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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Aug. 8, 2012

Immigration officials release details on deferred-action requests
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Starting Aug. 15, federal immigration authorities will begin considering applications from undocumented immigrants seeking relief from deportation and legal permits to pursue employment. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security announced more details of how the process will unfold for the nearly 1 million potential beneficiaries of the deferred-action policy that was announced by the Obama administration earlier this summer. More
Related story: Immigration scams blossom as relief nears for undocumented young people (The Huffington Post)

Mapping language: Limited English proficiency in America
National Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although English is America's common tongue, immigrants' efforts to learn it present challenges to institutions and individuals alike. These graphics compare regions, schools and communities where newcomers have settled to learn and integrate. More
Related story: Breaking down who DREAMers are and where they live (Education Week)

US Department of Education kicks off Connected Educator Month
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Because no educator should be an island, the U.S. Department of Education has declared August Connected Educator Month. Throughout August, more than 100 of the nation's leading education organizations, communities, and companies will come together online to celebrate and explore the power of professional online communities and networks to meet the needs of education professionals — novices and leaders alike. Connected Educator Month events will begin on August 1, with three days of the foremost innovators in education leading a series of online keynotes and panels, engaging participants in ongoing dialogue and learning. More
Related story: Connected Educator Month tips from 33 educators we admire
(The New York Times)

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TESOL executive director to attend ALAS conference
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On Wednesday, 8 August, TESOL Executive Director Rosa Aronson will participate on a panel at the ALAS 2012 National Convening on the educational, economic and social challenges facing Hispanic youth. Dr. Aronson will speak on the topic of charting a path for the future. She will discuss critical challenges facing Hispanic youth in the United States, possible solutions, and policy implications. The event will be held in Washington, D.C. For information on the Association of Latino Administrators and Superintendents, please visit their website. More

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Need to start or revitalize an English language program?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Then the TESOL: Training of Trainers, Strengthening English Language Programs online course can help. This course allows you to reflect on your current (or would-be) program, learn how to boost your program's capacity, and, most importantly, bring your program into the 21st century. Participants will receive several free online resources. Deadline for registration is 28 September. To register, please visit the TESOL website. Please send questions to Education Programs and put "Training of Trainers" in the subject line.

Registration is now open — A TESOL Symposium: Facilitating learning through student empowerment
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL International Association will be hosting a TESOL Symposium at the Intercontinental Hotel, Isla Verde in San Juan, Puerto Rico, 15 November. The event will kick off the 39th PRTESOL Convention and the 11th CA & CB Regional Conference, 16-17 November. For more information visit TESOL's website. Hope to see you there. More

$21.5 million in grants awarded to 43 states to cover fees charged to low-income students for taking AP tests
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education announced the award of more than $21.5 million in grants to 43 states to cover all or part of the fees charged to low-income students for taking Advanced Placement tests. Based on the anticipated number of test-takers and other factors, the grants under the Advanced Placement Test Fee Program are expected to be sufficient to pay up to $38 per Advanced Placement exam for as many as three exams per student. More

Duncan discusses education reform, back-to-school changes
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A more well-rounded curriculum with less focus on a single test. Higher academic standards and more difficult classwork. Continued cuts to extracurricular and other activities because of the tough economy: Education Secretary Arne Duncan says these are some of the changes and challenges that children could notice as they start the new school year. Several significant reforms have taken place over the past three years. Forty-eight states and the District of Columbia have adopted the Common Core standards, a set of uniform benchmarks for math and reading. More

Biden draws education contrasts in speech to teachers
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an appearance before the American Federation of Teachers conference in Detroit, Vice President Joe Biden told attendees to look at Republicans' spending plans to see how much Republicans value education. "Don't tell me you value education and don't invest in it," he said during his remarks, launching into a litany of spending on education he said the Republicans in Congress had voted down. "The reason they make all these cuts..." is so they can afford tax cuts on the richest Americans, Biden said. "We believe you rebuild a country from the middle out. They think it has to come from the top down. More

