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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   May. 15, 2013

 





Scotland school's pupils apply English skills to publish newspaper
Chambersburg Public Opinion
Scotland: Scotland Elementary students are finding out how their lessons in English language arts can translate into a job after graduation. This semester the school created a student newspaper dubbed The Scottie Chronicle. The effort was led by parent volunteer and Parent Teacher Association member Brigit Law, additional parent volunteers and third grade teacher Kris Hull. "Writing the newspaper presented them with the opportunity to put the skills that they had learned into practice," said principal Barbara DeSerio.
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Rifts deepen over direction of education policy in US
Education Week
In statehouses and cities across the country, battles are raging over the direction of education policy — from the standards that will shape what students learn to how test results will be used to judge a teacher's performance. Students and teachers, in passive resistance, are refusing to take and give standardized tests. Protesters have marched to the White House over what they see as the privatization of the nation's schools. Professional and citizen lobbyists are packing hearings in state capitols to argue that the federal government is trying to dictate curricula through the use of common standards.
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Background knowledge: How ELL programs can activate it
By Erick Herrmann
There are many techniques teachers currently use to both activate students' prior knowledge and actively build background knowledge with students. Teachers are likely familiar with the K-W-L chart; but this technique is not always employed in a way that benefits students. Other techniques we will explore include direct and indirect experiences, using the students' native language, incorporating in nonlinguistic representation and utilizing small, flexible group instruction.
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Industry Pulse: Which method works best for engaging students' background knowledge?
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Funding available for adult education: Deadline 31 May
TESOL
The Tina B. Carver Fund offers grants for funding the purchase of student classroom learning materials and teacher-related materials (e.g., ancillary materials that can be used in conjunction with textbooks or other instruction materials) to support adult ESL education programs in the United States. Applications should be submitted online by 31 May 2013.
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TESOL releases findings of meeting on Common Core and ESL teachers
TESOL
TESOL recently invited 30 ESL teachers, administrators, policy makers, and thought leaders from the District of Columbia and Maryland to its headquarters in Northern Virginia to discuss how the Common Core State Standards will affect their work. A report on the group's findings, titled "Implementing the Common Core State Standards for English Learners: The Changing Role of the ESL Teacher," is now available for download. TESOL welcomes your comments and feedback.
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TESOL launches Common Core resources page
TESOL
Confused about the Common Core State Standards and what they mean for your classroom? Visit TESOL's resource page on the Common Core. There you will find briefs and other materials to help you understand the new standards and their impact. New resources will be added as they become available. If you have a resource you would like to share, please send it to TESOL.
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Write for TESOL!
TESOL

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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Report: Teacher pay hurt by recession
The New York Times
During the recession and its aftermath, public schools took a hit as both state coffers and local property taxes shriveled. That showed up in shrinking employment, but also in teacher salaries.

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Students want more mobile devices in classroom
InformationWeek
When it comes to the influx of mobile devices into K-12 classrooms, you'll find both proponents and opponents among educators and parents. But ask kids what they think, and there's no debate: Laptops, smartphones and tablets are the future, they say.

