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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   June 27, 2014


How should we organize a kindergarten classroom of ELLs?
By Alanna Mazzon
I started teaching kindergarten in Beijing last year, and I've been thinking more about the best approach to teaching young children. Back in Canada, we used the full-day, play-based method for kindergarten. Here in Beijing — specifically at the school at which I work — we do not have a set program for kindergarten; it is up to the teacher to decide what works best. This left me wondering, what is the best way to organize a kindergarten classroom — especially one that is full of English language learners?
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Iowa: Teachers prepare as English language learner population grows
English language learners are one of Iowa's fastest growing student populations and teachers from all over the state are in the metro learning new strategies for the classroom. An Iowa education report showed nearly 24,000 Iowa students are considered English language learners, which is why more instructors are needed.
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Discounted registration for the TESOL Academy in Seoul, Korea
Organized in partnership with Sookmyung Women’s University (SMU), this 2-day academy, 26–27 July 2014, provides ELT teachers, teacher trainers, and administrators with the latest thinking on building quality ELT organizations and programs through effective leadership, management, and teacher training. Register today and save!

Last chance: ESL for the Secondary Science Teacher
Need help teaching English language learners in your science classroom? TESOL can help! Explore the role of cultural perspectives in learning science; guiding principles of second language acquisition; and methods of instructional alignment of objectives, teaching, and assessment of scientific learning. Limited space available. 7 July–3 August. Registration closes 2 July.

Registration closing: Separating Difference From Disability
7 July – 3 August

Explore assessment, intervention, and identification techniques effective in separating difference from disability with students learning English as an additional language. Learn what tools and strategies are available and appropriate to use. Space is limited. Registration ends 2 July.

Online course: TESOL Training of Trainers
Looking to revitalize or kick-start your continuing professional development program? Register for TESOL's Training of Trainers online course, 9 July–19 August, and find out how. Take action to boost your program's profile and transform your current ELT continuing professional development program using the latest technologies. Register today!

Online courses in grammar
Do you feel confident discussing grammar in the classroom? If not, Grammar 1: Phrasal Structures and Grammar 2: Multiclause Structures can help. Courses (14 July–10 August) can be taken in any order or concurrently. Registration for both courses closes Wednesday, 9 July. Thank you to TESOL's Grammar Partner, Oxford University Press.

For more TESOL education programs, please visit the TESOL website.

Director, English Language Center, University of Wyoming, USA

ESL Instructor, Northrop Grumman, Saudi Arabia

Global Teaching Fellow/Lecturer, Tokyo International University, Japan

10 reasons why blended learning is exploding
eCampus News
Blended learning, like many other buzzwords in education, is getting thrown around in ed-tech conversations as one of the hottest trends taking over course instruction and luring prospective students to colleges. But just like the current backlash against MOOCs, it's important to know why a trend occurs in order to gauge its shelf life.

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TESOL and the Ohio State University host academy
Last weekend, TESOL and the Ohio State University hosted six 10-hour workshops for English language educators. Topics included separating difference from disability, second language writing, helping ELLs succeed with the Next Generation Science Standards, and assessment. The photos from the event are available on TESOL's Facebook page.

Knowledge gaps expose more people to money problems
USA Today
Five years into an economic recovery, many Americans aren't feeling good about their progress, with the gap apparently widening between rich and poor. Jobs explain part of the discrepancy — people with college degrees have a much lower unemployment rate, for example — but so might differences in financial literacy or understanding.

