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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   May. 1, 2013

 





International schools boom as more seek education in English
International Herald Tribune
Hong Kong: A century ago, there were only a handful of international schools in the world, mostly set up by Western corporations so overseas employees would have a place to educate their children. (Shell has had one in Borneo since the 1920s, after it discovered oil there in the 1910s). The divide between what was once known as the First World and everyone else was more clearly defined then. So was education. International schools were small, elite replicas of Western schools for the generally white, rich children of parents posted in "exotic" locales. Locals were left to local schools.
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California sued for lack of services to students learning English
Los Angeles Times
The California education department has ignored its obligation to make sure that thousands of students learning English receive adequate and legally required assistance, according to a lawsuit filed Wednesday in Los Angeles County Superior Court. State officials said they had not studied the lawsuit, but insisted they are meeting their legal obligations. The suit, filed by the American Civil Liberties Union and others, focuses on an estimated 20,000 students who are receiving no help or inadequate services as they work to learn English and keep up academically at the same time.
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The cultural impact on effective and ineffective reading strategies
By Ream Odetallah
Many teachers around the world are specialized in various teaching development programs, and many of these teachers encounter problems when implementing their expertise in classrooms. In most cases the teachers become bewildered when the results are not quite to their expectations. As a Middle Eastern senior English language teacher and trainer, I have come to observe these obstacles when moving from one country to another. The main problem is sticking to my own cultural-educational thoughts rather than taking into consideration my students' thoughts.
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TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit 2013
TESOL
Learn. Share. Shape the Future. Join policy experts, advocates and colleagues from across the USA for the 2013 TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit, June 16–18 at the Crystal City Marriott in Arlington, VA. Receive hands-on leadership training, meet with members of Congress and learn how to advocate effectively in your community. Register today and make your voice heard.
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TESOL issue brief: Overview of the Common Core State Standards Initiatives for ELLS
TESOL
This recently published issue brief by TESOL International Association provides a comprehensive overview of the policies behind the Common Core State Standards in the United States, and outlines some of the initiatives now in place to address the needs of English language learners in relation to the CCSS. Included in the brief are details of the different assessment consortia, including state members and timelines. The issue brief is available as a free download.
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Call for authors: deadline 1 June 2013
TESOL
After the successful launch of the English Language Teacher Development series from TESOL Press, editor Thomas S. C. Farrell is seeking proposals for another round of topics. Deadline is 1 June 2013. Read the book call for specific requirements and topics.
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Deadline extended for author contributions
TESOL
Authors have until 1 June 2013 to send short (400–800 words) contributions for a new book in the popular New Ways Series from TESOL Press. "New Ways in Teaching Business English," edited by Clarice S. C. Chan and Evan Frendo, will include business English teaching ideas and activities. Read the full guidelines.
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TESOL Quarterly call for proposals: 2015 special topic issue
TESOL
TESOL Quarterly is seeking proposals from prospective guest editors for the September 2015 special topic issue. Proposals are chosen by the TQ Editorial Advisory Board, and the guest editor(s) are responsible for overseeing the review process and selecting the content. Successful proposals have an overarching theme that is timely and interesting to the TQ readership. All proposals should be emailed to Diane Belcher or Alan Hirvela no later than 15 September 2013.
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Immigration bill would help DREAMERs, boost STEM
Education Week
K-12 education overhaul may be on the back burner in Congress these days, but immigration reform sure isn't. And there are obviously big implications in a new, widely anticipated bipartisan Senate bill for students who come to the United States as children without documentation and graduate from American high schools.

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LDP panel: To communicate in English, TOEFL is vital
The Japan Times
Japan: English language education at public schools should shift in emphasis to verbal communications skills, and for that purpose, universities must adopt the Test of English as a Foreign Language for entrance exams, the head of the Liberal Democratic Party's education reform panel said.

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10 creative ways to teach English that deliver outstanding results
The Guardian
London: As a creative school, with a track record in fantastic English results, we are often asked what our specific approach is: How do we teach through the arts yet manage to maintain such high expectations from all our pupils?

