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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   May. 16, 2012

Proposals for TESOL 2013 are due in 2 weeks
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If you haven't submitted your proposal for TESOL 2013, you have just over two weeks to do so. Proposals are due Friday, 1 June, 5 p.m. EDT. The TESOL 2013 call for participation is available for download here. Submit your proposal today.

TESOL seeks proposals for Pre- and Postconvention Institutes
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TESOL invites proposals for PCIs that deal with classroom practices and applications of research in 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

Register now for a TESOL virtual seminar on ELL rights in the United States
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On 23 May, Roger C. Rosenthal will lead a virtual seminar titled "The Rights of Immigrant Students and English Language Learners in U.S. Public Schools." Registration deadline is 17 May. TESOL virtual seminars are free for members; nonmembers may participate for $45. Sign up now.

MATESOL degree in One Year!

Commonly cited as one of the top programs in the country for preparing language educators, the Monterey Institute offers an Advanced Entry MATESOL degree.

Last week to register for ESL for the Secondary Mathematics Teacher
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Only a few spots left in the TESOL: ESL for the Secondary Mathematics Teacher online course, running from 4 June to 1 July. When you pass the course, you earn 4 CEUs at no additional cost from the University of Wisconsin. The registration deadline is 24 May. To register, visit the TESOL website. Please send questions to and put "ESL Maths" in the subject line.

HB 56: How the people of Alabama fought back against the worst anti-immigrant law in the country
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As time passed, efforts were made to directly organize and empower the immigrant communities here in Alabama. With the help of allies, undocumented immigrants in the state of Alabama slowly began taking ownership of our own future and of our reality. Actions throughout Alabama would draw dozens, then hundreds, and then thousands, all in direct opposition to HB 56. More
Related story: The impact of Alabama's extreme HB56 law (The Huffington Post)

On Our Way to English K-5

On Our Way to English
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Study: Most ELLs are in districts that fall short of federal goals
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most of the nation's English language learners were enrolled in school districts that failed to reach all of their accountability goals for that group of students in the 2008-2009 school year, according to a national evaluation of the federal program that supports English-language-acquisition services. While more than half of the school districts that receive federal funding to support programs for ELLs reported meeting all their academic goals in 2008-2009, those districts served only 39 percent of the total ELL population. And, in that same school year, only 10 states achieved all of their accountability goals for ELLs under the No Child Left Behind Act. More

House passes bill to stave off cuts, but K-12 advocates still worried
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education advocates have been sweating for months over a series of planned cuts that are slated to hit every K-12 program in January — unless Brokedown Congress can figure out a way to stop it. Well, the House of Representatives passed a bill that would stop the cuts — known in Inside-the-Beltway speak as "sequestration" — for a year for all programs, and permanently for defense spending. But education advocates — and the White House — aren't exactly celebrating. They say the cure is worse than the disease. More

New advocacy groups shaking up education field
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new generation of education advocacy groups has emerged to play a formidable political role in states and communities across the country. Those groups are shaping policy through aggressive lobbying and campaign activity — an evolution in advocacy that is primed to continue in the 2012 elections and beyond. Bearing names meant to signal their intentions — Stand for Children, Democrats for Education Reform, StudentsFirst — they are pushing for such policies as rigorous teacher evaluations based in part on evidence of student learning, increased access to high-quality charter schools, and higher academic standards for schools and students. More

The art of assessing conversation
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Great Britain: The U.K. government's announcement that all students from Pakistan will be interviewed by consular staff to assess their English-speaking skills before they are issued with visas to travel to Britain to study was presented as a necessary measure to weed out bogus applicants. Little information is available about how the interviews will be conducted, or what training staff will be given, but the complexity and challenges of assessing learners' speaking and listening skills are well known to teachers. 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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Too tough? State education board may lower passing grade after fewer students pass FCAT writing part
Marco Eagle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Preliminary results released show a dramatic decline in FCAT writing scores statewide, prompting state education officials to schedule an emergency meeting to consider reducing the passing grade. Although individual district scores were not released, Collier Schools Superintendent Kamela Patton blamed this year's plummeting scores on Flordia's heavier emphasis on grammar and punctuation, a high number of Collier students learning the English language, and scoring methods that used an average by two test scorers. More

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Philadelphia School District vows to preserve resources for bilingual education
The Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the number of immigrant students and others with English learning needs grows, Philadelphia School District leaders vowed not to cut resources for bilingual education and related services despite continuing budget woes. The School Reform Commission held a nonvoting session to discuss the district's efforts to improve programs for 13,000 "English-language learners," of whom 3,000 are immigrants. The district has budgeted approximately $35.6 million for around 300 teachers who specialize in English for Speakers of Other Languages, or ESOL, said district spokesman Fernando Gallard. More

Malden's Almonte honored as ELL Teacher of the Year
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mary Margaret Almonte, English as a second language teacher, at the Beebe School, was named English Language Learner Teacher of the year by the Massachusetts Association of Teachers of Speakers of Other Languages. MATSOL is a professional association of educators of English language learners in K-12 schools, adult learning centers, higher education, institutions and the workplace in Massachusetts. More

