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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   June 17, 2014

 





Are English teachers in Spain underqualified?
The Local
Spain: Recently Madrid's government caused controversy when it announced it would hire extra native English teaching assistants (auxiliares) for the region's bilingual schools for the 2014–2015 school year. Unions slammed the move, saying the teachers were being hired 'via the back door' and lacked the necessary Spanish qualifications — mainly the 'oposiciones,' Spain's public entry examinations. They also criticized the fact that Spanish teachers are required to speak both languages whereas the "Anglophones aren't expected to speak Spanish."
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Retirees help international students with English
The Associated Press via Zanesville Times Recorder
International students at a southwest Ohio college are getting help with conversational English from retirees. A Wright State University initiative called Conversation Partners matches retired faculty, staff and spouses with students seeking extra practice to improve their English. It's part of an intensive English program that helps non-native speakers develop language, academic and social skills meant to help them be successful at a U.S. university.
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Language debate continues in South African schools
eNews Channel Africa
South Africa: The debate about the language of instruction in South African schools still continues, nearly four decades since the Soweto uprisings. The 1976 Soweto uprisings were driven by opposition to being taught in an unfamiliar language. The Bill of Rights provides that everyone receive an education in an official language of his or her choice, but this is not always the case. Many children in South African public schools are still not taught in their mother tongue. English is one of the most widely spoken languages in the world and a popular medium of instruction in local public schools.
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4 World Cup writing activities
TESOL
Try out these World Cup-related writing activities with your English language learners to get them in an athletics and writing state of mind! Other recent TESOL Blog posts: Questioning Techniques to Engage Students in Critical Thinking, Google+ Education: Part 4 and TESOL's New Strategic Plan.
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Call for submissions: TESOL Connections
TESOL
TESOL Connections, your go-to newsletter for practical, useful English language teaching articles and resources, is seeking submissions. Submit your article, lesson plan, or Quick Tip today and share your expertise with the English language teachers around the world! Please review submission guidelines before submitting.
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TESOL Annual Convention 2015: Reviewer FAQs
TESOL
Are you a reviewer for TESOL 2015? The 2015 Annual Convention, with the theme of "Crossing Borders, Building Bridges," takes place in Toronto, Canada, 25–28 March. Here are some FAQs to help guide you in the review process.
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Elevate the teaching profession by participating in the National Board field test
National Board for Professional Teaching Standards
The National Board is recruiting PreK-12 teachers as well as undergraduate and graduate students seeking a teaching license to participate in field tests of the revised National Board Certification process. In exchange for 3.5 hours of your time, you will be eligible to receive up to $50 in gift cards upon successful completion of each online testing appointment. Share the news with your colleagues and sign up today!
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Retirees help international students with English
The Associated Press via Zanesville Times Recorder
International students at a southwest Ohio college are getting help with conversational English from retirees.