Language policy lets pupils down
Mail & Guardian Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
South Africa: Children the world over have the same potential for mathematics when they enter school, but South Africa is not harnessing this latent capability because of shortcomings in its policy on language in education. This was the argument of Graham Dampier at the most recent Teachers Upfront seminar, which focused on language and learning in the school curriculum. More

How often are English learners suspended?
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Researchers at UCLA's Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles, released an analysis of federal education data on out-of-school suspensions that paints a sobering picture for students who are African-American, Latino or enrolled in special education programs. Using data collected from more than 6,800 school districts by the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights, the researchers found that 1 in 6 African-American students was suspended from school at least once during the 2009-10 school year. The rate for Native American students was 1 in 12; for Latino students, it was 1 in 14. For whites, it was 1 in 20, and for Asian Americans, the rate was 1 in 50. More

California school district target of Civil Rights probe into claims it discriminates against Chinese students
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights has launched an investigation into allegations that the San Mateo Union High School District is discriminating against Chinese students. A discrimination complaint lodged against the California school system has the agency looking into claims that the district holds Chinese students to "different standards for demonstrating residency or guardianship than students of other races" and nationalities, a department spokesperson told The Wall Street Journal. More

States struggle to meet special education goals
Disability Scoop    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The nation is showing some signs of improvement in educating students with disabilities, though federal officials say nearly half of states continue to need help. For the 2010-2011 school year, 30 states met a series of goals for their special education programs, according to an analysis of new U.S. Department of Education ratings that was done by Education Week. That's up from 28 the year prior. Each year, the Education Department assesses how well states live up to their plans to meet the needs of students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. States are given one of four labels — "meets requirements," "needs assistance," "needs intervention" or "needs substantial intervention." More

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New York becomes 2nd state to recognize biliteracy
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New York has now joined California to offer a special "seal of biliteracy" to high school graduates who demonstrate proficiency in English and at least one other language. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the legislation yesterday making it official. As you've already read in this space before, California was the first to establish this special recognition for multilingual graduates and just recently reported that more than 10,000 graduates in the class of 2012 had earned the distinction. More

Report finds federal funding for ELLs not keeping pace with need
Latinoedbeat    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Federal funding of English language acquisition state grants is not keeping up with the pace of inflation, a new report has concluded. The grants offer states and school districts help with developing curriculum and expanding teacher training for English language learners, among other things. More

DREAM Act college: UCLA professors create National Dream University, online school for undocumented immigrants
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With help from professors in California, undocumented immigrants are closer to accessing an affordable college education. University of California, Los Angeles professors formed a collective they call "National Dream University," which aims to allow American Dream Act-eligible students to enroll in online courses at $65 per credit, according to LA Weekly. More

Foreign students generate $8 billion for Canadian economy
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canada: International students in Canada contributed $8 billion to the country's economy in 2010, an increase of more than $1.5 billion since 2008, the latest year data were available, according to a government report. The report also says that the influx of foreign students supported 86,000 jobs and contributed close to $500 million in tax revenue. Foreign students are now worth more than Canada's exports in wheat or aerospace products. More

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ELS supports its teachers. Learn about the joint ELS/Adelphi University Masters of TESOL program, providing opportunities for teachers to earn advanced teaching degrees. MORE

UK immigration staff to test foreign students' English skills
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Students who have applied for visas to study in the United Kingdom and who have already passed approved language tests could be barred from taking up their places at colleges or universities if immigration officers judge that their English is not good enough. New powers granted to staff at visa offices around the world, which came into effect on 30 July, are intended to add a new line of defence against bogus applicants, but students could be failed by staff who are not trained language assessors. More

Program seeks volunteers to help Des Moines refugee families
The Des Moines Register    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new immigrant assistance effort is seeking volunteers to help Des Moines refugee families adjust to life in the United States. Neighbors Helping Neighbors will kick off in late August or early September and will target Burmese families with children at Meredith Middle School and Hoover High School. The initiative is led by school board member Joe Jongewaard, with assistance from Vinh Nguyen, who coordinates the district's English Language Learners program. Ten refugee families will take part in the initiative in 2012-13. Organizers hope to expand the effort the following year. More

