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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   May. 23, 2012

US may require college language programs to get special accreditation
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Editors Note: For more information on this important policy change, please visit the TESOL website.
University-run English-language programs fear that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security may require them to apply for separate specialized accreditation or lose their ability to enroll students from abroad. In a bulletin recently sent to colleges and language schools, and in communications with individual institutions, the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, or SEVP, has said that both stand-alone and college language programs must produce evidence of their accreditation during certification reviews, or risk being booted from the system.

Related story: The accreditation of English language training programs act (U.S. Department of Homeland Security)

US Department of Education releases literature review on programs for ELLs
edCount LLC    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education officially released a literature review conducted by edCount, LLC titled Language Instruction Educational Programs: A Review of the Foundational Literature. The review, part of a larger project titled Language Instruction Educational Programs: Lessons from the Research and Profiles of Promising Programs, examines the research literature on a range of topics that may factor into LIEP design and function, in order to support school districts in their decisions about how to choose appropriate LIEPs for their students' needs. More

Save the date — A TESOL Symposium on facilitating learning through student empowerment
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL International Association will host a symposium at the Intercontinental Hotel, Isla Verde in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on 15 November. The event will kick off the 39th PRTESOL Convention and the 11th CA & CB Regional Conference, 16-17 November. For more information visit TESOL's website. Hope to see you there. More

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Do you feel confident discussing grammar in the classroom?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If not, you should check out these two online courses: Grammar Course 1: Phrasal Structures and Grammar Course 2: Multiclause Structures will help you develop the confidence you need to discuss grammar with your students and give you the tools you need to prepare grammar lessons. These courses will help you solidify your understanding of the grammar you may need to teach. The courses run simultaneously from 30 July to 26 August. The registration deadline is 18 July. To register, visit TESOL's website. Send questions to and put "Grammar" in the subject line.

Have you submitted your proposal for TESOL 2013?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If you haven't submitted your proposal for TESOL 2013, you'd better get busy. 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.

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Census: Minority babies are now majority in United States
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the first time in U.S. history, most of the nation's babies are members of minority groups, according to new census figures that signal the dawn of an era in which whites no longer will be in the majority. Population estimates show that 50.4 percent of children younger than 1 last year were Hispanic, black, Asian American or in other minority groups. That's almost a full percentage point higher than the 49.5 percent of minority babies counted when the decennial census was taken in April 2010. Census Bureau demographers said the tipping point came three months later, in July. More

Report: Immigration legislation on the decline in 2012
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Judging the output of newly-introduced bills and resolutions from state lawmakers in the first three months of this year, 2012 is on track to be less focused on immigration issues than 2011, according to a new report from the National Conference of State Legislatures. In the first quarter of this year, 865 bills and resolutions related somehow to immigration or refugees were introduced in 45 states and the District of Columbia, the report found. More

The legal cost of improper Internet censorship
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled 30 years ago that public schools cannot engage in viewpoint-based censorship of library books. Schools can keep books off the shelves if they are poorly written or inappropriate for a particular age group, but they cannot limit access to Harry Potter books out of a concern they glorify witchcraft, or remove Kurt Vonnegut novels because they perceive the books to be anti-American, the court held in Board of Education, Island Trees Union Free School District v. Pico. More

Time to revisit Supreme Court's goal of ending segregation
The Seattle Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, it was the 58th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education ruling, in which the U.S. Supreme Court told communities to end school segregation by race, when they got around to it. The law changed, but segregation didn't go away, not entirely. So now do we accept racial divisions as normal? Do we hope all will resolve itself without community action? It won't. More

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The high stakes of standardized tests
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Standardized tests are nothing new in public schools. Chances are you filled out bubbles on an answer form at some point during your schooling. But for the past few years, scores from statewide tests in English and math have been used to determine which schools are doing a good job of educating students and which are "failing." Today, the test results count for more than just a letter grade for a school. Teachers in some states are now being labeled good or bad based on their students' scores. Welcome to the world of high-stakes standardized testing. More

In China, English teaching is a whites-only club
msnbc    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China: Speak a little English and are willing to relocate? Well, you're probably qualified to be an English-language instructor in China. As long as you are white, that is. Chinese teaching agencies are constantly seeking candidates to teach English to the growing number of children who are looking to get a leg up in China's rigorous academic environment. The opportunity is quite lucrative and requires little or no knowledge of Chinese. But the ads recruiting these teachers come with a catch. More

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Napa, Calif.'s, English learners exceed state standards
Napa Valley Register    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students in the Napa Valley Unified School District in California surpassed two of three state targets for English learners during the 2011-2012 school year. The percentage of English learners advancing one or more levels climbed to 61.4 percent, surpassing the state target of 56 percent, according to results from the California English Language Development Test taken last fall by students in kindergarten through grade 12 whose first language is not English. More

