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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Jun. 6, 2012

Stanford-led Common Core project for ELLs previews new resources
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For those of you hungry for resources, advice, ideas, or guidance on how to prepare educators for teaching th common standards to English learners, the team of prominent experts working on exactly this issue has begun to roll out new draft materials. The group — led by Stanford University education professor Kenji Hakuta and Maria Santos, the former head of programs for ELLs in New York City's public schools — gave a preview of several resources under development at a Seattle meeting of the Council of the Great City Schools. Gabriela Uro, who heads up ELL policy and research for the council, is a member of Hakuta and Santos' "Understanding Language" team. More

Educators struggle to teach students whose English is infused with Spanish
Fox News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Iris Huerta was born in Guadalajara, Mexico but was raised in East Los Angeles. When she was in high school, her family moved to a neighborhood where the Latina became a minority. Then an AP English student, Huerta was surprised when she had to convince her new school that she was fluent in English. "They made me take a standardized test and a listening test," she recalled. "They straight out told me if you hadn't told us you spoke Spanish at home you wouldn't have to take the test." Educators are increasingly concerned about Latino students like Huerta. Some don't speak Spanish but use a dialect from Latino neighborhoods in areas such as Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Houston. Their speech rings with traces of Spanish accents, rhythm and grammar. More

Register now for virtual seminar on TESOL P-12 Professional Standards for Teacher Preparation
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On 13 June, Diane Staehr Fenner and Natalie Kuhlman will host a virtual seminar titled TESOL P-12 Professional Standards for Teacher Preparation: Practical Applications. This virtual seminar provides an overview of the TESOL P-12 Professional Standards and explains the need for professional standards for teachers of ELLs. It then illustrates practical applications of the standards to ESL teacher education program development, NCATE recognition of ESL teacher education programs and professional development of in-service teachers. TESOL virtual seminars are free for TESOL members and $45 for nonmembers. The early registration deadline is tomorrow, 7 June, so register today.

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How do you get your students talking?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On 18 July, Noël Hauck and Donna Tatsuki will host a virtual seminar to help answer that question. Titled 7 Ways to Get Your Students Talking in the EFL Classroom, this virtual seminar will provide the resources, structures, and insights that you need to renovate and energize your speaking class. The early registration deadline is 12 July. For more information and to register, please visit TESOL's website.

Virtual seminars are free for members and $45 for nonmembers. Join TESOL, attend two webinars, and your membership pays for itself.

Register today for TESOL Academy in California
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Each TESOL Academy features six 10-hour workshops focused on key issues and areas of practice in English language teaching and learning. Register now for the TESOL academy at California State University, 13-14 July. Each academy workshop is limited to 35 participants, so register early to get your first choice. The early registration deadline is 15 June.

And if you have registered for the TESOL Academy in Michigan on 22-23 June, here is good news: The housing deadline has been extended to 8 June. Book your hotel now.

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Develop your leadership skills and support the field at TESOL Advocacy Day
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Help TESOL International Association advocate for education policies that matter to you, your students and the field. Join your colleagues from across the United States in Washington, D.C., for TESOL Advocacy Day 2012. The event includes advocacy training activities you'll use when you visit Capitol Hill and back at home. The registration deadline is 11 June.

TESOL Past President and Executive Director visit Kabul, Afghanistan
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In April, The U.S. Department of State invited TESOL Past President Dr. Christine Coombe and TESOL Executive Director Dr. Rosa Aronson to speak at a seminar on professionalizing English language teaching at Kabul Education University. While they were there, the Taliban attacked Kabul and other major Afghan cities. You can read Dr. Aronson's day-by-day reflections on their visit at the TESOL Blog.

Districts gear up for Race to Top scramble
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leaders of some large-city school districts say they are prepared to jump into the competition for nearly $400 million in new Race to the Top grants from the U.S. Department of Education. But the head of a coalition of rural districts said that while the money would be welcomed, it may require too much effort from small district staffs to apply for and to administer. Draft regulations for the rewards would require districts to put a major focus on helping schools tailor instruction to the needs of individual students. More

NCLB waivers: More time, new goals, but still: Those tests
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As you've probably already heard, eight more states got waivers from the central tenets of the No Child Left Behind Act. Along with the states that won waivers in the first round, this news means that 19 states have proposed — and won the U.S. Department of Education's blessing for — new accountability systems and other changes that are meant to allow new and purportedly better ways of producing student achievement gains. More

