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English teachers from Britain to teach in Asian countries
The Star
United Kingdom: Business conglomerate Melewar Group has joined forces with a British education recruitment specialist to send out native-speaking-English teachers from Britain to 14 countries in Asia to teach the language. The first batch of teachers is expected to arrive in these countries in the third quarter of this year under an agreement signed between English Learning Group, a member of the Melewar Group and STC Consortium Ltd. The teachers would be sent to South-East Asia as well as to Bangaladesh, Bhutan, China, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
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Spelling bee youngsters face new test: What's the word mean?
Reuters
Young contestants in the Scripps National Spelling Bee face off with the new challenge of not only having to spell obscure words correctly, but also knowing what they mean. A total of 281 spellers, aged 8 to 14 and hailing from all 50 U.S. states, will step onto the stage over the next two days to be quizzed on their knowledge of obscure English words. Prior winners have triumphed with "xanthosis," a rare skin disease; "euonym," a name that seems appropriate to its subject, and "logorrhea," a disorder whose sufferers are verbose but incomprehensible.
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Teaching English is abstract science
By Ream Odetallah
The learning avenue has gone under various fluctuations in the past decades. People's indigenous charismas, mind functioning and future plans have one way or another contributed to the development of the styles of learning, especially with the high requirements of social networks in the lives of the learners. The impact is reflected in the learning goals and desires of an individual. Learning is no longer the priority or the only priority in the students' eventful lifestyles. Therefore, the learning goals of each person vary.
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Are you the next Teacher of the Year?
TESOL
TESOL is now accepting applications and nominations for the 2014 TESOL Teacher of the Year Award.
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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 instructional 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 Advocacy & Policy Summit 2013
TESOL
There's still time to register for the only event of its kind in the United States, the TESOL Advocacy & Policy Summit. Join policy experts, advocates, and colleagues from across the country, 16–18 June 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. Registration closes Friday, 7 June so don't delay! Click here for more information.

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2013 Chinese Bridge Delegation to China
TESOL
The College Board and Hanban/Confucius Institute Headquarters are pleased to announce the 2013 Chinese Bridge Delegation. This 1-week trip (6–14 November 2013) hosted by Hanban focuses on school visits, cultural activities, and educational workshops with the aim of helping education decision makers start and expand their Chinese language and culture programs. Apply by 17 June 2013. For additional information, contact k12chinese@collegeboard.org.
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Language is in our biology
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology via Science Daily
If you want to master languages, you should pick your parents with care, new research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology shows.

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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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English learners and the new science standards
Education Week
The final set of new science standards released to the public presents an unprecedented opportunity for English-language learners to learn rich, academic language at the same time they are learning rigorous science content, language experts say.

