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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   June 10, 2014

 





'English proficiency of government school students, teachers abysmal'
The Indian Express
Maharashtra: English language proficiency of Class IX and X students of government and government-aided schools in Maharashtra is abysmally low, reveals an assessment by the British Council, commissioned by the state government. The need analysis was conducted to investigate the level of teaching and learning English in Classes IX and X of all language medium schools.
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ELLs test-drive new English language proficiency assessments
Education Week
It's been a field-testing frenzy all spring with five separate assessment groups asking school districts and students to test drive the array of new exams they are designing to measure students' command of the Common Core standards. After a slow start, the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium, one of two groups of states that are developing Common Core aligned tests of English language proficiency, will wrap up its first phase of field testing at the end of this month.
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Children see improvement in language when they are physically fit
RedOrbit
Physically fit children are not only healthier, they have faster and more robust neuro-electrical brain responses while reading, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Illinois. The findings were published in the Brain and Cognition journal. Although the research doesn't prove that higher fitness directly affects the changes in the electrical activity in the brain, it does offer a mechanism to explain why physical fitness associates closely with improved cognitive performance with a variety of tasks and language skills.
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TESOL research agenda 2014
TESOL
The 2014 Research Agenda Task Force welcomes your comments about both the content of the draft agenda and 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 in the newly launched TESOL Resource Center to add your feedback.
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Call for contributors: Teaching With Humor
TESOL
The TESOL Book Publications Committee seeks contributions for a volume in TESOL's New Ways Series entitled New Ways in Teaching With Humor. The content will include teaching ideas and activities for using or teaching about humor in English. Particularly welcome are research-informed perspectives which manage to use humor as a tool for providing insights into language and culture. Read the full call. Deadline is 1 December 2014.
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6 strategies for teaching ELLs across the content areas
TESOL
English language learners in primary school need explicit instruction to acquire both content and language. Content teachers can use these strategies in their classrooms. Other recent TESOL blogs: ESL Games: Fractured Fables; ESP Interview Training: Identifying Leadership; and Teaching the News: More Online Sources for News Materials.
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Recent releases from TESOL Press
TESOL
TESOL Press, the publishing arm of TESOL International Association, has recently released new publications for English language teaching professionals. The new titles focus on a range of topics from teaching business English to advocating for English learners. Read the full press release.
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Multilingual or not, infants learn words best when it sounds like home
Science Daily via SAGE Publications
Growing up in a multilingual home has many advantages, but many parents worry that exposure to multiple languages might delay language acquisition.

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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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States spending the most on education
USA Today
For the third year, public expenditure per student fell nationwide, according to a recent release from the U.S. Census Bureau. Per pupil, school spending totaled $10,608 in 2012, roughly the same amount as the year before. Due to a number of factors, however, spending per student ranged widely among the 50 states. New York was the nation's top spender, at $19,552 per pupil. Utah, on the other hand, spent just $6,206 for every student. Based on the U.S. Census Bureau's latest release on education spending, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the states that spent the most and least on education per student.
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  LAS Links Assessments Go Online