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10 creative ways to teach English that deliver outstanding results
The Guardian
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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Plan aims to determine students' socioeconomic status
USA Today
Looking for a clearer picture of how poor, middle-class and wealthy students perform in U.S. schools, the Obama administration wants to redefine how it calculates children's socioeconomic status. In a new white paper, just released, the U.S. Department of Education proposes classifying students by more than just their parents' income or education levels. It explains the federal government should be able to tie test scores to a host of indicators, including: whether parents own or rent their home, how many times a family has moved in the past year and whether anyone in their household gets medical assistance.
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US Department of State launches the 'American English' mobile application
U.S. Department of State
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs is pleased to announce the release of the free "American English" mobile application for lower-tech feature phones and Android devices. Developed in partnership with English Education Alliance members, biNu and Worldreader, the application provides new audiences worldwide with "anytime, anywhere" English language learning resources on the mobile devices they already own. Expanding access to English language learning is a top public diplomacy goal for the Department of State. English language skills open doors to economic empowerment and educational opportunities for billions of people around the world.
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Student achievement goals at issue in senate NCLB renewal effort
Education Week
Until recently, U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the chairman of the Senate education committee, and Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander, the panel's top Republican, were in talks to see if there was any chance of getting a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the long-stalled No Child Left Behind Act together in this Congress. But now it's looking like the two lawmakers were unable to resolve fundamental disagreements, making an already very tough reauthorization process that much harder.
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Nevada governor adds millions to education
KRXI-TV
Gov. Brian Sandoval announced that as a result of the Economic Forum projections, he is proposing to increase funding for English language learners and class size reduction in kindergarten. Sandoval has now proposed $50 million in total funding to English language learners. He is the first Nevada governor to dedicate funds to English language learners. This proposal also provides $39.5 million for class size reduction in kindergarten which will reduce all-day kindergarten class sizes from a current average of 26 students per class to an average of 21 students per class.
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Immigration bill: What happens to youngest undocumented children?
Education Week
As many as 1 million undocumented children who were brought to the United States at a very young age would have to wait as long as their parents — at least 13 years — to pursue citizenship under the current version of the bipartisan immigration reform measure being debated and shaped (and reshaped) in the U.S. Senate. These so-called "little DREAMers" would miss out on the speedier path to citizenship that their older siblings and peers would benefit from under the DREAM provisions in the legislation. That provision — essentially a version of the long-stalled DREAM Act — would create a five-year path to citizenship for those who are already old enough to have graduated from high school, earned a GED, completed two years of college or spent four years in the military.
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Learning takes time: Growing movement seeks to expand length of school day
Deseret News
In most U.S. schools, the school day and year are the same length today as 100 years ago — 6 ½ hours, 180 days. Expectations for what schools must crowd into that time have risen sharply, though. Concerns that American workers need better preparation to keep up with global competition have increased school hours spent on math and English language arts, especially since the advent of the federal No Child Left Behind Act in 2002.
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Karunanidhi objects to English in government schools
The Times of India
India: Strongly objecting to the Tamil Nadu government's decision to introduce English as a medium of instruction in government schools, DMK chief M Karunanidhi said, "Education through native language alone would nurture self-learning in children. Education through non-native language would obstruct self-learning."
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DPS wants Colorado to make training to teach English learners mandatory
The Denver Post
Three kindergartners waited gleefully as Heather Christman showed them a clear plastic bag filled with miniature cars and blocks. The children, all English language learners, had just finished reading the book "My Car." They would use the blocks and the cars to give examples of words they learned: faster, slower, ramp, bridge, over and under. Christman teaches at Denver's Goldrick Elementary School, where about 70 percent of the students are learning English. She had no experience working with English learners when she moved to Colorado from Alabama eight years ago to begin a teaching career. But when she was hired by Denver Public Schools, Christman was required to take two years of training to work with English learners.
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Primary teachers' best tips for language lessons
The Guardian
United Kindgom: Finding links between a child's own language and others is a really useful activity. This is particularly interesting when there are learners who have languages other than English as their mother tongue as it allows comparison with a number of languages and also gives value to knowing another language.
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Tanzania: Plans afoot to boost English teaching
AllAfrica
Tanzania: The government and Britain are embarking on an ambitious project on English language improvement to help address education quality in primary and secondary schools. The Ministry of Education and Vocational Training, the British Council, the Volunteer Service Organization and the U.K. Department for International Development have pledged to develop the project.
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English language learners get lesson in healthy food — And improve their English
Hartford Courant
The goal for Monday's lesson was to teach the third- through fifth-grade students about healthy eating, but their English for speakers of other languages teacher was happy with some of the other benefits. The students sat around a long table in Connecticut's Whiting Lane Elementary School teachers' lounge, finishing their snack and reviewing what they had learned. Teacher Ryan Cronin asked them to find the verbs in the recipe he had written out, and in the process had to explain why "rolling" wasn't a verb when used in "rolling pin."
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School district celebrates English language learners
The Berlin Citizen
The Berlin public schools' ESOL Department in Connecticut held its annual district-wide family event ESOL Family Night, at Willard Elementary School. Drawing over one hundred people this year, Pre-K to 12th grade English language learners and their families came together for information and celebration. The event is held each year as a way to help parents, for whom English is not their primary language, stay connected to their children's education.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS.




