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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   June 03, 2014

 





Common Core test experts explain ELL and special education supports
Education Week
The two experts closest to the development of features designed to make the new Common Core assessments accessible to all students, including English language learners, appeared on edweek.org yesterday to answer questions from the field. Magda Chia, the director of system design and support for underrepresented students for Smarter Balanced; and Tamara Reavis, a senior adviser for assessment, accessibility, and equity at PARCC; spent an hour taking questions and explaining the range of supports and features for students with disabilities and English language learners.
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From language skills to teaching prowess
Language Magazine
There are many paths to becoming a teacher of a second or foreign language: for some, it's the natural progression from studying a language; others start by giving informal individual, private, or group classes or helping friends study their own language. Having lived in a country where demand for your language is high doesn't count as concrete training, but it may make you realize that teaching is a skill worth developing. In the moment in which, in a constant and conscious way, someone starts to work in this field (not as mere fun or to help friends), this person becomes a language teacher and, in many cases, will become a professional who will develop their career throughout their life.
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Following the World Cup in English
Bangkok Post
Thailand: If English is not your first or main language, you will naturally follow the World Cup coverage in your own language. But try to take some time and look at the English language coverage as well. Since you will already know what has happened, it should not be too difficult. You will be surprised at how much you can learn in a short time. The fastest way to prepare is with my book "World Cup English." There you will learn the basic language of football and also the language sports writers typically use to describe the competition. The book is in both English and Thai so you can work your way through it quite quickly. You can also listen to the English texts and this will help you to remember what you have learned.
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Collaborative Teaching: Addressing ESL Teacher Concerns
TESOL
Collaborative teaching between ESL and mainstream teachers has pros and cons. ESL teachers have many concerns about collaboration; read these suggestions on how to address those concerns before they become an issue. Other recent TESOL blogs: What Does It REALLY Take to Succeed? A Speaking Activity; ESL Games: Parts of Speech Lingo; Hiking is Fun! The National Park Service Website for ESL Writing; and Demystifying Myths About Leadership: An NNEST Perspective.
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TESOL research agenda 2014
TESOL
The 2014 Research Agenda Task Force welcomes your comments on the content of the draft agenda. Please take time to also comments on ways in which TESOL International Association can make use of the agenda to advance professional expertise in English language teaching and learning for speakers of other languages worldwide. Please visit the TESOL International Association Research Agenda 2014 to add your feedback by 15 June 2014.
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Common Core test experts explain ELL and special education supports
Education Week
The two experts closest to the development of features designed to make the new Common Core assessments accessible to all students, including English language learners, appeared on edweek.org yesterday to answer questions from the field.

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What it takes (and means) to learn English as an adult
NPR
Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she's "desperate" to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it.

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Why Chinese schools must push English more than ever
WorldCrunch
China: After months of public debate, China's Education Ministry has finally decided that the college entrance exam will no longer include the subject of English. Instead, students will take several English tests spread over the course of the school year.