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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Report: Teacher absenteeism can hurt student achievement
U.S. News & World Report
Teachers nationwide are in the classroom 94 percent of the school year, but students may still be getting shortchanged by the more than 1 in 10 teachers deemed to be chronically absent, according to a new report released by the National Council on Teacher Quality. Using data from 40 large school districts across the country from the 2012-2013 school year the NCTQ found that, on average, teachers missed nearly 11 days out of a 186-day school year. This is considered frequently absent. Still, 16 percent of those teachers missed 18 or more days — equivalent to about 10 percent of the school year — and were considered chronically absent, the report found.
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Most US students won't be taking PARCC or Smarter Balanced tests
Education Week
If states' current testing plans remain steady for a year, only 42 percent of the K-12 students in the United States are likely to take common assessments designed by the two federal funded testing consortia, PARCC and Smarter Balanced. Fifty-eight percent of U.S. K-12 students live in states that have chosen other tests, or haven't yet decided which tests they're using.
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Texas test scores are in: Poor students, ESL students are still struggling with STAAR more than peers
The Huntsville Item
Preliminary statewide results came back for the STAAR test for Texas students in grades 3 through 8. While honors students were the highest performing group, many demographics still lag behind the curve. Students taking English as a second language classes are having the toughest time with passing rates, as the latest results reveal they are 26.2 percent behind non-ESL students. Economically disadvantaged students also struggle with passing rates about 20.2 percent behind their peers.
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Access program graduates 179 teenaged ESL students
The Tico Times
Costa Rica: After two years of classes, workbooks and intensive study camps, more than 179 students graduated from an English program hosted by the Costa Rican-North American Cultural Center in San Pedro. Every student ranges in age from 14 to 16 years, and — according to the mission of the Access Microscholarship Program — come from low-income or at-risk households. "Our philosophy is experiential learning," said Andrés Solís, an instructor and coordinator with the Access program. "Everything they learn in the classroom they can also use outside of the classroom. But it's up to them to find opportunities to speak English. It's hard, because a lot of them are shy."
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Oregon schools should embrace this change for English language learners
The Oregonian
In many Oregon schools, the formula for teaching English as a second language goes something like this: Identify a student as an English language learner. Receive extra funding year after year because of that designation. Watch the student drop out of high school after failing to learn fluent English during two, five, even nine years in class. Repeat. Oregon schools chief Rob Saxton is ready to change that formula.
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Professional Development Opportunities in Washington DC

CAL Institutes provide research-based strategies and practical, hands-on tools to help educators develop effective classroom activities on a variety of key topics, including meeting the demands of the Common Core State Standards.

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Multilingual or not, infants learn words best when it sounds like home
Science Daily via SAGE Publications
Growing up in a multilingual home has many advantages, but many parents worry that exposure to multiple languages might delay language acquisition. New research could now lay some of these multilingual myths to rest, thanks to a revealing study that shows both monolingual and bilingual infants learn a new word best from someone with a language background that matches their own.
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New report on language diversity and English proficiency among AAPIs
Northwest Asian Weekly
The Center for American Progress, in conjunction with AAPI Data, released a report on language diversity and English proficiency among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. This release is part of the report series "State of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders." Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are among the fastest growing racial groups in the United States, and language diversity is an important aspect to understand these communities, states the Center for American Progress. People who encounter language barriers tend to earn less, have limited access to quality health care, and are less likely to participate in civic and political life, according to the Center.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Common Core test experts explain ELL and special education supports (Education Week)
From language skills to teaching prowess (Language Magazine)
4 favorite tools for English language learning (eSchool News)
To write English like a professor, don't rely on Google translate (The Conversation)
Motivating kids to learn English is vital for the country's future growth (The Nation)

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


Does the language you speak influence how you think?
Mother Nature Network
Suppose a friend said to you in English, "I'm visiting my uncle." From this sentence alone there's little you can glean about this uncle. However, if you and your friend spoke Korean and she told you she was visiting her uncle, you'd know several things about him based on what word for "uncle" she used. Let's say she informed you she was visiting samchon. This word alone would inform you that her uncle is her father's unmarried younger brother. In Korean, as in Chinese, the speaker has no choice but to encode this kind of information into the sentence. The languages require speakers to think about their family relationships when speaking of them.
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Underreacting to struggling English language learners: The problem with delaying intervention in the early years
International Reading Association
Diagnosing reading difficulties is a nuanced process. For example, educators have to discern whether students struggle with skills-based competencies (at the word level) and/or whether they are having problems with the knowledge-based competencies (e.g., vocabulary, conceptual understanding) that are necessary to comprehend text. When teaching English language learners, the process can be even more complicated, and today's prevailing response presents a dilemma.
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The impact of the 'summer slide'
StateImpact
Ah, the summer slide. It's not your child's playground agenda during their school vacation — it's a term used for the regression of students' skills over their scholastic summer breaks. School summer vacations typically leave U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan a little bit baffled. "Students and teachers work so hard, get to a certain point in June, and too many come back in the fall further behind than when they left," said Duncan. "That just simply makes no sense."
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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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