French academia in war of words over plan to teach in English
The Guardian
France: Jacques Chirac once stormed out of an EU summit because a French business leader was speaking it, Nicolas Sarkozy lamented his lack of it and François Hollande makes small talk in it but is conscious of his accent. The global spread of the English language has long been a sore point in Paris politics. Now a new battleground has appeared in the linguistic war as the Socialist government wants to allow English to be used as a teaching language in French universities, sparking a rift in academia.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Native-speaking English teachers in decline (The Prague Post)
Background knowledge: Why is it important for ELL programs? (By Erick Herrmann)
Arizona school board to wade into English-immersion program fight (Tucson Sentinel)
English language learners, Common Core and literacy (Education Week)
Ideas for English language learners — Celebrating the end of the school year (The New York Times)

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


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Latino students doing their part to help reach Obama's college goal
Voxxi
Latino students are doing their part to help meet an ambitious goal that President Barack Obama set in 2009. He wants the United States to be the top-ranked country in the world with the highest proportion of college graduates by 2020. To get there, 60 percent of 25-to 34-year-olds in the U.S. will need to have a college degree. That means Latinos must earn 5.5 million college degrees, and so far they are on track to meet that goal.
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Increase use of English language, have only one type of school
The Malaysian Insider
Malaysia: At the Malay Professional Thinkers Forum held in Kuala Lumpur recently, it was noted that forging national unity was one of the foremost items on the agenda discussed. It is also refreshing to note that Universiti Teknologi Mara pro-chancellor Tan Sri Dr Abdul Rahman Arshad noted only 10 per cent of non-Malays study in national primary schools and said that the British implemented the divide-and-rule concept during their occupation of the then Malaya and for many years now since the new national education policy was implemented, education has become divisive.
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Costa Rica native overcomes language barrier to learn how to be a mechanic
Winona Daily News
Nelson Espinoza credits friends, family and faculty for his success in America. The 28-year-old native of Costa Rica graduates from Southeast Technical College's automotive tech program, and getting to this point involved beating the English language learning curve. Espinoza came to the U.S. four years ago after he fell in love with a Peace Corps volunteer visiting the country. He arrived on a visa and spent his first two years in New York City working different jobs and learning the language.
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Your guide to ESL exams
The Standard
Hong Kong: For many students in Hong Kong, particularly those who want to study or work overseas, it has become necessary to officially demonstrate their English language ability. For those who have been lucky enough to enjoy an international education, or have taken exams like the IB or IGCSE in English, this might not be necessary.
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Report: California working poor lack education opportunities
Los Angeles Times
California has the highest number of working poor families in the nation, but the state does an ineffective job of providing educational opportunities to boost them out of poverty, according to a new report. The report, "Working Hard, Left Behind," found that the state has the largest number of adults without a high school diploma or equivalent and ranks last among states in the percentage of low-income working families in which neither parent has a college education.
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ESOL course bridge to new society
Stuff
New Zealand: In South Korea Karen Lee was a successful accountant. She immigrated to New Zealand in 1995 but her English skills meant she could not pursue a similar career here. In fact she struggled to carry out simple conversations and was isolated. Almost 20 years later, Karen owns a successful hair salon and spends much of her day chatting away in English with clients. And she puts it all down to her decision to study English for speakers of other languages at Manukau Institute of Technology.
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Report: Teacher pay hurt by recession
The New York Times
During the recession and its aftermath, public schools took a hit as both state coffers and local property taxes shriveled. That showed up in shrinking employment, but also in teacher salaries. According to a report, the vast majority of teachers in the nation's largest school districts took a pay cut or saw their pay frozen at least one year between 2008 and 2012. The report by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a nonprofit group that advocates for tougher teacher standards, looked at salary data across 41 of the country's 50 largest school districts.
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Report: Dual language in early education best for youngest ELLs
