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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   April 29, 2014

 





Test supports for ELLs: Differences between PARCC and Smarter Balanced
Education Week
Students across the country right now are test driving new Common Core aligned assessments, including thousands of English learners, who will have very different experiences depending on which test they are taking and where they happen to live. My colleague Liana Heitin has a really good story that explains the major differences between the two major test consortia — Smarter Balanced and the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Career — when it comes to testing supports and accommodations for English language learners and students with disabilities.
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Are Florida vouchers good or bad for English language learners?
Tampa Bay Times
As Florida lawmakers enter the final week of the 2014 session, the issue of whether to expand the state's school voucher program remains contentious. The debate has mostly focused on the area of accountability, and whether students in schools that accept vouchers must take the same test as students in traditional public schools. Now some leaders in the state's Spanish-speaking community are turning the conversation to the topic of academic options for children who are still learning English.
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Coming first with a second language
Forbes
Students who don't speak English as their first language would seem to be at a fundamental disadvantage in English-speaking schools, but a focused approach is seeing them outperform their peers, showing that it is possible to come first with a second language. The rapid growth in the number of non-native English speakers is one of the biggest challenges facing schools today. As recently as a decade ago, they formed a sizeable group in only a handful of schools, but increasing international mobility is changing all that.
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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 p.m. 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 on 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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Call for proposals for editor of new book series
TESOL
TESOL Press is now accepting proposals for an editor of a potential new series, Voices From the TESOL Classroom: The English Diaries. The goals of each book in the series are (1) to share multiple voices of learners and teachers from diverse contexts and (2) to reflect on the pedagogical implications, including empathy, empowerment, and curriculum and instruction. Read the full call. Please respond by 30 May 2014.
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Call for guest editors: TESOL Quarterly 2016 special topic issue
TESOL
TESOL Quarterly is seeking proposals from prospective guest editors for the 2016 special topic issue. For more information on this special issue, including submission guidelines, click here. Deadline for proposals is 31 August 2014.
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Just off press!
TESOL
"New Ways in Teaching Business English," edited by Clarice Chan and Evan Frendo, is now available. This new addition in the popular New Ways Series offers more than 80 ready-to-use activities for the business English classroom, specifically selected to represent the diversity that is driving innovation in business English teaching today. See more information and read a free chapter.




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TESOL on the road
TESOL
TESOL executive director Rosa Aronson is co-presenting "Redefining the ESL Teacher Role in light of the Common Core Standards" at MATSOL (Massachusetts TESOL) 7-9 May. Follow her on Twitter @RosaAronson for updates throughout the event!
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Test supports for ELLs: Differences between PARCC and Smarter Balanced
Education Week
Students across the country right now are test driving new Common Core aligned assessments, including thousands of English learners, who will have very different experiences depending on which test they are taking and where they happen to live.

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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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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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Obama administration wants better-trained teachers
The Washington Post
The Obama administration is making a second attempt to regulate the way the country prepares its classroom teachers, saying training programs should be held accountable to improve the quality of K-12 teachers. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said that his department will propose regulations for teacher training programs this summer and seek public input in a process that should result in final rules in a year.
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Why getting teacher accountability right is essential to Common Core's success
The Hechinger Report
Most Americans agree that U.S. schools should be judged by how effectively they educate all of their students, including those from low-income families or with disabilities, and English language learners. Making sure that accountability systems support these goals is especially important as states move to assessments aligned with Common Core State Standards. Based on our research and observations of innovative programs in Chicago and New York, we have seen large-scale success in systems of schools that focus on essential elements. For starters, leaders of these schools focus relentlessly on improving the quality, consistency, and coherence of instruction, and have the time and resources to make real improvement possible.
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Bills aim to improve English language instruction
The Mankato Free Press
Minnesota's efforts to improve English language instruction for the 65,000 students who speak another language at home could change. A bill moving through the Legislature would encourage more districts to shift where English learners spend their time — and honor students' home language whenever possible. Keeping ELL students in class whenever possible is one of the proposals state Rep. Carlos Mariani, DFL-St. Paul, has pushed this legislative session.
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English learners sent into mainstream, ready or not
Pioneer Press
Pisey and Monita Pov arrived from Cambodia two years ago knowing only basic English phrases. This year at St. Paul's Harding High School in Minnesota, they are charting population growth in biology. Alongside native English speakers in literature class, they are reading novels with "many characters and difficult words," Pisey said. In each classroom, the sisters have a pair of teachers: a specialist in the subject and an educator skilled in working with English learners.
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Rise in number of children who need help with English
The Bolton News
Children speaking their mother tongue at home has led to a rise in the number of primary school children who need help speaking English, it has been claimed. Bolton Council figures show the number of children who started primary school in September 2013 in Bolton was 3,900, of which 981 — about a quarter — did not speak English as their first language. Each of those children receive an additional £250 to help them develop their language. The council classifies children who do not speak English as their first language as EAL, or "English as an additional language," and offers them support.
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CAL Institutes provide research-based strategies and practical, hands-on tools to help educators develop effective classroom activities on a variety of key topics, including meeting the demands of the Common Core State Standards.

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'Habla' program empowers adult workers with English-language skills
Stanford University
A year ago, Hugo Mendoza wasn't able to speak a single word in English. He would smile with embarrassment every time someone would greet him in English, for he did not know how to respond to a greeting. More than once, Hugo had to leave a store without buying what he needed, because there weren’t any Spanish speakers around that could help him. However, his life has been transformed since he joined "Habla."
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Effects of meaningful peer interactions for non-native-English-speaking students
Phys.org
Amrita, a 13-year-old Nepali immigrant, doesn't talk much to other students in her math class because, she says, she doesn't have many friends there. Researchers from Youth-Nex, the U.Va. Center for Effective Youth Development, based in the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education, have been awarded a grant to learn what, if any, consequences exist for non-native-English-speaking students like Amrita who lack meaningful interactions with peers during class time — and how the situation can be improved for all students.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ENGLISH.


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

    English language learners need help, not an inflexible state mandate (The Boston Globe)
Studies offer insights on implementing Common Core (Education Week)
Study: Touch influences how infants learn language (Medical News Today)
Cutting to the Common Core: The benefits of narrow reading units (Language Magazine)
Saudi schools keen to enhance their students' English skills (Arab News)

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




How to teach English as a second language in a first-class way
The Daily Times
The first thought is, "How does she do that?" "That" being the teaching of kids who speak different languages — but not English as their first language. "She" is Mia Evans, the English as a second language teacher at Alcoa Elementary. So, how does she do it? Very well, obviously, since Evans has been named Tennessee Teachers to Speakers of Other Languages' East Tennessee Educator of the Year.
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Integrating content and language
Language Magazine
Similar to other bilingual education methods, the CLIL methodology (content and language integrated learning) is considered a model of good practice in Europe. It has been adopted by a large number of infant and primary schools in Spain, such as schools in the Bilingual Project in Madrid. CLIL is a form of dual-focused learning where emphasis is both on content and on language. Teachers plan their lessons with two sets of objectives, one regarding content and one regarding language.
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Extracurriculars are central to learning
U.S. News & World Report
Harvard President Drew Faust recently wrote of students overlooking the benefit of following their "interest in art or linguistics or any of the other humanity disciplines." The trend towards employable subjects like math and science is reflected in decisions of college students as well as decision-making in primary and secondary schools. Funds have been cut in more than 80 percent of U.S. school districts since 2008. The very first programs to go are often disciplines such as music, art and foreign language.
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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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