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GAO report: Sequestration forced districts to reduce staff, programs
Education Week
The investigative arm of Congress has found that across-the-board federal budget cuts last year forced some school districts to cut academic and after-school programs, scale back professional development, and delay physical and technology upgrades. Those details were part of a Government Accountability Office report looking at how federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Education, prepared for and implemented the 2013 sequestration. In particular, it looked at the impact of sequestration on Title I and Impact Aid funding.
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Identify the needs of your English Language Learners with an automated, time-saving assessment tool in speaking, listening, and reading. LAS Links Online™ is designed to strengthen your English Language Development Program and provides research-based results to support your instructional decisions.
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Senate votes to impose new ESL, disabled rules on charter schools
Chicago Sun-Times
The Senate voted to have charter schools accommodate disabled children and those who speak English as a second language, a plan that several lawmakers worried would choke charter schools' "flexibility." The measure, sponsored by Sen. Kimberly Lightford, D-Maywood, passed in the Senate 34-15 and goes to Gov. Pat Quinn.
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Common Core School Standards face a new wave of opposition
The New York Times
Opposition to the Common Core, a set of reading and math standards for elementary, middle and high school students that were originally adopted by 46 states and the District of Columbia, has gathered momentum among state lawmakers in recent weeks. The governors of Oklahoma and South Carolina are considering signing bills to repeal the standards and replace them with locally written versions. In Missouri, lawmakers passed a bill that would require a committee of state educators to come up with new standards within the next two years.
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Growing number of non-English-speaking students a challenge
Aiken Standard
For years, Ingrid Mimcella has visited her young daughter, Fatima, in Guatemala, where the 10-year-old has lived with her grandmother. Her dream of bringing her daughter to America came true in January when Fatima arrived in Aiken. She soon enrolled at Oakwood-Windsor Elementary School, and Fatima could not speak English. She would cry when she could not understand the teacher, her mother said.
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Meet 3 teens who are getting ELL help
Springfield News-Leader
In search of better schools and lives, Ally Mohamed's parents found Springfield on a map. They fled their East African country and, after a brief stop in Arizona, settled in southwest Missouri so their children — including Ally's two brothers and two sisters — could enroll in Springfield Public Schools. "In Tanzania, the education there is not that good and they have to pay a lot of money for it," said Ally, 16. The entire family speaks Swahili, and a little English, at home so it was a challenge for the children to read, write and take tests in a new language.
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No impact study on ETA yet, best to upgrade English teachers — KGBS
Borneo Post
Malaysia: Sending existing local English teachers for courses either locally or overseas will be a more viable long-term solution to elevate the performance of English language in Sarawak. This, according to Sarawak Bumiputera Teachers Union, will expose the teachers to the latest teaching and learning methodology, including the best practices on teaching. "KGBS is confident such a method is more beneficial than utilizing the services of an English teaching assistant which is confined to certain clusters of schools."
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ESL program at Vancouver Community College axed
CBC News
Canada: Vancouver Community College teachers were told at a staff meeting that funding for the college's English as a second language program will run out in December. Faculty Association President Karen Shortt says about 72 staff members will get layoff notices in June and the program will close entirely in December. The federal government announced in 2012 that it would cancel the Canada-B.C. Immigration Agreement which funded ESL training.
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Students needed to teach English as a foreign language
News Shopper
London: Students in south-east London and north Kent are needed to teach English as a foreign language. Global youth travel specialist Smaller Earth U.K. is urging young people who are keen for a break to take up English teaching in countries such as Vietnam, the Czech Republic and China. Christopher Coventry of Smaller Earth U.K. said: "We take young people fed up of their treadmill lifestyles and send them on awesome trips around the world." Our language school offers the opportunity for people to spend four weeks working as a TEFL teacher abroad in countries as diverse as Vietnam, the Czech Republic and China.
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Research thrives at KAU's English Language Institute
Arab News
Saudi Arabia: The English Language Institute at the King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah is making new forays in the fields of teaching, research and professional development, achieving ever-new frontiers in the pursuit of excellence. With the CEA accreditation for the English language program and the NCAAA currently under way, the English Language Institute is striving to live up to the university's mission of enriching society through cultural prominence, scientific acumen and pioneering research.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    TESOL releases new Common Core resources for teachers of English learners (District Administration Magazine)
65,000 English language teachers to be retrained (The Rakyat Post)
ESL classes growing in suburban schools (The Saratogian)
Spelling quiz: How good are you? (The Telegraph)
How teacher shadowing benefits education employees (HomeRoom)

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




Learning a second language in adulthood can slow brain ageing
The Telegraph
Learning a second language can slow the brain's ageing, even if it is learnt in adulthood, according to new research. Previous studies have showed that being bilingual could delay the onset of dementia by several years. The latest research sought to answer the question of whether people improve their brain function through learning new languages or whether those with better brain functions are more likely to become bilingual.
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Is all this student data changing the way teachers teach?
MindShift
With so much access to student data these days, teachers are experimenting with different tactics, and figuring out what's working and what's not. As with most scenarios using education technology, it's a mixed bag. But questions of privacy aside, how it's used depends on a variety of factors in each school and in each teacher's classroom. Some teachers are embracing student data to inform their teaching, while others believe there's a risk of an over-reliance on hard numbers that doesn't take into account the human factor.
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Do educators really need blog posts?
Edutopia (commentary)
Way back in the 20th century when a collaborative-spirited administrator would come across a helpful article in an education journal about some new methodology or pedagogy, he or she would share it with the faculty — if possible. The methods of collaboration were not as sophisticated or convenient as today. Often the replication of an article fell to a typist who could type on a mimeo sheet for the purpose of reproducing copies for the members of the faculty. Later in the century, the thermo fax enabled copying the document directly to a duplicating sheet.
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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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