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Federal ELL Clearinghouse remains in limbo
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education's process to find a new contractor to manage the National Clearinghouse for English-Language Acquisition seems to be one without end. For the second time in the past six months, a protest of the department's contracting process has prompted agency officials to say they will hold a "do over" of sorts in their competition to award a $1.5 million contract for the clearinghouse, known best as NCELA. That decision means NCELA won't likely have a new contractor overseeing its operations until well into the summer. A spokesman for the Department of Education has not responded to my request to more fully explain the contracting situation.
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Spending per student falls for first time ever
NBC News
The amount of money spent per public school student fell in 2011 for the first time since the Census Bureau began keeping records more than three decades earlier, as economic woes finally caught up with educational realities. The recession officially ran from December 2007 to June of 2009, but experts say there was some lag time before things like the housing bust began really hurting tax revenues, in turn crimping state and local budgets. In addition, the federal government's economic stimulus plan helped offset some of the initial tax revenue drops, so it took some time before state and local lawmakers had to tackle one of the least popular options: Cutting education funding.
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House committee targets education funding
eClassroom News
Republicans controlling the House of Representatives pressed ahead May 21 with a plan to slash spending on certain domestic programs — including education — far deeper than the cuts these departments already face under a painful round of automatic austerity. Military Construction/Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security and the Pentagon would be spared under the plan approved by the House Appropriations Committee on a party-line vote, but total funding for education, health, and labor programs would absorb a cut of 18 percent below fiscal year 2013 levels adopted in March.
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The current education policy may be hurting Latino students
ABC News
A group of Latino education experts from across the country urged policymakers in Washington, D.C., this week to take steps to improve education for Hispanic students. The Latino Elected and Appointed Officials National Taskforce on Education was formed several years ago. They wanted to make sure the needs of Latino students and English language learners were recognized as talks about the reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act got underway. That act authorizes federally funded education programs that are administered by the states.
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The serious risks of rushing new teacher evaluation systems
The Washington Post (commentary)
Increasingly we are hearing concerns from educators that new education reforms are being rushed, including the Common Core State Standards. At the same time, new teacher evaluation systems are being put into place as well. Here to evaluate the risks to rushing these systems are Morgan S. Polikoff and Matthew Di Carlo. Morgan is assistant professor in the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Di Carlo is a senior fellow at the non-profit Albert Shanker Institute, located in Washington, D.C.
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Caution and the Common Core
The New York Times (commentary)
The rigorous Common Core learning standards that have been adopted by 45 states represent a once-in-a-generation opportunity for the United States to improve public schools nationally, bringing math, science and literacy education up to levels achieved by high-performing nations abroad. The Department of Education has rightly pushed the states to jettison outmoded systems in exchange for a challenging, writing-intensive approach. But the department, which has set a rapid timetable for this transformation, will need to give the states some flexibility so that teachers — who themselves are under pressure to meet evaluation standards — can adjust to the new curriculum.
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5 interesting tidbits in new Census school finance data
Education Week
The headlines from the U.S. Census Bureau's 2011 school finance data release focused on per-pupil spending, which dropped for the first time in nearly 40 years. But this school finance report is full of other interesting data as well.
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7 key stats with important implications for schools
eSchool News
The percentage of U.S. students living in poverty jumped by 40 percent in the last decade, and total funding for K-12 education dropped by $1 billion from 2008-2009 to 2009-2010. Yet, despite these challenges, high school graduation rates are slowly climbing — and more students are completing math and science courses, according to the latest figures from the National Center on Education Statistics. Released May 23, "The Condition of Education 2013" — the latest in an annual series of reports from NCES, a branch of the U.S. Department of Education — is chock full of valuable statistics for policymakers and education leaders.
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English language tests fail to clarify teachers' proficiency
South China Morning Post
Hong Kong: The latest outcome of a test for local teachers has again put the issue of English-language proficiency in the spotlight. While the pass rates for reading and listening skills remain relatively high, at 89 and 78 percent, performance in the written exam leaves a lot to be desired. Only 45.2 percent of the 1,357 candidates passed the test, though that is better than last year's pass rate of 38.5 percent. The result for the oral exam is not reassuring either, with a pass rate of 52 percent, two points up from 2012.
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Educators worried summer school cut could hurt English language learners
Alaska Public Media
Normally, students in the Anchorage School District in Alaska would be starting summer school soon, but funding cuts have canceled the program for the first time in recent memory. The cuts will impact struggling students most — especially immigrant, refugee and other students learning English.
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English medium schools will improve usage of language, says Vincent Tan
The Star
Malaysia: The re-introduction of English medium schools is an option in improving the usage of the language among youngsters, says billionaire and philanthropist Tan Sri Vincent Tan. He acknowledged that bringing back such schools would have its challenges. "Some may feel that if you don't solely promote Bahasa Malaysia, you are not a nationalist, but I disagree. Bahasa Malaysia is our national language and it is important but so is English. Malaysians should at least be bilingual if not trilingual," he said.
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Schools face shortage of digital curricula for English learners
Education Week
In California's Baldwin Park Unified School District, students just learning to speak English can use a combination of digital materials designed just for them, as well as general education software programs that allow teachers to adapt lessons to various learning levels. A student in the 14,500-student district might, for example, log on to BrainPOP ESL, an animated computer program that helps teach English-learners grammar and literacy. Or a student might use Voki, which allows students to create animated avatars that can speak using a student's recorded audio or listen to a digital voice that articulates text.
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Students who haven't mastered English are casualties of strict system
Orlando Sentinel
Time is running out for the kids in Melanie Gathers' English 3 class. The Dr. Phillips High students grew up speaking Spanish, Haitian Creole, French, Portuguese and Arabic. And they have only one year left to demonstrate mastery on tests given entirely in English if they hope to graduate on time. If they're like the students who came before them, many won't. Across Orange County, Fla., and the state, thousands of students such as those at Dr. Phillips are finding themselves lost in translation. They enter public school without fluency in English — and many never catch up.
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More Finnish kids opt to study English than native languages
Yle Uutiset
Finland: Figures released by the central statistics office show that English is studied by many times as many children as all others combined — including the official languages, Finnish, Swedish and Sámi, when they are taught as foreign tongues. This includes more than 14,000 kids in grades 1-6 who studied Finnish as a foreign language this past school year. Some 217,000 youngsters in these grades take English as their so-called A1 compulsory language, while nearly 14,000 take it as their A2 optional language. Nearly two-thirds of all children in lower comprehensive school study English.
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Money at center of ELL achievement debate in Nevada
Education Week
In a state that already has one of the lowest graduation rates in the nation, the success of English learners will have an outsize influence on any progress Nevada makes in driving up the numbers of diplomas that its students earn. That's because the number of ELL students is large, and still growing — 20 percent of the statewide student population in 2010-2011, according to state data. But the four-year cohort graduation rate for ELLs in the class of 2010-2011 was just 29 percent. (Of course, that rate doesn't reflect the graduation rates of former ELLs whose performance isn't broken out in the state's report card.)
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France approves English language classes
The Telegraph
France: Article 2 of a new law on higher education and research relaxes a 1994 "Toubon" law, which stipulated that French must be used in universities and all but banned lessons in another language and visits from foreign guest teachers. Education unions had called a strike in protest at the measure, but few teachers and researchers took part. Geneviève Fioraso, the minister for higher education, said she was "delighted" the article had been approved, saying the criticism of the proposed law was more "posturing" than conviction and had given France, "the land of universality and Enlightenment, a narrow-minded image". She hopes that introducing more English-language lessons will increase the number of foreign students at French universities from the current level of 12 percent of the total to 15 percent by 2020.
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Report: 4 in 10 colleges to offer MOOCs by 2016
eCampus News
A few high-profile rejections have done nothing to doom the future of massive open online courses, according to a worldwide report. Providing access to MOOCs, in fact, is considered a necessary shift in the ever-changing higher education landscape. Amherst College offered a firm denial to MOOC provider EdX in April. Duke faculty, a few weeks later, voted down plans for the university to offer MOOC-like courses. Philosophy faculty members at San Jose State University, where MOOCs have thrived, said in an open letter that adopting MOOCs was tantamount to watering down students' college education.
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Adult learners share stories of personal triumph
ED.gov Blog
The inspiration for Olga Gomez to obtain her GED started with a simple statement from her youngest son: "Mom I challenge you to finish your GED." Attaining the GED would be no easy feat for this mother of four who dropped out of school when she was sixteen. Fortunately for Olga, her children stepped up and volunteered to tutor her in preparation for the exam. Today, Olga Gomez is a proud GED recipient. Gomez is one of eleven adult learners who recently met with Secretary Arne Duncan and Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education Brenda Dann-Messier at the Department of Education to share their stories and make recommendations on how ED can improve services offered to adult learners. Dann-Messier acknowledged that these adults face many barriers to success in the labor market. Some of the barriers she cited were: a lack of a high school diploma, no postsecondary degree or training, and an inability to speak, read and write English well.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Enhanced English education sought in Japanese elementary schools (The Japan Times)
Native-speaking English teachers in decline (The Prague Post)
English classes in French universities: An economic necessity or a harbinger of doom? (International Business Times)
Study backs dual-language pre-Ks for ELLs (Education Week)
Engaging learners through games: Help or hype? (eSchool News)

