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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   May. 22, 2013

 





Enhanced English education sought in Japanese elementary schools
The Japan Times
Japan: A governmental panel on education reform will propose enhancing English language education in elementary schools by making it an official subject for fifth- and sixth-graders. As a way of nurturing people who can play an active role amid intensifying international competition, the panel headed by Waseda University President Kaoru Kamata will suggest boosting English language education in elementary schools, according to a draft proposal.
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Study backs dual-language pre-Ks for ELLs
Education Week
Young English language learners still developing oral and literacy skills in their home languages benefit most from early-childhood programs that regularly expose them to both languages. That's the conclusion of a new federally funded analysis of the large, and growing, population of dual-language learners, ranging from birth to 5, who are already enrolled in or headed for early-care and early-childhood-education programs. By 2020, preschool-age children in the United States who are exposed to or use a language other than English at home will outnumber their monolingual English-speaking peers, according to some estimates.
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Deadline for 2014 TESOL proposals: 3 June 2013 at 5 p.m. ET
TESOL
TESOL is now accepting proposals until 3 June 2013 for the TESOL International Convention and English Language Expo in Portland, Oregon, USA, 26–29 March 2014. You are invited to submit a proposal, whether you want to be a presenter or to run a Pre- or Post-convention Institute. Start here for more information.
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Early registration deadline approaching for TESOL Academies!
TESOL
Join TESOL at Bethel University in St. Paul, Minnesota or University of Maryland Baltimore County in Baltimore, Maryland, 21-22 June 2013, for intensive, hands-on workshops for a wide variety of TESOL practitioners. The academies feature six 10-hour workshops focused on key issues and areas of practice in the profession. Earn continuing education credits, network with colleagues from across the U.S., and gain practical insights on how to implement the latest classroom practices. Hurry! Discounted early registration rates end 24 May, so don’t delay! Click here for more information.
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Registration open: ESL for the secondary mathematics teacher
TESOL
There is still space available in the previously sold-out online course ESL for the Secondary Mathematics Teacher, 3–30 June 2013. Participants will learn about core ESL principles and practices, the role of language and culture in learning mathematics, planning and implementing instruction for English language learners, and assessment. Deadline to register is Monday, 27 May. Don't miss your chance to take part in this popular course!
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Are language teachers leading the way with education technology?
The Guardian
United Kingdom: As more and more schools invest in mobile technologies, such as iPads, a common question on language fora is "can anyone recommend a good list of apps for language learning?"

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Native-speaking English teachers in decline
The Prague Post
Czech Republic: Kirsty Mooney, 40, was fresh out of university when she decided to leave her hometown of Rochdale, in north England, and move to the Czech Republic.

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Engaging learners through games: Help or hype?
eSchool News
"Engagement" has become a popular buzzword, as educators increasingly cite disengaged students as a problem that needs to be fixed. In this context, games are often trumpeted as the perfect tool for creating student engagement.

