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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Apr. 25, 2012

TESOL comments on Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012
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TESOL International Association recently sent a letter to Congresswoman Virginia Foxx, chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training, commenting on the Workforce Investment Improvement Act of 2012 (H.R. 4297). The full text of the letter is available on the TESOL website.

TESOL seeks proposals for Pre- and Postconvention Institutes
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TESOL invites proposals for Pre- and Postconvention Institutes that deal with classroom practices and applications of research in English language learning and teaching. PCI workshops offer participants an extended learning experience with hands-on, interactive training. If you would like to propose a PCI, please fill out the PCI proposal form and mail or fax it to TESOL by Friday, 1 June. For more information, please contact

TESOL 2013 proposal reviewer training available online
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Proposal reviewers for TESOL 2013 are required to fill out a reviewer application and complete a training session. If you have applied to review proposals and you did not attend the training session at TESOL 2012 in Philadelphia, then you are required to complete the online training session. The session is available at your convenience. Please complete the training as soon as possible but no later than 30 May.

If you have not yet filled out a reviewer application, you still have time. The application deadline has been extended to 5 May. If you have any questions about the proposal review process, please visit the TESOL 2012 convention webpage.

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Registration now open for TESOL Academies
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TESOL Academies provide intensive, hands-on workshops for a wide variety of TESOL practitioners. Each academy features six 10-hour workshops focused on key issues and areas of practice in English language teaching and learning. Academies are held on a university campus, a perfect setting for peer-to-peer learning. TESOL will host two academies in 2012, one at Eastern Michigan University, and one at California State University. Each academy workshop is limited to 35 participants, so register early to get your first choice.

Register now for these upcoming TESOL virtual seminars
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On 2 May, Danielle Zawodny Wetzel and Ryan Miller will lead a virtual seminar titled "Teaching Academic Reading and Writing." The registration deadline is 26 April. And on 23 May, Roger C. Rosenthal will lead a virtual seminar titled "The Rights of Immigrant Students and English Language Learner in U.S. Public Schools." The Registration deadline is 17 May. TESOL virtual seminars are free for members; nonmembers may participate for $45. Sign up today.

On Our Way to English K-5

On Our Way to English
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Language demands to grow for ELLs under new standards
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Putting the Common-Core Standards into practice in classrooms is a monumental change for teachers in the nation's public schools, but for educators who work with English language learners, the shifts in instruction are expected to be even more groundbreaking. That's because the new academic expectations for English/language arts and mathematics now adopted by all but four states require much more sophisticated uses of language than the mishmash of standards that have been in use for years across the states, say language-acquisition experts. More

Concern abounds over teachers' preparedness for standards
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A quiet, sub-rosa fear is brewing among supporters of the Common Core State Standards Initiative: that the standards will die the slow death of poor implementation in K-12 classrooms. "I predict the common-core standards will fail, unless we can do massive professional development for teachers," said Hung-Hsi Wu, a professor emeritus of mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley, who has written extensively about the common-core math standards. "There's no fast track to this." More

Education department seeks to bring test-based assessment to teacher prep programs
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration wants to expand the use of standardized test scores as an accountability tool from K-12 into higher education. The Education department just tried — and failed — to persuade a group of negotiators to agree to regulations that would rate colleges of education in large part on how K-12 students being taught by their graduates perform on standardized tests. As part of this scheme, financial aid to students in these programs would not be based entirely on need but, rather, would also be linked to test scores. More

Report: States' waivers weak on extended learning time
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most of the dozen states that have already gotten wiggle room from the No Child Left Behind Act don't have very good plans in place when it comes to a key piece of the U.S. Department of Education's requirements for turning around low-performing schools: extending learning time, according to a report out by the Center for American Progress. More

Master's in Teaching TESOL
The MAT@USC TESOL is a Master’s in Teaching program delivered online by the USC Rossier School of Education. The program is the first of its kind to blend interactive online learning with field-based teaching experiences to prepare students to be English language teaching specialists in a variety of settings and educational levels.