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


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Picking up a second language is predicted by ability to learn patterns
Association for Psychological Science via Science Daily
Some people seem to pick up a second language with relative ease, while others have a much more difficult time. Now, a new study suggests that learning to understand and read a second language may be driven, at least in part, by our ability to pick up on statistical regularities. The study is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.
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Do Americans know how well their state's schools perform?
Brookings Institution
Among the most common rationales offered for the Common Core State Standards project is to eliminate differences in the definition of student proficiency in core academic subjects across states. As is well known, the federal No Child Left Behind Act of 2002 required states to test students annually in grades 3-8 (and once in high school), to report the share of students in each school performing at a proficient level in math and reading, and to intervene in schools not on track to achieve universal student proficiency by 2014.
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Study shows graphic novels add value to K-12 student learning
The Independent Voter Network
Graphic novels may have a place in the classroom as an alternative form of literature, according to researchers. Diane Lapp, distinguished professor of education at San Diego State University — along with researchers Thomas DeVere Wolsey, Douglas Fisher and Nancy Frey — surveyed elementary, middle and high school teachers about the effectiveness of using graphic novels in the classroom as well as their willingness to use the material for primary instruction for their students.
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Language is in our biology
The Norwegian University of Science and Technology via Science Daily
If you want to master languages, you should pick your parents with care, new research from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology shows. A good working memory is perhaps the brain's most important system when it comes to learning a new language. But it appears that working memory is first and foremost determined by our genes. Whether you struggle to learn a new language, or find it relatively easy to learn, may be largely determined by "nature."
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Implementing expanded learning time: 6 factors for success
Edutopia (commentary)
In the fall of 2006, Clarence R. Edwards Middle School in Boston became one of the first schools in the state of Massachusetts to implement the Expanded Learning Time Initiative. The reasons why were simple: they were not making Adequate Yearly Progress and they wanted to make significant academic gains with their students. As it turned out, making the school day longer was one of the best things they could have done to help reform the school model and improve student outcomes.
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Should teachers be trained like doctors and lawyers?
TakePart
It’s no secret that America's education system needs colossal reform. Politicians from both sides of the aisle always campaign on the issue, and policymakers push new standards every few years. But what might just be needed is a radical approach to teaching instead of more standards and tests. That's what Jal Mehta examines in his new book, "The Allure of Order: High Hopes, Dashed Expectations, and the Troubled Quest to Remake American Schooling." While he reflects on the history of school reform movements such as the controversial No Child Left Behind, he also offers innovative solutions to revitalizing public education.
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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.

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