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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   July 10, 2015



What do school leaders need to know about English learners? The basics
By: Erick Herrmann
Each new school year, countless new administrators move into school leadership positions. When it comes to the education of English learners, there are many policies, procedures and topics in which all administrators should be well versed. This article, while not exhaustive in the topics that impact the education of English learners, shares a few of the important topics with which administrators and school leaders should be familiar as they embark on a new school year.
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In South Africa, science should be taught in only one language — English
Rand Daily Mail
South Africa: Mother tongue education has long been a political hot potato in South Africa. This started with the 1976 Soweto uprisings when school children staged protests after Afrikaans became the medium of instruction. Today, the country's policies promote multilingualism. But its schools are battling with a lack of African language teachers. Many teachers are not multilingual. All the high-stakes examinations are also taken in only English or Afrikaans. This means that most of South Africa's 11 official languages take a backseat to English and Afrikaans when it comes to formal school learning and teaching.
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House passes ESEA rewrite 218-213; Senate debate continues
Education Week
The U.S. House of Representative reconsidered and ultimately passed a Republican-backed reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — though it's far from the measure that President Barack Obama may eventually sign into law when it's all said and done. After considering 14 amendments, including a failed Democratic substitute, members passed the ESEA rewrite, formally known as the Student Success Act, with a very close vote of 218-213. Twenty-seven Republicans crossed party-line to join the entire Democratic caucus in voting against the bill.
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TESOL Symposium in Cancún, México: 4 November 2015
Join TESOL, in collaboration with MEXTESOL, for Innovations and Breakthroughs in English Language Teaching, a TESOL Symposium in Canún, México. Examine how English language teaching and learning have changed since the beginning of the 21st century, and explore current breakthroughs that have shaped the classroom of today through practice-oriented, interactive sessions led by experts in the field. Register today!

TESOL Conference in Singapore, 3-5 December 2015
Join TESOL for Excellence in Language Instruction: Supporting Classroom Teaching & Learning, a TESOL conference in Singapore. Organized in partnership with the National Institute of Education, this 2½ day event will feature leading experts in teacher education, classroom instruction, and international assessment. Six preconference institutes will also be available for participants to dive deeper into content that affects their day-to-day practice. Register today!

Online Course: Teaching and Assessing Adult Learners
12 August - 22 September
Explore appropriate methods and techniques for teaching language skills, vocabulary, and grammar to adult learners, and understand assessment approaches and tools when evaluating students' learning and proficiency.

Online Course: Teaching and Assessing Young Learners
9 September - 20 October
Learn methods and techniques for teaching language skills to school-age learners in an EFL context, and learn about the importance of language acquisition for young learners' physical, social, and cognitive development. Discuss the factors that contribute to these learners' success, including cultural aspects of language acquisition and learn how to address diverse students' needs.

New from TESOL Press: Common Core State Standards in Math for English Learners, High School
Co-published with the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM), this text highlights how teachers can support students in learning both mathematical content and the English structures that accompany the content, and provides specific lesson and instructional plans for teachers.

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

Middle School EFL Teachers, Multinational Academic Services, Zhengzhou, China

Academic Director, The New English School of English, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Instructor: English as a Second Language, Community College of Qatar, Doha, Qatar

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

Los Angeles schools failing needy students, flouting California funding law
Education Week
A California lawsuit filed claims that the Los Angeles Unified School District is failing to abide by the state's Local Control Funding Formula and diverting billions of dollars away from the needy students who should be benefiting from the money. In Community Coalition of South Los Angeles v. Los Angeles Unified School District, the community coalition says that the district improperly claimed that $450 million in funding for special education students would satisfy the state's funding formula requirement that districts target English language learners and students from low-income backgrounds with additional money provided by the state.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS.

Schools could see fewer unaccompanied minors this fall
Education Week
The number of unaccompanied school-age children from Central America arriving at the United States' southern border has declined significantly from this time last year, a top federal Department of Health and Human Services administrator told members of Congress. The decline follows a surge in 2014 during which tens of thousands of children from Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, and Mexico sought to enter the United States along the country's southern border. During the 2014 fiscal year, the Department of Homeland Security referred 57,496 children to the agency within the Department of Health and Human Services that cares for children once they are apprehended at the border.
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Schools use every day errands to better teach English as a second language
Thousands of kids across central Indiana go back to school in just three weeks. It can be a time of excitement and anxiety — anxiety for those who don't speak English fluently. One district has come up with a new program to get those kids prepared, and some believe the plan needs to go statewide. In Indiana alone, there are nearly 58,000 kids who speak English as a second language. Some of those kids speak very little, at that. 394 of those kids attend school in Avon, which — one shopping field trip at a time — has come up with a unique way of getting them ready for the school year.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Punjab English teachers' 'lake' of proficiency in language shocks education minister (The Indian Express)
Mobile app helps Chinese kids learn English (
Can genes predict foreign language learning skills? (The Telegraph)
The effects of NCLB accountability on ELLs (EdCentral)
Minister expects more English language school closures (The Irish Times)

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

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Teaching in English: A contentious debate
Inside Higher Ed
United Kingdom: One of the more controversial issues in internationalization is the dominance of English as language of instruction and the dissemination of scholarship. Recently, two countries seem to be at the forefront of the debate. In Europe, The Netherlands has been implementing courses and degree programs in English since the mid-1990s. In Asia, South Korea leads other countries in developing English taught courses, a trend provoking considerable debate; In the Netherlands attitudes are shifting from rather positive to more critical assessments, resulting in a national discussion led by key scholars to abandon the unconditional use of English in the classroom.
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Money talks: Babbel raises $22 million to help online language learners
Adults who put effort into learning a language usually want to be able to carry conversations, says Thomas Holl, co-founder and President of Babbel. So his company doesn't believe in teaching "useless sentences like 'the boy is under the table,' which are grammatically correct," he tells EdSurge. "But no one will actually use these sentences in real life."
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Chat rooms can boost success in learning English as a foreign language research shows
Chat rooms play a positive role in motivating students and encouraging an independent approach to learning English as a foreign language. Innovative research highlighted in a new book "Using Technology in Foreign Language Teaching" shows the advantages and disadvantages of utilizing IT in teaching English in countries like the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Iran and Malaysia. The current interest in combining different teaching methods with technologies that promise to motivate learners to respond effectively has meant that many language-teaching institutions strive to provide intensive foreign language instruction. This helps reduce the time period needed to learn the language and is seen to be more cost effective.
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Personalized learning is especially good for minority students
The Hechinger Report
What would schools look like if they were designed around the needs of students? That's the question that drives the work of Rebecca Wolfe, director of the Massachusetts-based Students at the Center project, part of the nonprofit Jobs For the Future. Called "personalized learning," the idea sounds simple: Let the students dictate the direction and pace of instruction. Its adherents claim that not only will student outcomes improve, but point to research that shows it works particularly well for students of color. However, convincing the many entrenched interests that run school bureaucracies to give in to such a radical change can be a challenge.
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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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