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Teacher training to continue focus on Common Core
The Advertiser
Louisiana's universities were recently instructed to continue training teachers to the Common Core education standards even though Gov. Bobby Jindal is trying to derail the standards in public school classrooms. The Board of Regents, which oversees public higher education in the state, issued a memo to teacher preparation deans and others on the campuses directing them to continue training on the Common Core standards.
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School overcomes obstacles with the language of learning
The Tampa Tribune
When they started their lives as elementary school students in the U.S., they were no different from any of the other kids at Bellamy Elementary School in Florida. It was a whole new world, one with challenges and new experiences. But, at Bellamy, many of the incoming students don't speak a word of English. All Hillsborough County public schools have non-English-speaking kids enter every year, but Bellamy is a little different. The school has students, parents and staff from 37 different countries and they can speak about 19 different languages. The kids who enter Bellamy without much command of the English language might be scared, but it's a challenge that ESOL Resources Director Monica Roehm understands.
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Is this really how we should test reading development in kids?
The Washington Post
Connecticut has passed legislation that includes new requirements for diagnostic screening tools for reading in kindergarden through the third grade. Word on the street is that the new requirements align well with one assessment in particular: DIBELS, or Dynamic Indicators of Basic Early Literacy Skills, an early literacy assessment used in over 15,000 schools nationwide, including many in Connecticut. Why is this a problem?
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We must better prepare students for college
Education Week
As high school graduation ceremonies wind down across the country, the nation's foremost yardstick for measuring progress in student achievement is telling us that we are coming up short in preparing most of our high school seniors for the academic life they will face after receiving their diplomas.
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Study abroad as a community college student
U.S. News & World Report
As a working community college student, Lemuel Sun didn't have the luxury to spend an entire semester abroad. But when he heard his school, Maryland's Howard Community College, was offering a two-week study abroad experience in China, he jumped at the chance. He wanted to see his parents' home country and brush up on his language skills. A few months later, after he transferred to the University of Maryland—Baltimore County, he pursued a Chinese minor alongside his computer science major. "I definitely did see firsthand​ the importance of knowing a second language and reconnecting with my culture​," he says.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    What language does soccer speak? (AlJazeera)
US courts struggle to provide court-certified interpreters due to cost and availability (InsuranceNewsNet)
Applying the right technology for English Language Learners (The Huffington Post)
New research report finds that language training improves job performance, boosts employee morale (The Wall Street Journal)
Does learning a second language lead to a new identity? (Oxford University Press)

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

Google Now adds true multi-language support
OK, Google. Why can't I have chocolate? That's one question that Google Now's voice search can't answer easily, and it's an often-asked one from kids with access to their parents' phones, said Google Search team Vice President Tamar Yehoshua. Google Now, Google's search-and-knowledge personal assistant, currently can respond to queries in around 52 spoken languages. On Wednesday, the service finally gained the ability to switch between up to seven languages on the fly, like a proper multilingual robot.
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Pediatrics group to recommend reading aloud to children from birth
The New York Times
In between dispensing advice on breast-feeding and immunizations, doctors will tell parents to read aloud to their infants from birth, under a new policy that the American Academy of Pediatrics recently announced. With the increased recognition that an important part of brain development occurs within the first three years of a child's life, and that reading to children enhances vocabulary and other important communication skills, the group, which represents 62,000 pediatricians across the country, is asking its members to become powerful advocates for reading aloud, every time a baby visits the doctor.
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Educational technology isn't leveling the playing field
The focus of educators, politicians and philanthropists on differences in access to technology has obscured another problem: what some call "the second digital divide," or differences in the use of technology. Access to adequate equipment and reliable high-speed connections remains a concern, of course. But improving the way that technology is employed in learning is an even bigger and more important issue.
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Why is bilingual education better?
Fox News Latino (Opinion)
The state of Texas is currently under fire for not providing a quality education to students learning English, particularly at the middle and high school levels. LULAC is suing the state for failing to teach academic content and English to the 17 percent of public schools students who are labeled as English learners. This begs the questions, what is the best approach to teaching English learners who need to acquire grade level content knowledge and English language skills?
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The 3 biggest parts of digital citizenship
eSchool News
Today's students are part of a global school. Many take courses online with classmates from all over the country, and often, the world. A growing and essential aspect of this global education is digital citizenship — a growing concept that aims to educate students about the impact of their online and digital actions.
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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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