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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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Some states roll back teacher tenure protections
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
Even before a judge's scathing ruling against California's teacher tenure policies, the once-sacred protections that make it harder to fire teachers already had been weakened in many states — and even removed altogether in some places. Florida, for example, put all teachers hired after 2011 on an annual teaching contract, which essentially did away with tenure protections. Kansas and North Carolina also are seeking to eliminate tenure or phase it out. The nonpartisan Education Commission of the States, which highlighted the changes in a recent report, says 16 states — up from 10 in 2011 — now require the results of teacher evaluations be used in determining whether to grant tenure.
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Common Core sparks flood of legislation
eSchool News
Stephen Colbert mocked it. Comedian Louis C.K. called it a "massive stress ball that hangs over the whole school." And lawmakers in state capitols spent countless hours over the past few months debating it. Their target is the Common Core, a set of math and English language arts standards voluntarily adopted beginning four years ago by all but a handful of states. The standards define what students should know and be able to do by the end of each grade.
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How state education agencies spend federal education dollars and why
Center for American Progress
Historically, state departments of education, or SEAs, have — for the most part — been compliance-focused organizations that managed federal education policy. Over the past several decades, these agencies have been education policy implementation entities. Today, while their compliance responsibilities have remained, they are taking on more responsibility for education and academic outcomes than ever before, substantially increasing the scope of their work. State leaders and their staffs must distribute federal education dollars and monitor the districts' use of these funds in accordance to regulations set by federal policymakers.
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After parents rally, school district agrees to audit English language programs
The Beacon-News
An independent auditor will come to Oswego School District 308 in Illinois to evaluate four programs for English language learners this fall. The auditor will look at what's going right and wrong in the programs, as well as how much they are costing the district, and will make recommendations for future improvements that the district plans to "aggressively pursue and implement." The audit announcement comes after dozens of parents, teachers and students banded together to voice fears that the district's dual language program, which helps native English- and Spanish-speakers to fully master both languages, was on the chopping block.
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Alfaisal University inks deal to promote student interest
Arab News
Saudi Arabia: The Riyadh-based Alfaisal University has inked here recently a strategic partnership with the Australia-based International English Language Testing System to become the official IELTS testing center in the region. In a statement, Faisal Al- Mubarak, AU provost and chief academic officer, said the aim of the deal is to support all students who wish to complete their studies in local and international universities as part of the framework of its ambitious plan in cooperation with international bodies.
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New urgency around adult education
EdSurge
Just before Memorial Day Weekend, a group of food service workers on Cape Cod gathered together during their off hours to play video games — and improve their English. Mostly Brazilian-born immigrants, they'd been asked to participate in a pilot version of the new English language games created by Skylab Learning, a startup that's developed several new gaming apps with "snackable" (5-10 minute) units with vocabulary specifically tailored for the food service industry.
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Arabic MOOC platform Edraak launches to bring quality education to the region
Wamda
Africa: Massive Open Online Courses — MOOCs as they are more commonly known — are online courses that are offered to large amounts of participants, and they are quite often free. While English language MOOC platforms such as edX, Coursera, and Udacity have gained traction across the globe, an Arabic MOOC has yet to gain a significant foothold. Launched two weeks ago in Amman, Edraak is the first pan-Arab initiative of the Queen Rania Foundation for Education and Development of its kind, and seeks to make quality education more accessible for a population that is thirsty for both additional and higher quality educational opportunities.
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Kyoto textile maker to increase classes for foreigners
The Japan Times
Japan: A leading artisan textile maker that offers training courses in English is expanding its classes to meet demand from students overseas. Kawashima Selkon Textiles Co. said Monday the planned new session would complement the two it already holds annually for foreigners and will likely begin next year. "We've received an increasing number of inquiries about the school in recent years," said Yuki Ariga, spokeswoman for the Kyoto-based maker of traditional and artisan textiles.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    ELLs test-drive new English language proficiency assessments (Education Week)
Does the language you speak influence how you think? (Mother Nature Network)
Children see improvement in language when they are physically fit (RedOrbit)
Open-source software tools for TESOL professionals (By: Beth Crumpler)
Here's how engaging lessons motivate English learners (eSchool News)

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




Children can tell when a teacher commits 'sins of omission'
Medical News Today
Children learn a great deal about the world from their own exploration, but they also rely on what adults tell them. Studies have shown that children can figure out when someone is lying to them, but cognitive scientists from MIT recently tackled a subtler question: Can children tell when adults are telling them the truth, but not the whole truth?
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Is background TV harming your toddler's language development?
Taylor & Francis via Science Daily
We already know how important parent input is in developing children's language skills, and that a reduction in child-directed language could have a negative impact on their language development. New research suggests that the presence of background TV is a significant factor in reducing this vital input, affecting both the quantity and quality of language spoken by parents to their children.
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Homework 2.0: It's time to upgrade our approach
By: Brian Stack
In the 20th century, each student was assigned the same weekly assignment, because homework was a one-size-fits-all model. The educational community subscribed to research such as that by Walberg, Paschal and Weinstein who wrote about "Homework's Powerful Effects on Learning" in 1985. Fast-forward to today and few would argue the importance of homework. But in today's world, the purpose, amount and type of homework that teachers assign looks vastly different than 20 years ago. If we are to continue to use homework as an instructional tool in our modern world, then we must upgrade to this new understanding of homework — call it homework 2.0.
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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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