Kindergarten teacher earns $700,000 by selling lesson plans online
Mashable    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teaching isn't known to be a lucrative profession, but online marketplace Teachers Pay Teachers is changing that for some educators. Deanna Jump, a kindergarten teacher from Georgia, has made $700,000 selling her lesson plans on Teachers Pay Teachers, an ecommerce startup where teachers offer their lesson plans to fellow educators. Paul Edelman, the founder of Teachers Pay Teachers, created the platform following a four-year stint as a New York City public school teacher. More

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Critical questions about the Common Core
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators in the United States are once again headed for a very big trap. We are being seduced by the idea that a common set of standards and assessments to match will deliver equitable outcomes from our schools. This is the siren call that draws us into endless top-down reforms that never work, but never stop promising that the next time, we will get it right, and all students will achieve at high levels. But this time, maybe we can learn from the last big national experiment along these lines, No Child Left Behind. More

All English, all the time
Inside Higher Ed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Italy: The spread of English in global higher education is no secret. Even so, the recent decision by a leading Italian public university, Politecnico di Milano, to shift to all English language instruction at the graduate level is stark enough to have sparked a discussion. Given the dominance of English as an international language of science, how can universities compete on an international level while maintaining their national identities? More

Help community colleges help adult students
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The economy is showing signs of life, but unemployment remains high, with millions of Americans out of work or underemployed. Many people have turned to community-college vocational programs to strengthen their skills and better prepare themselves to return to the work force. But while this pays off for many, too many others receive little return on their additional education and training. That's because, too often, these programs fail to provide the extra help that today's students need to complete a program and land a job. More

How standardized tests are affecting public schools
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Florida's standardized testing program is being misused and has "severely impacted student learning," according to a new white paper that says that school districts in the state are required to give as many as 62 tests a year to students. The white paper, called "The Ramifications of Standardized Testing on our Public Schools," was just released by the Central Florida School Board Coalition, a group of top officials from 10 school districts. More

Playful games promote reading development
SciencesDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Short but intense training sessions in the form of structured language games from the age of four can stimulate children's early language development and may also make it easier for children to learn to read. Previous research has shown that children's reading development can be stimulated with structured and playful language games from the age of six. In a current three-year study, researchers at the University of Gothenburg are exploring the effects of having children as young as four participate in such games. More

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Polish children boosting standards among English pupils, study suggests
The Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Roman Catholic schools in particular have seen a surge in demand for places since the enlargement of the European Union eight years ago. But while many of the new pupils arrived with little or no English, they do not appear to have held their classmates back even in reading and writing. And in mathematics, the researchers found evidence that they had a positive influence on the others, the researchers found. One theory is that the Polish children were better educated than their British counterparts in the first place and that they brought with them the same "work ethos" which brought their families to Britain. As a result they may have been that they had a positive influence on their peers, it is thought. More

Facebook, Edutopia collaborate on social media guide
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As most high school students are gearing up for summer break, many teachers and administrators are planning and prepping for the next school year. Part of their planning may include strategies to integrate technology in the classroom, through digital textbooks, gaming and social media. On May 8, the nonprofit Edutopia released How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School. The free guide, released during Teacher Appreciation Week, is part of a collaboration with Facebook. More

Title III Supplement not Supplant

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Related story: Ways to use Facebook effectively in class (ZDNet)

Fostering relationships in the classroom
Edutopia    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students and teacher need to develop positive and trusting relationships in an effective classroom. It is also critical that all students, especially English language learners, develop trusting and enriching relationships with each other. There are many activities which can be used for both introductory purposes and throughout the year to build and maintain positive relationships in the classroom. Some activities which work well to introduce students to each other and to the teacher can be used again at later points in the year as students' interests change and as they gain new life experiences. While this is certainly not an exhaustive list, it contains several suggestions we have found successful and which could easily be adapted for use with different levels of students. More

5 ways teachers can evaluate educational games
Mashable    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent Joan Ganz Cooney Center survey of 500 educators found that half of all kindergarten through eighth-grade teachers are now regularly using digital games in the classroom. Nearly one in five are using them every day. It's clear that in the age of the iPad, digital games are opening up a world of new possibilities for teaching and learning, and for increasing engagement in the classroom. But teachers must be reassured that the games they are using are connected to instructional goals. More

5 tips to avoid teacher burnout
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Baptism By Fire. That's what I call the first year of teaching. No matter how much preparation and mentoring you have received, you are building the plane as you fly it. To make sure you don't crash and/or burn (yes, pun intended.), I put together some hard-learned lessons from my experience as a new teacher. In addition, these are good recommendations and reminders for veteran teachers. When you get hunkered down in the day-to-day while the year presses on, you tend to forget what really works well, because you are working so hard. I hope you find these five tips useful. More

English skills a concern as global aviation grows
The New York Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A foreign tourist approached me in Times Square. "Please, where is ahhty-ahm?" he asked. At least, that's what I heard, even when he slowly repeated the question. I was flummoxed until he took a bank card out of his wallet and made the motion of inserting it into an imaginary slot. "Oh, A.T.M.!" I said, and pointed the way to the nearest one. 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.
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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 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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