New science standards: Bound for glory, or running behind?
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Physics teaches us that speed, acceleration, direction of movement and time are all relative to a reference point. This principle, related to objects and motion, is worth considering as a metaphor for education policy. It is particularly poignant in thinking about the promise and challenges of the National Research Council's framework for K-12 science education and the just-released draft of the voluntary Next Generation Science Standards. More

How much will the Common Core cost?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
States face key spending decisions as they implement the Common Core State Standards, and a new study finds that they could save about $927 million — or spend as much as $8.3 billion — depending on the approaches they choose in three vital areas: curriculum materials, tests and professional development. The report by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute examines the net costs of three hypothetical transition routes to the new standards in mathematics and English/language arts. More

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Civil rights groups sue state for violating rights of English learners
The San Diego Union-Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Civil rights groups are accusing the state of violating the constitutional rights of English learnersin the Dinuba Unified School District by implementing a program that bars first- and second-grade non-English-speaking students from reading classes. District teachers and parents say the program, called Structured Language Acquisition Development Instruction, requires first- and second-grade English learners to deconstruct complex sentences and memorize formal parts of speech before they have been taught basic reading skills. More

Why teacher merit pay can't work today — and what can be done about this
eSchool News (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Having spent two decades working in the private sector before running for our local school board, I was unaccustomed to a school district's degree of openness. Like most public agencies, ours is essentially an open book — all of our board meetings are held in public (with limited exceptions), all of our contracts are public, vendor bidding is public, all decisions are made public and all employees' salaries are public. That makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? We use tax dollars as our main source of income. More

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Latin America and the English language
The Huffington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Puerto Rico: After the official announcement of Puerto Rico's plans to become bilingual by 2022 a question arises: Will Puerto Rico reach the goal without losing its cultural identity? The idea of an eventual alienation from their culture seems to be one of the reasons Puerto Ricans are reluctant to learn English, and it is a fact that Latin Americans in general are protective of their culture. This is evidenced, among other things, by the efforts of Latino immigrant parents in the United States to maintain their own traditions for their children, who are constantly exposed to the American culture. More

Teachers taught how to encourage students learning to speak English
The Des Moines Register    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Roughly 150 Des Moines public school teachers spent their first day of summer vacation in a familiar place — the classroom. The educators — all of whom teach kindergarten or first grade — celebrated the end of another academic year with their young charges. But as the demographics of Des Moines change, so do teaching tactics. Their mission? Create classrooms designed to bring English Language Learners out of their shells while boosting oral language development. More

Grades found to give 'early warning' on ELL dropouts
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
How well English language learners perform in their ninth grade courses in Chicago's public high schools is a much stronger predictor of their graduation prospects than their language proficiency, regardless of students' race or ethnicity, or the length of time they have been receiving language instruction, according to a new study. More

Duncan meets with, takes suggestions from LGBT students
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
One recent high school graduate told U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan that her principal had a rule about what students wear to special events: girls in girls' clothes; boys in boys' clothes. Another said that as a seventh-grader, the physical education teacher told students to run fast — "like faggots". Yet another said a friend's 5-year-old brother declared that something was "so gay" after hearing the phrase used in by his kindergarten classmates. More

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Asking questions while reading out loud improves literacy, new study reveals
Chicago Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
While reading at all ages has always been seen as important for child growth and development in literacy, now the benefits of asking students questions during reading are becoming even clearer. A new educational study released this week reveals that if a teacher stops to check for comprehension in children during read aloud time, kids have a much higher chance to learn the material and become better readers themselves. More

Taiwan-developed robotic English teacher makes its debut
Focus Taiwan    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Taiwan: A locally developed and manufactured robot that has been programmed to teach English made its debut Friday on the opening day of the 15th International CALL Research Conference at Providence University in Taichung. The robotic English teacher has a "large doll head" and arms and a body that are able to make movements based on the dialogues being taught in an English class. Vivian Wu, one of the robot's designers and an associate professor of English language, literature and linguistics at Providence University, said the robot's appearance can be modified based on the nature of the language program it is being used for. More

