study of how phrases and sentences are put together.
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Harnessing the power of a teacher's pen
Language Magazine (commentary)
Kelly Boswell, a contributor for Language Magazine, writes: "I recently asked a group of teachers to reflect on their own experiences as student writers. I asked them to cast their minds back to the time when they were students and recall the kinds of feedback they received about their writing."
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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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