Education Week
Young English language learners who are still developing oral and literacy skills in their home languages benefit most in early-childhood programs that regularly expose them to both languages. That's one of several major takeaways in a new federally funded analysis of the large, and growing, population of dual-language learners, ranging from birth to 5, already enrolled in, or headed for, early-childhood-education programs.
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Grammar errors? The brain detects them even when you are unaware
R&D Magazine
Your brain often works on autopilot when it comes to grammar. That theory has been around for years, but University of Oregon neuroscientists have captured elusive hard evidence that people indeed detect and process grammatical errors with no awareness of doing so. Participants in the study — native-English-speaking people, ages 18-30 — had their brain activity recorded using electroencephalography, from which researchers focused on a signal known as the Event-Related Potential. This non-invasive technique allows for the capture of changes in brain electrical activity during an event. In this case, events were short sentences presented visually one word at a time.
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How to train students' brains for the Common Core
eSchool News
The Common Core State Standards ask students to perform with higher levels of cognition and application, and brain training and specific teaching methods can help students succeed with these new standards, experts say. According to Margaret Glick, a neuroscience expert and educational consultant at the International Center for Leadership in Education, the Common Core State Standards and the accompanying assessments will cognitively require more than past standards.
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5 must-have elements for every online class
EdTech Magazine
When 2013 Online Teacher of the Year Renee Citlau moved to the classroom after previous careers in business and accounting, she was alarmed by what she encountered: Too many students were not engaged in their own educations; some struggled with even the most basic language skills. Surely the nation's schools and teachers could do better. Citlau enrolled in an online master's program through Pepperdine University and began to consider the benefits of online education in K–12 classrooms.
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Free apps to support vocabulary acquisition by ELLs
Edutopia (commentary)
One of my favorite aspects of integrating technology into instruction is the availability of resources to support students with different learning needs. Students who are struggling can benefit from the excitement and engagement offered by a tool like the iPad. Teachers of English language learners can use technology to promote growth in their students. Developing a strong vocabulary is an important area of focus for ELLs who are building their reading comprehension. Educators use a variety of strategies to grow readers in their classroom, and there are many free iPad apps that support vocabulary acquisition.
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How do schools unlock the potential of English language learners?
Education Week (commentary)
On the first day of school, Juyeon sat in my second grade classroom crying. Her arms were locked around the back of her chair. I tried to comfort her but it didn't work. She looked at me but didn't understand a word I was saying. As the rest of my class met on the rug for the first time so we could go over the calendar, rules and read a book, she sat sobbing because she was scared. How couldn't she be? Two weeks before the beginning of school she moved to the U.S. from Seoul, Korea.
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Testing touchscreen tables in classrooms
CNN
Forget tiny iPads — the classrooms of the future might turn entire tables into interactive touchscreens. Given that many children can sit rapturously before a glowing touchscreen for hours, such gadgets seem like a natural for the classroom. But as with any new teaching technology, it's important to make sure it actually helps students learn and teachers teach before getting caught up in its "cool" factor.
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Jay Walker on the world's English mania
TED
Jay Walker explains why two billion people around the world are trying to learn English. He shares photos and spine-tingling audio of Chinese students rehearsing English — "the world's second language" — by the thousands.
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TESOL Academies: 21–22 June 2013
Join TESOL at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota or University of Maryland Baltimore County in Baltimore, Maryland for intensive, hands-on workshops for TESOL practitioners. Earn continuing education credits, network with colleagues from across the U.S., and gain practical insights on the latest classroom practices. Discounted early registration rates end 24 May, so don't delay!


Teacher of English as a Foreign Language, Howdy Language School, Japan

Development Editor, RedNova Learning Inc., USA

ESL Instructor, Upper Iowa 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.

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