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Appeal filed vs. decision on Arizona's English language learner programs
The Arizona Republic
A 21-year-old lawsuit over the education of Arizona students who are learning English isn't over yet. Last month's federal court decision that upheld the state's English language learner programs is being appealed. The Arizona Center for Law in the Public Interest filed an appeal this week in the Flores vs. Arizona lawsuit after a U.S. District Court judge ruled in March the state's English-learner programs do not violate federal civil-rights laws. That decision means those children will continue to spend four hours a day in special language classes.
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Immigration bill would help DREAMERs, boost STEM
Education Week
K-12 education overhaul may be on the back burner in Congress these days, but immigration reform sure isn't. And there are obviously big implications in a new, widely anticipated bipartisan Senate bill for students who come to the United States as children without documentation and graduate from American high schools.
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Common Core testing will require digital literacy skills
eSchool News
The shift toward online exams aligned with the Common Core standards will require much more preparation than simply making sure networks can handle the extra bandwidth constraints and that schools have enough devices for every student. It also will require students to demonstrate certain digital literacy skills that go beyond the core curriculum, observers say. These include technology operational skills such as keyboarding and spreadsheets, as well as higher-order skills such as finding and evaluating information online.
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Leaving no school behind: Can bad ones be turned around?
USA Today
The Obama administration has long supported charter school startups, but now aims to invest about $3 billion in those begging for improvement. Some critics say that strategy is bound to fail. In 2002, educator Ryan Hill opened his dream school with all of 80 students, four teachers and one office manager. "I was there till midnight every single night," he said. "It was really hard." Like many startups, the Newark, N.J., middle school started with a single grade level and grew by adding a grade each fall.
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Is the Common Core initiative in trouble?
The Washington Post
Education Secretary Arne Duncan recently met with Chamber of Commerce leaders and urged them to be more vocal and forceful in defending the Common Core State Standards. Why? Duncan made the appeal, which was reported by Education Week, because the initiative — a set of common standards adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia designed to raise student achievement — has come under such withering attack in recent months that what once seemed like a major policy success for the Obama administration now looks troubled.
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Early language lessons to close the new achievement gap
Al Jazeera English
Qatar: In recent years, a boom in immigration and high birth rates among the foreign-born population has led to significant growth in the number of children in the United States who speak a language other than English at home. Immigrant youth, defined as children who are either foreign-born or have at least one foreign-born parent, now make up an estimated 25 percent of the population under 18, a higher proportion than at any other time during the last 75 years.
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English GCSE shakeup to place emphasis on written exams
The Guardian
United Kingdom: English GCSE exams are to be made substantially tougher under controversial changes that will no longer test teenagers' speaking and listening skills. Ofqual, the government's exams watchdog, wants to place greater emphasis on written exams, with students submitting fewer pieces of coursework and speaking and listening tasks no longer counting towards their final grade.
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Immersion schools get strategic about foreign language education
Fox News Latino
Language immersion schools in the U.S. have come a long way. They have grown in numbers and scope in a relatively short period of time. In 2007, there were a little more than 250 schools in the country. By 2011, they more than doubled to about 530 in 22 different languages, according a survey conducted by the Center for Advanced Research on Language Acquisition at the University of Minnesota. Many programs are taught in Spanish for 90 percent of the kindergarten day. In first grade, that decreases to 80 percent of the day, and 20 percent in English. The English component continues to increase so that by fifth grade, the students are learning 50-50 English and Spanish.
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A closer look at ELL assessment group led by Oregon
Education Week
Thanks to the folks at the K-12 Center at Educational Testing Service, we now have the best snapshot to date of what the group of states known as ELPA 21 have planned for developing a new English-language proficiency test that will be directly connected to the language demands in the Common Core State Standards.
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Future of English language testing in Arab world discussed
Saudi Gazette
Qatar: Leading experts in English language teaching and assessment gathered in Riyadh with local experts to discuss the best methods for improving the standard of English language training in the Arab world. The "English Language and Translation Forum" hosted by Prince Sultan University that was the first English Language Teaching forum held by the university, aimed at increasing the quality of English learning among Arab students.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Parental support for limited-English-speaking parents (By Kitty Warsame)
English learners need federal commission, suggests MALDEF chief (Education Week)
Engaging learners through games: Help or hype? (eSchool News)
PARCC releases draft policy on ELL accommodations (Education Week)
Challenges of teaching English (New Straits Times)