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Common Core promises new tests. Will they be better than the old ones?
The Christian Science Monitor
Tests that can assess students' mastery of skills and knowledge are as important as the Common Core standards themselves, say many educators and education reformers. Will the tests that accompany Common Core be any better than those states are using now? The hope is they will be, but it will be about two years before the answer is clear.
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40 states probed alleged cheating on tests, federal report finds
Education Week
A new report from the U.S. Government Accountability Office has found that most states have looked into allegations of cheating by school officials on state tests in the past two years. The study found that 33 states confirmed at least one such case of cheating, and 32 reported invalidating test scores as a result of cheating. The report was prompted by several high-profile cases of cheating on tests, such as the recent one in Atlanta. The federal government has an interest in the security and validity of state tests results because it helps fund the development of tests used for federal accountability. The GAO report says the U.S. Department of Education has funneled $2 billion toward such projects since 2002.
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Do new exams produce better teachers? States act while educators debate
The Hechinger Report
It took less than a minute for Mario Martinez to finish the first six questions of the algebra exam that his professor, Ivan Cheng, had just handed to him. The high school-level test was supposed to be a good example of an exam, so that the graduate students in Cheng's math methods course at the California State University, Northridge's school of education would better understand what rigorous high-school-level questions look like, and how to write tests for their own lessons.
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English, 'foreign language' in Trinidad
Trinidad News
Trinidad: In an attempt to inculcate standard English usage and improve students' literacy, the Education Ministry plans to treat English as a "foreign language." The proper use of standard English is being encouraged, and an "oral" component was introduced for students preparing for the National Certificate of Secondary Education.
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US funds new English language lab for Pakistani orphans
News Pakistan
Pakistan: U.S. Ambassador Richard Olson joined staff of the SOS Children's Village of Islamabad to inaugurate a new English language laboratory at SOS. Established with a grant from the U.S. Ambassador's Fund, the new lab will enable the children living at the SOS Children's Village to improve their English-language skills. To furnish the lab, the U.S. government bought 22 computers, furniture, a printer and special English-language software.
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Increase in foreign students of English
Times of Malta
Malta: The number of students who came to Malta to study English last year increased by 18 percent over the previous year, to 82,000. Julian Cassar Torreggiani, the chairman of the Federation of English Language Teaching Organizations hailed the positive performance which translates into 5.7 percent of total foreigners visiting Malta. He said the number of weeks students spent in Malta increased by 25 percent over 2011. There was 24 percent increase in guest nights and the gross operating profit for language school students increased by 86 percent.
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English-medium schools seen as right move
The Star
Bringing back English-medium schools as an option would be a smart move, say many groups. Sarawak Teachers Union president William Ghani Bina said English is a global language. "If we want our children to be global citizens, there are no two ways about it," said Bina when commenting on The Star executive director and group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai's On the Beat column on bringing back English-medium schools.
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School plans change for English language learners
South Coast Today
The school department is reorganizing instruction for some of its lowest achieving students, extending offerings for English language learners to a second middle school and consolidating elementary classes at the Hathaway and Gomes schools. District leaders said the plan, which adds classes at the centrally-located Keith Middle School in Massachusetts, will lessen middle school commutes and provide younger students with more stability, allowing them to remain at one school from kindergarten through fifth grade
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Peacekeeping and teaching English
UNIFIL
Lebanon: When the students of Our Lady of Lebanon School in Rmeish, Lebanon, first heard about it, "they were shocked.” They "refused" being taught English by UNIFIL's Ghanaian teachers, their English language teacher, Sana Aoun, pointed out. "Now, on the contrary, they love them a lot!" Sana added. What she herself particularly loves about the Ghanaian presence in her classroom is that the students are forced to speak English with the peacekeepers. "With me, they blurt out a few Arabic words, but with them, they cannot," she added triumphantly.
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Next superintendent must have plan to help English language learners
The Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Clark County School Board in Nevada will decide whether to undertake a national search for the superintendent position left vacant by Dwight Jones. Choosing the district's superintendent is one of the trustees' most important tasks. A national search would best serve the school district's needs. Casting a wide net that seeks out the best possible candidate is what the school district needs now. The challenge of the coming five years is to close the achievement gap of English language learners, or ELL students. According to the 2011 Nevada Report Card, 70 percent of ELL students in K-8 are not reading at grade level. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 70 percent of ELL students do not graduate from high school.
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English classes in French universities: An economic necessity or a harbinger of doom?
International Business Times
France: France's parliament will debate a measure that will allow state universities to offer more courses in English as well as other foreign languages. Genevieve Fioraso, the higher education minister, said the measure is designed to raise the number or foreign students enrolled at French universities — the government wants to raise the percentage of such students to 15 percent by 2020 from the present 12 percent level. Specifically, Fioraso would like to amend the Toubon law of 1994, which specified that French must be the language of all teaching in schools and universities, as well as the language of all official government publications.
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Computer research project shows shift in English language
R&D Magazine
University of Illinois English professor Ted Underwood recently wrapped up a research project involving more than 4,200 books. Since that work revealed dramatic shifts in the English language between the 18th and 19th centuries, he's now expanding his research to include more than 470,000 books — almost every English language book written during that era and preserved in a university library.
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Foreign universities eye Uttar Pradesh, India, for English courses
The Times of India
India: Considering Uttar Pradesh, India, as a potential market, many foreign universities and embassies are interested in starting English language education and skills courses for students and teachers. "We are planning to start a Senior English Language Fellow (EL Fellow) program in Lucknow for secondary school English teachers. We are in discussion with the U.S. embassy and as per the plan, an American TESOL professor will stay in the city for 10 months," said Diane Miller, regional English language officer, American Centre, U.S. embassy, New Delhi. The EL Fellow program will help teachers to share their professional expertise, enhance skills, gain international experience and learn about other cultures.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Background knowledge: How ELL programs can activate it (By Erick Herrmann)
Rifts deepen over direction of education policy in US (Education Week)
10 creative ways to teach English that deliver outstanding results (The Guardian)
Immigration bill: What happens to youngest undocumented children? (Education Week)
US Department of State launches the 'American English' mobile application (U.S. Department of State)

