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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   June 30, 2015


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Punjab English teachers' 'lake' of proficiency in language shocks education minister
The Indian Express
India: Punjab's English teachers appear to be the reason behind more than 80,000 students failing the subject in class 10 board exam this year. When Education Minister Daljeet Singh Cheema took a special class for ten English teachers from each district that got the poorest results, most of them were unable to construct a simple sentence, leave alone spell four letter words. At the auditorium of PSEB in Mohali, Cheema was shocked when the government teachers — most of them holding a masters degree in English — fumbled to write in English.
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Judge asked to OK new English learners plan for San Francisco schools
SFGate
San Francisco school officials, parents and the federal government asked a judge to approve a plan designed to upgrade English-language instruction for more than 16,000 students who need it, over one-fourth of the district's enrollment of 57,000. The school district established its program for Multilingual Education in 1976, two years after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that students classified as English learners were entitled to instruction that allowed them to overcome their language barriers and gain full access to education. The district updated the program in 2008 with new standards for identifying, testing and reclassifying English learners, with a requirement of at least 30 minutes of English instruction every day.
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Mobile app helps Chinese kids learn English
Phys.org
A University of Michigan researcher has collaborated on the creation of a mobile app that will help young children in China learn English. The ABCmouse English Language Learning app for children ages 3-8 is now available to families in China for use on the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. It features 25 creatively designed English language learning lessons, and will ultimately include more than 150 lessons that help children learn to speak more than 1,000 English words and to understand more than 2,500 English words and phrases.
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TESOL
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TESOL hosts Advocacy and Policy Summit
TESOL
TESOL hosted the 2015 Advocacy & Policy Summit on 21-23 June at the Hilton Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. Nearly 100 English language teachers and administrators gathered to discuss current U.S. legislation and learn what to expect when they visit legislators. On the final day, the advocates visited legislators on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to discuss the needs of English language learners in their schools and classrooms. For more information, please read the Storify.
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State of Hawaii approves Seal of Biliteracy
TESOL
The State of Hawaii just approved a seal of biliteracy. Hawaii TESOL Board member, Dr. Shawn Ford, from Kapiolani Community College, represented the affiliate at the meetings to provide a perspective on ESL learners. The seal recognizes a high school student who has attained proficiency in English and one or more other world languages. In March, the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the National Association of Bilingual Education, the National Council of State Supervisors for Languages, and TESOL International Association drafted recommendations for the seal's implementation.
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Call for applications: TESOL Teacher of the Year
TESOL
Are you the next TESOL #Teacher of the Year? Awardee will receive US$1,000, a 1-year TESOL membership, registration to TESOL 2016 International Convention in Baltimore, round-trip air fare and accommodations for TESOL 2016, and much more! Applications are due 19 July. Apply today!
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TESOL call for research proposals
TESOL
The TESOL Research Standing Committee is now accepting research proposals for 2015. Each award provides up to US$2500 for applicants who are currently working on research or would like to start research projects that are aligned with the TESOL Research Agenda. Hurry! Proposals are due Wednesday, 1 July 2015, 11:59 p.m. U.S. Eastern Time.
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TESOL Press call for proposals: Instruction and Assessment for K–12 English Learners
TESOL Press is now accepting proposals for a book (200 pages) on instruction and assessment for K-12 English learners. Proposals due 15 September 2015.

TESOL Press call for proposals: Series Editor for Putting Research into Practice
TESOL Press is seeking an editor for a series that directly connects published research from TESOL Quarterly and TESOL Journal to classroom instruction. Proposals due 15 September 2015.


TESOL Press call for proposals: Mobile Apps for Language Learning & Teaching
TESOL Press seeks proposals for a booklet (75–100 pages) that offers a critical literature review of apps available for mobile language learning and teaching. Proposals due 1 July 2015.