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Teacher-turtle team helps students learn English
Appeal-Democrat    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
He's accustomed to being shrieked at and having his shell tapped upon by little human fingers. For 30 years, E.T., a box turtle originally named when the popular Steven Spielberg movie was still in theaters, has been helping inspire immigrant school children to speak English. His owner, Lincoln Elementary School teacher Kathy Hanlin-McPherrin, placed him on the floor in front of her students, ages 6- to 8-years-old, and allowed them to move in close. More

Technology can sometimes be wasted on English language teaching
The Guardian (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Great Britain: We are now 12 years into the new millennium and technology has become a prime element of almost all English language teaching conferences and journals around the world. Yet, when we look for real improvements in student performance and effective use of technology by teachers, I think that the results are pretty disappointing. More

Kids, like, totally pick up accents
The New Zealand Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New Zealand: Kiwi kids are developing noticeable American accents through watching too much television, an expert says. As TV goes through its biggest change since the arrival of color sets in the 1970s, concerns are being raised about the pervasive influence of accents on children. New Zealand begins converting to digital transmissions in five months, partly to keep up with technology as overseas programs are recorded in a digital format. More

Where medium of examination matters
The Hindu    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India: Despite sitting in class and listening to lectures in English for an entire semester, when it comes to examinations, around 70 per cent of students in arts and science colleges opt to write in Tamil. For many students such as Sudha Ranjani, a final-year student of psychology, this is simply because "it is easier to write the examination in Tamil as I can express myself better." However, principals and university officials at a meeting of college principals meeting organized by the University of Madras at Ethiraj college expressed concern over this trend as they feel encouraging the students to write the exam in English would improve their employability. More

Exciting Career Opportunities at ELS

ELS supports its teachers. Learn about the joint ELS/Adelphi University Masters of TESOL program, providing opportunities for teachers to earn advanced teaching degrees. MORE

What really matters to working students
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A student who had attended one of my developmental English courses only six times in 11 weeks stopped me in the hall before class to turn in a paper. I asked if she would be in class that day. No, she said, and gave me the excuse that I've heard most frequently in my three years of teaching at a metropolitan community college: "I have business to take care of." More

Tihar jail: 37 inmates finish spoken language course under ' teach india' campaign
The Times of India    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India: Amit Saxena encourages his teacher, Brij Sanan, to deliver his speech in English. "Say it in English. We can understand now," he shouts out. Jail No. 3 in the Tihar complex hosted a convocation ceremony. Thirty-seven "learners" — four convicts and 33 under-trials, all men — were awarded certificates on completion of their spoken-English course — a part of Times of India's Teach India initiative. More

Teacher evaluation: What it should look like
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new report from Stanford University researcher Linda Darling-Hammond details what the components of a comprehensive teacher evaluation system should look like at a time when such assessments have become one of the most contentious debates in education today. Much of the controversy swirls around the growing trend of using students' standardized test scores over time to help assess teacher effectiveness. More

WordQ Technology Helps ELLs

WordQ helps ELLs in their writing composition in word processing and writing tasks on the computer for grammar, word choice, and spelling. WordQ guesses what word you are typing and offers logical grammatically correct words for your next word in a drop down menu. WordQ is a complete writing solution.

Why computers still can't translate languages automatically
Slate    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, on the eighth floor of an office building in Arlington, Va., Rachael held her finger down on a Dell Streak touchscreen and asked Aziz whether he knew the village elder. The handheld tablet beeped as if imitating R2-D2 and then said what sounded like, "Aya tai ahili che dev kali musha." Aziz replied in Pashto, and the Streak said in a monotone: "Yes, I know." Rachael asked: "Would you introduce me to him?" Aziz failed to understand the machine's translation (though he does speak English), so she asked again: "Could you introduce me to the village elder?" This time, there was success, after a fashion. More

Getting a teaching license may soon include a new test — Can hopefuls handle a classroom?
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
To earn a teaching license in most states, candidates must pass a handful of exams — largely multiple-choice — that test basic skills and knowledge of specific subjects. Some states also include tests that focus on teaching strategies. One state, Montana, requires no tests at all, just graduation from a teaching program. This pathway to the classroom has long been called into question. Now, 25 states — including Minnesota — are preparing to test a brand-new assessment that will judge teachers-to-be on how they work with real students. More
Related story: Teacher performance assessment under scrutiny (Education Week)

What's the best way to encourage kids?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Around kitchen tables, in school hallways, from the sidelines of playing fields, the exhortations ring out: "You can do it!" "The sky's the limit!" "Go for the gold!" Raising the aspirations of children — especially those who are economically disadvantaged — has been a popular prescription for many years, and it's not hard to see why. What could be wrong with encouraging kids to set their sights high? But "what has been missing," write a group of British researchers in a report, "is any evidence that the recommended initiatives actually lead to the outcomes assumed by the policy." The report, produced for the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, reviewed programs designed to bolster students' goals for the future. 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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