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


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Experts say job seekers still finding the English language a hurdle
The Star
Malaysia: The poor command of English among job seekers remains among the top complaints of employers, say recruitment specialists. MyStarJob Network Sdn Bhd head Serm Teck Choon said this was a major problem especially among fresh graduates. "Most job seekers can speak and write in English, but their command of English is very basic and not up to the expectations of the employers," he said when commenting on the column by The Star executive director and group chief editor Datuk Seri Wong Chun Wai on bringing back English-medium schools.
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Leading English language programs for Asian students
Asian Correspondent
Asia: There is no questioning the English language's role as an international communications tool. Being proficient can revolutionize a person's professional status. For example, research commissioned by the British Council found that people in the Middle East and North Africa who speak English can earn up to three times more than their non-English-speaking colleagues. Furthermore, some analysts believe that we're witnessing a subtle shift in the way English fits in to global marketplace. Education First, a grand-scale English Proficiency Index research initiative, believes that English is no longer an indicator of elite social and economic status. It's transforming into "a basic skill for the entire workforce."
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How bilinguals switch between languages
Science Daily
Individuals who learn two languages at an early age seem to switch back and forth between separate "sound systems" for each language, according to new research conducted at the University of Arizona. The research, to be published in a forthcoming issue of Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, addresses enduring questions in bilingual studies about how bilingual speakers hear and process sound in two different languages.
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Dementia robs bilinguals of second language first
The Japan Times
Canada: The devastating effect of Alzheimer's disease on bilingual people has been thrown into focus in Canada, where the sudden loss of a second language can leave sufferers feeling like strangers in their own country. Despite increasing evidence that bilingualism can actually delay the onset of dementia, those grappling with the ravages of the disease often find themselves isolated by the lack of essential services in their language of choice. When Alzheimer's strikes, a person's ability to communicate in their second language is often eroded rapidly. Sylvie Lavoie said she noticed a steady deterioration in her mother's ability to speak English fluently after she was diagnosed with the disease.
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With tech tools, how should teachers tackle multitasking in class?
MindShift
Important research compiled on the effects of students multitasking while learning shows that they are losing depth of learning, getting mentally fatigued, and are weakening their ability to transfer what they have learned to other subjects and situations. Educators as well as students have noticed how schoolwork suffers when attention is split between homework and a buzzing smartphone. Many students, like Alex Sifuentes, who admit to multitasking while studying, know the consequences well.
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A behind-the-scenes look at why teachers succeed in the classroom
ED.gov Blog
What inspires teachers, and how do they inspire students? ED's regional officers found some common threads as they shadowed educators from coast to coast to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week. From a teacher who found her calling while volunteering in Peru to the National Teachers Hall of Fame honoree who uses music to communicate difficult science concepts, the variety of teachers they met spanned all styles and subjects.
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Are language teachers leading the way with education technology?
The Guardian (commentary)
As more and more schools invest in mobile technologies, such as iPads, a common question on language fora is "can anyone recommend a good list of apps for language learning?" My typical response is to suggest a range of generic apps for creating multimedia content (audio, video, animation, ebooks, cartoons and so on) which promote productive skills of speaking and writing, higher-order thinking and that allow pupils to publish the results to a real audience.
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Chisel a teaching masterpiece
MiddleWeb (commentary)
Last week I wrote about how high quality instruction must consistently occur before any testing accommodations have a chance of being meaningful. But high quality instruction doesn't just happen; it has to be crafted. And it has to be given time to become a natural part of the teacher's style as she or he builds a repertoire of strategies that blend seamlessly with standards, grade level expectations, students' needs, and personal teaching style.
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Inquiry learning vs. standardized content: Can they coexist?
MindShift
As Common Core State Standards are incorporated from school to school across the country, educators are discussing their value. It may seem that educators are arguing over whether the CCSS will roll out as a substitute No Child Left Behind curriculum or as an innovative guide to encourage inquiry rather than rote learning. In reality, as time will prove, we're arguing over whether content standards are still appropriate.
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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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