US officials try to assuage international educators concerns over English programs
Inside Higher Ed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Speakers from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security addressed continuing confusion over the agency's interpretation of a new federal law requiring accreditation of intensive English programs at the annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference. Those in attendance seemed to find the federal officials' answers to key questions — most urgently, what documentation such "university-governed" English programs must submit in order to prove their accreditation, and retain their right to enroll international students — to be largely unsatisfying. More

State department draws criticism over policy on paid recruiters of foreign students
The Chronicle of Higher Educaiton    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of State has overstepped its authority in issuing a policy against the use of paid recruiters for overseas students. That was the charge made during a panel discussion, the final day of the annual meeting of Nafsa: Association of International Educators. Mitch Leventhal is a founder of the American International Recruitment Council, or Airc, a group that develops standards of ethical practices and a system for certifying overseas recruiters. Federal law says that government agencies should defer to industry-based standards, unless those standards are illegal or otherwise impractical, Leventhal said at a session on the pros and cons of working with agents. More

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College Board creates guide to help undocumented students
The Miami Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For high school students who are also undocumented immigrants, the path to a college education is one that is often fraught with anxiety, confusion and frustration. In Florida and most other states, undocumented students must pay much-higher out-of-state tuition to attend college, and certain key sources of financial aid, such as federal Pell Grants, are off-limits. Proposed federal legislation — known as the DREAM Act — that would offer in-state tuition and other benefits to these students has been stalled in Congress for years. More

How immigrants learn English in rural America
WBEZ-FM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Immigrants have long turned to rural America as a source of work, but often struggle because they lack English language skills. That's a little different in Beardstown, Ill., a town about an hour west of Springfield. Beardstown is home to about 6,000 people. In many ways, it's like other rural towns — struggling local economies surrounded by cornfields. But Beardstown is also home to a large pork-processing plant that's owned by Minnesota-based Cargill, Inc. Over the past few decades, the plant has legally hired hundreds of immigrants. Most are from Latin America and Africa. More

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Why daydreaming isn't a waste of time
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Parents and teachers expend a lot of energy getting kids to pay attention, concentrate and focus on the task in front of them. What adults don't do, according to University of Southern California education professor Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, is teach children the value of the more diffuse mental activity that characterizes our inner lives: daydreaming, remembering, reflecting. Yet this kind of introspection is crucial to our mental health, to our relationships, and to our emotional and moral development. And it promotes the skill parents and teachers care so much about: the capacity to focus on the world outside our heads. More

Scientists find learning is not 'hard-wired'
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Neuroscience exploded into the education conversation more than 20 years ago, in step with the evolution of personal computers and the rise of the Internet, and policymakers hoped medical discoveries could likewise help doctors and teachers understand the "hard wiring" of the brain. That conception of how the brain works, exacerbated by the difficulty in translating research from lab to classroom, spawned a generation of neuro-myths and snake-oil pitches—from programs to improve cross-hemisphere brain communication to teaching practices aimed at "auditory" or "visual" learners. More

Why Twitter and Facebook are not good instructional tools
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I remember feeling like a rebellious trailblazer when I first asked my eighth-grade students to take out their cellphones for a class activity in the fall of 2009. The eighth-graders' eyes lit up as they reached into their pockets, prized gadgets finally allowed to breath open air after being crammed in with gum, pencils and crumpled papers. After all, school policy prohibited the devices from being out at all during the school day. I was the cool teacher, seeing beyond the anachronistic policy and bringing 21st-century learning into the classroom. More

How to teach minority children, the new US majority
Bangor Daily News (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The news that minority babies make up a majority of all births in the United States should be a wake-up call. This shift to a majority-minority population has been taking place for years while the way minorities are educated in our public schools has stayed the same. It's time to think about next-generation America — a young, unprecedentedly diverse group with different needs, and strengths, from generations past. Immigrant youths and the children of immigrants are one of the lowest-performing groups in U.S. public schools. But they will account for virtually all growth in the work force over the next 40 years, the Brookings Institution has estimated, based on census data. More

Why teachers need social media training, not just rules
Spotlight    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Under a new set of social media guidelines issued by the New York City Department of Education, teachers are required to obtain a supervisor's approval before creating a "professional social media presence," which is broadly defined as "any form of online publication or presence that allows interactive communication, including, but not limited to, social networks, blogs, internet websites, internet forums and wikis." 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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Craig Triplett, Senior Editor, Web Content and Social Media Manager for TESOL, 703-518-2526
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