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Alabama educators anxious as Arizona immigration law goes before high court
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Supreme Court tomorrow will hear oral arguments in the federal government's challenge of the Arizona law that cracks down on undocumented immigrants from the Southwestern state. Arizona's law, among other things, empowers local police to check the legal status of people they stop if they suspect that they are in the United States illegally. The law also cracks down on immigrants without work permits who seek out employment. Much of the law has been on hold in the wake of federal court rulings that it interferes with federal immigration laws. But that didn't stop other states — namely, Alabama — from enacting similar, and, in some ways, even tougher laws. More

Speaking English to be mandatory in schools
Hindustan Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India: To brush up English-speaking skills, the Punjab School Education Board has passed directions to government schools, through district education officers, that students will communicate in English in classrooms once their class teachers complete English language special training from the department. To make students capable of moving in this fast-moving world, the board is providing a special training to government teachers of senior secondary schools in English language. The first group of 15 teachers left for the British Council in Hyderabad to brush up on their writing and speaking skills in English. More

New Common Core Instructional Resources

Benchmark Writer’s Workshop provides K-6 tools and lessons that develop informational, opinion, and narrative writing. Reader’s Theater: Word Plays improve foundational skills.
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Shortage of English skilled teachers in Sri Lanka's Western Province
Colombo Page    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sri Lanka: Chief Minister of Western Province of Sri Lanka Prasanna Ranatunga says that there are not enough graduates with knowledge of English to be recruited for teaching Advanced Level subjects in English medium. The Province has vacancies for 1,400 teachers, mostly for bilingual teachers and a competitive examination and interviews have been held to fill the vacancies. However, Ranatunga says that only 724 were selected through the interview. More

Language tests for immigrants may leave some tongue-tied
The Toronto Observer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canada: Recently, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced that starting July 1, people immigrating to Canada under the Provincial Nominee Program would have to take a mandatory test in either French or English before they're allowed into the country. This means jobs that don't involve much skill will now require potential workers to be tested on their reading, listening, writing and speaking skills. Immigrants who want to enter the country under this program are already educated and skilled enough to join the workforce, but they need to apply to their preferred province and await approval. More

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Boston to ensure equal opportunities for English language learner students
Hispanically Speaking News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Department of Justice and the Department of Education reached agreement with the Boston Public Schools and its superintendent to ensure that English Language Learner students in Boston receive the services and supports they need to overcome language barriers. This agreement replaces an interim settlement agreement entered on Oct. 1, 2010, which required the district to implement short-term remedies to ensure that thousands of students improperly excluded from the district's ELL programs were promptly assessed and provided services. More

New HISD approach in teaching English shows signs of success
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The middle school teacher moved from desk to desk in a portable classroom on the city's southwest side, helping students read a second-grade-level story about a butterfly and a moth. "Look at your pictures," teacher Joan Marshall cajoled the 13 newly arrived immigrant and refugee students, who all speak little or no English. "See if you can think of a sentence." Hands shot up high. Razqia Al Tuma, 12, from Iraq, bounced in her seat, waiting to be called on. "The ... moth ... is ... small," a boy from an indigenous tribe in Mexico said slowly. More

Central California district taps iPad for elementary ELL instruction
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lodi Unified School District will use the Rosetta Stone TOTALe Course HD application for iPad devices to help individual learners grasp the English language at their own pace. The Central California K-12 district will use the application for second and third grade English language learners whose language development has reached a "plateau," the district said in a news release. Rosetta, which makes the application part of its TOTALe PRO solution, said Lodi is using a "blended learning model that combines classroom instruction with individualized independent study." More

English as Second Language program reaches out to families
The Star Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Indiana, Karen McKinney welcomed the Muncie Community Schools students and their families in five different languages. "I am honored to teach your children," the teacher said at the district's first Family Night for its English as a Second Language students. At the event, families were treated to dinner — served up by MCS administrators — and were able to browse among community booths offering everything from tutoring help to applications for Muncie Public Library cards. More