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


Beatles songs being used to teach English makes sense, educator says
The Examiner
A staff member at Kaplan International Colleges, which recently released a report that Beatles songs were being used to teach English as a second language students, told the Examiner using the music of the Fab Four is the most logical choice. "I'm not surprised by the dominance of The Beatles," Martin Hofschroer told us from London. "The band are a cultural phenomenon whose impact is still felt today despite the fact that they split up over 40 years ago. The interesting thing is whether those English learners, who were taught the language through the music of The Beatles, are going around with a Liverpool accent!"
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English classes give UAE laborers a second chance
The National
Dubai: Standing at the front of the brightly lit classroom, a student nervously takes a board marker from the teacher and tentatively writes "my father is an editor" on the white board. With an encouraging nod from his teacher, he returns to his seat and passes the pen on to the next student, who does the same but writes that his father is a farmer. For the next two hours, the students, who are all laborers earning about Dh600 a month, are put through their paces at an English language course run by the American University in Dubai.
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Reading wordless storybooks to toddlers may expose them to richer language
Science Daily
Researchers at the University of Waterloo have found that children hear more complex language from parents when they read a storybook with only pictures compared to a picture-vocabulary book. The findings appear in the latest issue of the journal First Language.
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Decoding 'noisy' language in daily life: Study shows how people rationally interpret linguistic input
Medical Xpress
A new study by MIT researchers indicates that when we process language, we often make these kinds of mental edits. Moreover, it suggests that we seem to use specific strategies for making sense of confusing information — the "noise" interfering with the signal conveyed in language, as researchers think of it. "Even at the sentence level of language, there is a potential loss of information over a noisy channel," says Edward Gibson, a professor in MIT's Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Department of Linguistics and Philosophy.
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Can computers really grade essay tests?
The Washington Post
Can computers really grade essay tests? The National Council of Teachers of English say "no," even if there is new software that says "yes." New software described in this New York Times story allows teachers to leave essay grading to the computer. It was developed by EdX, the nonprofit organization that was founded jointly by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and that will give the software to other schools for free. The story says that the software "uses artificial intelligence to grade student essays and short written answers."
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Practice grammar with technology
Tech & Learning
Grammar is the one of the most important aspects of teaching and learning a language. It is also one of the more difficult aspects to teach well and motivate students to learn.
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Sorting kids at school: the return of ability grouping
Desert News
A new report shows that ability grouping in schools is on the rise, and prior research shows that teaching students in groups of like ability improves success for low and high achievers. There are important caveats, though.
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Technology's role in language learning
eClassroom News
Although educators and policymakers emphasize skills in science, technology, engineering and math courses, today's students are competing in a global society — and foreign language skills can help students gain an edge when it comes to college acceptance and workforce success. Boosting foreign language learning in schools is a global discussion, and when it comes to global competition, some experts worry that the U.S. is losing out on a key opportunity to marry technology and foreign languages.
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Teachers: Ed-tech boosts students' abilities, self-sufficiency
eSchool News
Technology's potential to aid teaching and learning when properly implemented and used is widely agreed upon, and teachers say that ed-tech has the potential to both positively and negatively impact students' learning. A new infographic from Teacher Portal chronicles the emergence of ed-tech in today's K-12 classrooms. Teachers said that ed-tech tools offer numerous advantages and can help boost student learning and engagement.
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21–22 June 2013: TESOL Academies at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota, or University of Maryland Baltimore County. Register online or access the form for Bethel University or University of Maryland.

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


Lecturer in Discipline, American Language Program, Columbia University — School of Continuing Education, USA

English Language Instructors — Foundation Skills Program, The Australian College of Kuwait

Assistant Director, Contracted International Partnerships, Western Washington University, USA

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.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
Hailey Sasser, Senior Education Editor, 469.420.2630   Contribute news
Craig Triplett, Senior Editor, Web Content and Social Media Manager for TESOL, 703-518-2526
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