TESOL Press call for proposals: Corpus Linguistics for Language Learning & Teaching
TESOL Press seeks proposals for a book or booklet that identifies some of the best corpora and software currently available and explains how teachers can use them to enhance their teaching. Proposals due 1 July 2015.

TESOL Press call for contributions: Voices from the TESOL Classroom Series
Submissions due 20 July 2015.


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The effects of NCLB accountability on ELLs
EdCentral
The Senate's bipartisan Every Child Achieves Act (a bill to replace No Child Left Behind) has made recent headway in the Senate and may be on the Senate floor in the coming weeks. If the bill succeeds and is signed into law, the federal government's role in educational accountability will shrink substantially. As the process continues, it is useful to see how our current accountability system impacts English language learners and dual language learners.
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Congress gets a failing grade on education policy
U.S. News & World Report
Since 2007, Congress has struggled to reauthorize No Child Left Behind, a George W. Bush-era education law that governs how dozens of federal education programs are funded and began an era of annual standardized testing in public schools. While lawmakers in the past have been unable to pass an update because of clashes over finances, school choice and federal oversight, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., has made updating this law and the Higher Education Act a priority.
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School argues for theater as a good practice to help ELLs learn Common Core
Education World
Tougher Common Core-aligned tests can pose especially difficult new challenges for English language learners, but one Port Chester, N.Y., elementary school believes theatre instruction can help. Kelly Budde's language arts class in Thomas A. Edison Elementary School is "filled with budding thespians and English language learners," and lively theater exercises are an integral part of the class to "teach literacy, boost vocabulary and help students master the new Common Core language arts curriculum," according to The Hechinger Report.
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Universities urged to help students improve English proficiency
Focus Taiwan
Taiwan: Taiwan's Consumers' Foundation has called on local universities to take responsibility for improving English language skills among their students, in view of the fact that a certain standard of English proficiency is a prerequisite to obtaining a degree. Language training and testing have become a business with tremendous market value in Taiwan since 90 percent of the country's universities require their students to present proof of a certain level of English language proficiency before they can graduate.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS.


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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

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Uber drivers must take 'mini Knowledge' and English tests before working in London
International Business Times
London: Uber minicab drivers in London must pass basic English and geography tests before picking up passengers on the capital's streets, mayor Boris Johnson has urged. Speaking at his final State of London debate before stepping down from his role as mayor in 2016, Johnson said he "disapproved" of how Uber operates and that Transport for London is "consulting on a proper geographical test so you can't drive a minicab in London unless you know one end of the city from the other." Asked if the test would be like a smaller version of the Knowledge, which all black cab drivers must pass before working, Johnson said: "There would have to be basic geographical knowledge ... there would have to be basic English, basic command of the English language. I don't think that's an unreasonable thing."
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Can genes predict foreign language learning skills?
The Telegraph
Every frustrated language learner has, at some point, proclaimed that they just "don't have the gift" of picking up foreign languages. It's easy to imagine that the aptitude for learning a new tongue exists somewhere beyond our control, perhaps in our blood or brain chemistry, or in the drinking water that flows through Northern Europe and feeds the frustratingly fluent English-speaking Scandinavians from Oslo to Helsinki. Language teachers will explain to students that anyone can learn a foreign language, and that the skill comes from nurture and not nature. But does biology play any role at all? Is there any part of our DNA that can predict whether or not we can be successful polyglots?
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Social media is teaching the world English
The Sydney Morning Herald
Australia: The top of the Australia Plus Learn English Facebook definition of "luggage language" is as follows: "To be 'living out of a suitcase' means to travel so much you don't have time to unpack your bag." Suddenly the definition pops on the Facebook feeds of some 3 million people. Quickly 4200 people have "liked" it and within three hours 800 people around the world had shared it. The ABC's international satellite service, the Australia Network, might have had a near-death experience courtesy of a thousand cuts, but out of the ashes it has risen to become one of the Internet's leading English-teaching platforms.
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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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