Language barrier puts students from Tamil medium in a fix
The Hindu    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India: It has only been a year since newspapers carried his photo, predicting he would soon fulfill his dream of becoming a software designer in a big company, but Prabhakar Rajan, a student of the College of Engineering Guindy, from Salem, who secured a State rank in class XII, is not keen on talking about those times now. "I often don't even understand the question in an examination. I have memorised all these programs but I will forget them in a week," says the computer engineering student. His notebook is filled with questions which have cross marks next to them — "write a program that creates a palindrome" or "create a graphic with a pendulum that strikes after an hour's interval and says, 'Hello'." He plans to ask friends for their meaning. More

Exciting Career Opportunities at ELS

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New study identifies 'opportunity gap' for students
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators have long studied the achievement gap, in which black and Hispanic pupils and low-income students of all races perform at much lower levels than their white, Asian and better-off peers. A new study released by a group that supported efforts to attain more money for city schools looked at the educational opportunities available to poor and minority students and found the choices lacking. More

Schools find active kids make smarter students
Minneapolis Star Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When students at Meadowview Elementary in Farmington, Minn., needed to improve their reading scores last fall, they were turned over to physical education teacher Joe McCarthy. Each morning for months, McCarthy had the students spend 15 minutes running or shuttling from side to side in the gym. It wasn't any type of punishment, but part of a growing trend in education that focuses on increased physical activity to improve learning. The students were selected based on their scores on fall state assessments. When the kids took the tests again earlier this year, after McCarthy's exercise regimen, they showed the greatest improvement of any students at Meadowview, double the school average, McCarthy said. More

Photographic Learning Cards

275 beautiful full-color photo cards representing common nouns, verbs, and adjectives are a flexible tool that work for all levels of English learners to develop vocabulary, create stories, build sentences, classify, categorize, discuss, interact with language and more. Includes resource guide. Watch our video tip.

Where's the joy in learning?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"A school is not a desert of emotions," begins an article by Finnish educators Taina Rantala and Kaarina Määttä, published in the journal Early Child Development and Care. But you'd never know that by looking at the scientific literature. "In the field of educational psychology, research on feelings is lacking," the authors note, "and the little that does exist has focused more on negative rather than positive feelings." Rantala, the principal of an elementary school in the city of Rovaniemi, and Määttä, a professor of psychology at the University of Lapland, set out to remedy this oversight by studying one emotion in particular: joy. The researchers followed a single class through first and second grade, documenting the students' emotions with photographs and videos. More

Alone in the classroom: Why teachers are too isolated
The Atlantic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On the first day of their first year teaching, new teachers walk into their schools and meet their colleagues. They might talk about the latest state assessments, textbooks that have just arrived or the newest project the district is spearheading. Some veteran teachers may tell the newcomers "how things are done" at the schools. And then, as teachers have done since the founding of public education in the U.S., they take leave of one another, walk to their classrooms to meet their students and close the door. More

Should teachers and students be Facebook friends?
The Associated Press via Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Should students and teachers ever be friends on Facebook? School districts across the country, including the nation's largest, are weighing that question as they seek to balance the risks of inappropriate contact with the academic benefits of social networking. At least 40 school districts nationwide have approved social media policies. Schools in New York City and Florida have disciplined teachers for Facebook activity, and Missouri legislators recently acquiesced to teachers' objections to a strict statewide policy. More

Where does teacher time go?
Education News Colorado (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The complaints are familiar. Teachers want more time. Time for instruction, time for planning with colleagues and time to learn and develop as professionals. The public is skeptical. More time? What about the average 175, 7-to-8-hour days per school year spent with students? The additional 10 days built into a teacher's contract for in-service, professional learning and work days? The shorter summer breaks and summer school opportunities? Where does all of the time go? More

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English Faculty - United Arab Emirates
The Higher Colleges of Technology will be conducting interviews at TESOL Philadelphia and TESOL Arabia. As the largest Higher Education institution in the UAE, HCT is actively recruiting for English Faculty for our 17 campuses. Book your interview by emailing or visit our website to apply online.
Professional Development Opportunities with Fulbright

Teach in another country with the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program. Complete a project, study at a university, and visit local schools with the Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching Program.
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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