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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   June 06, 2014

 



Motivating kids to learn English is vital for the country's future growth
The Nation
Thailand: Already 40 percent of Thailand's annual income is derived directly or indirectly from tourism and services related to it. To be able to offer qualified and attractive services and experiences, it is essential for Thai people to be able to communicate fluently in a foreign language. One cannot overemphasize the importance of English communication skills, since in the neighboring countries people already converse in increasingly better English. To check out the situation, one just needs to travel and speak with them. In a recent international case study, a small academic team researched the motivation and learning engagement connections and levels of Thai ninth-grade students in English language classrooms in public, private and demonstration schools in the capital city.
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Pay attention! How to actively teach listening skills
By: Erick Herrmann
If you ask teachers what their greatest frustrations are in the classroom, inevitably you will be told that students do not know how to listen. When listening, students need not only to hear the words, but also to distill the most important messages from what is being said and integrate those words into their understanding. For students with processing disorders and for students who are learning English as a new language, this can be especially challenging. Yet many teachers have not been shown how to explicitly teach listening skills in their teacher education programs or through professional development.
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Study: Immigrant parents less likely to read to their children
Reuters
Minority children often lag behind their peers in language development when they start preschool. According to a new study, some of that disparity in school readiness may be due to differences in the frequency of "book sharing" among families.

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Los Angeles schools' plan for non-English speakers: Segregation or solution?
The Christian Science Monitor
Los Angeles schools are moving forward with a plan to separate English language learner students from native speakers in all core elementary school classes. Protests have erupted.

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US experts to train Saudis in English language teaching
Arab News
Saudi Arabia: The Ministry of Education has invited specialists from Columbia University in the United States to train Saudi teachers on methods of teaching the English language.

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New York state sets focus on English learners
Education Week
With the shift to the common standards and recent history of low student-achievement results as catalysts, education leaders in New York state are pushing a new agenda for English language learners that calls for more accountability for their needs and more opportunities for rigorous bilingual and dual-language instruction.
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Teachers hit the Common Core wall
NPR
This time next year, millions of schoolkids in the U.S. will sit down for their first Common Core test. In some places, the stakes will be high — for kids, their teachers and their communities. The goal of the Core benchmarks in reading and math is to better prepare students for college, career and the global economy. But the challenges are huge. For one, the standards are higher than many of the state standards they're replacing. And, as we reported earlier, new standards as rigorous as the Core require lots of other changes, too — to textbooks, lesson plans, homework assignments. You name it.
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Breaking the language barrier
Chesterfield Observer
Chesterfield County, Virginia's school system is working to improve its curriculum for middle school students who have learned English as a second language. In English for speakers of other languages courses, these students are given assistance to master reading, writing and speech. Since last spring, the school system has been working to overhaul the curriculum used in its middle schools for students of medium-to-high-level English proficiency.
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Sebring, Fla., middle school students use cellphones to learn English
The Tampa Tribune
While the rest of the student body must keep their cellphones out of sight during school hours, for some of their classmates, a cellphone stays out of pocket and is the link between comprehension and culture. During the 2013-14 school year, 14 Sebring Middle School in Florida foreign-born students regularly carried cell phones as translation devices, a way for them to instantly access definitions of unfamiliar English words, phrases and parts of speech. Through a business-education partnership with Boost Mobile in Avon Park and Sebring, 14 new Kyocera Hydro cellphones were donated to be used for what the school called "translators" for 14 English for speakers of other languages and English language learner sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders at Sebring middle.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keyword ENGLISH.




Changes to visa language testing
Neos Kosmos
Australia: Visa applicants will have more choice in English language testing with the addition of more test options for temporary graduate, skilled, work and holiday, and former resident visas, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Senator Michaelia Cash, said. The changes, which come into effect in November, are in line with the department's focus on increasing competition in the English language testing market for visas.
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Not shying away from English anymore
The Times of India
India: Tribal students in south Gujarat have realized that learning English could better their career prospects. In the last three years, the number of students taking admission in Veer Narmad South Gujarat University has significantly increased. In fact, close to 95 percent of the students are now opting for English as the medium of instruction as well as learning the subject in various courses.
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To write English like a professor, don't rely on Google translate
The Conversation
Thankfully, nobody speaks academic English as a first language. The English of the university is a very particular form that has specific features and conventions. Sometimes, this is just referred to as "academic style." It used to be a matter of instinct — what felt right. But now a large amount of research is using a "big data" approach to analyze millions of words of academic writing. This has resulted in projects such as the Academic Word List, the 570 most commonly used words in academic text across disciplines, (excluding the 2,000 most common words in English).
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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.




Study: Immigrant parents less likely to read to their children
Reuters
Minority children often lag behind their peers in language development when they start preschool. According to a new study, some of that disparity in school readiness may be due to differences in the frequency of "book sharing" among families. The study found that parents in Hispanic or Asian immigrant families in California were less likely to read or look at picture books with their young children than non-Hispanic white parents.
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Study: Teachers absent from class way too much
USA Today
On average, teachers were in the classroom in school systems in the largest metro areas 94 percent of the school year, but even that rate results in an average of 11 days absent. In many districts, a significant percentage of teachers exceeded that number: 28 percent of teachers overall were absent 11 to 17 days — frequently absent — and 16 percent, nearly 1 in 6, were gone 18 days or more, called chronically absent in this report. Nine districts had more than half of their teachers absent for more than two weeks of the school year.
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Brain signals link physical fitness to better language skills in kids
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign via Medical Xpress
Children who are physically fit have faster and more robust neuro-electrical brain responses during reading than their less-fit peers, researchers report. These differences correspond with better language skills in the children who are more fit, and occur whether they're reading straightforward sentences or sentences that contain errors of grammar or syntax.
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4 favorite tools for English language learning
eSchool News
Here are reviews of four high-quality digital tools that can help teach English language skills, courtesy of Common Sense Media and its new Graphite service — a free database of teacher-written reviews of learning technologies.
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How students make progress in learning
MindShift
When we think and talk about learning, the metaphors we use matter. The language we employ when we describe how learning works can illuminate the process, allowing us to make accurate judgments and predictions — or it can lead us astray, setting up false expectations and giving us a misleading impression of what's going on. One of the most common analogies we apply to education is that of a staircase. As we learn, this model assumes, we steadily ascend in our knowledge and skills, leaving more elementary approaches behind. A child learning math, for example, will replace a simple strategy like counting on fingers with a more sophisticated strategy like retrieving math facts from memory.
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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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