English as a second language: Could you pass the test?
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For Japanese billionaire Hiroshi Mikitani, converting his e-commerce company to an English-speaking workplace was a matter of survival. Japan ranks 27th out of 30 among Asian nations in English-language proficiency, according to Test of English as a Foreign Language scores. The low ranking puts it behind even such troubled nations as Afghanistan and North Korea. MORE

Related: A survival skill in shrinking Japan: Learn English (The Washington Post)

Survey: Education cuts favored by Americans include teacher salary freezes, administration cuts
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As school districts suffer from increasing costs and not enough cash, only 11 percent of Americans are willing to pay more in taxes to fund communities' schools, according to a new report. Instead, almost half (48 percent) said that the best approach to fixing a school-district deficit would be "dramatically changing how it does business," and 26 percent would "change as little as possible and wait for times to get better." But that doesn't mean they don't recognize the school funding problem. Seventy-seven percent said they expect their school districts' financial woes to last beyond the current crisis, according to the survey, commissioned by the right-leaning, Washington, D.C., think tank the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. More

'Irreplaceable' teachers retained poorly, TNTP education report finds
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The high rate of teachers cycling in and out of schools is detrimental to the education profession and worse for students, decades of policy and research asserts. But a new report from an influential advocacy group makes the case for treating teacher turnover differently. The study, called The Irreplaceables, took several years for TNTP to produce, and asserted that a high rate of teachers moving in and out of the profession isn't necessarily bad. More

Bilingualism 'can increase mental agility'
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Bilingual children outperform children who speak only one language in problem-solving skills and creative thinking, according to research led at the University of Strathclyde. A study of primary school pupils who spoke English or Italian — half of whom also spoke Gaelic or Sardinian — found that the bilingual children were significantly more successful in the tasks set for them. The Gaelic-speaking children were, in turn, more successful than the Sardinian speakers. More

A child's emotional development can be influenced by speaking multiple languages
Medical News Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On the classic TV show "I Love Lucy," Ricky Ricardo was known for switching into rapid-fire Spanish whenever he was upset, despite the fact Lucy had no idea what her Cuban husband was saying. These scenes were comedy gold, but they also provided a relatable portrayal of the linguistic phenomenon of code-switching. This kind of code-switching, or switching back and forth between different languages, happens all the time in multilingual environments and often in emotional situations. More

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Teach with a purpose. SIT students learn to teach language for social change, advocacy, education, and empowerment. Graduates are working around the world for social justice through teaching. MORE

Can Twitter replace traditional professional development?
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twitter and Facebook might soon replace traditional professional development for teachers. Instead of enduring hours-long workshops a few times a year, teachers could reach out to peers on the Internet in real time for advice on things like planning a lesson (or salvaging a lesson that's going wrong), overcoming classroom management problems or helping students with disabilities. More
Related story: 7 tips for maximizing the impact of PD (ASCD)

Teaching secrets: Arranging optimal classroom seating
Education Week Teacher    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Few would argue that the best seating arrangements balance individual student needs with classroom community needs. Most teachers are mindful that finding each student's peak location depends on his or her personality, learning style, ability, needs and behavior. We also consider class chemistry, friendships and cliques in deciding seating. But I haven't heard many teachers talk systematically about how we use the physical characteristics of the room — combined with our communication patterns — to leverage learning and relationships. More
For more on this topic, check out TESOL's book, "Classroom Management."

10 getting to know you activities for teens and adults
SlideShare    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"It is a fact that in the right formation, the lifting power of many wings can achieve twice the distance of any bird flying alone," said Milton Olson. Here are 10 getting to know you activities for teens and adults. More

For back to school, reimagine classroom design
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the school year begins, most classrooms across the country will mirror traditional class design: rows of desks with passive children sitting quietly listening to a teacher in the front of the class. But not at Hartland-Lakeside. Across the Hartland-Lakeside school district in Hartland, Wis., teachers have transformed their Industrial Age classrooms into innovative, state-of-the-art learning spaces. Unique spaces allow children flexibility to move, collaborate and express themselves in creative ways. And as a result of changing the learning environment, classroom instruction changed to fit students' needs too. More

25 ways teachers can integrate social media into education
Edudemic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some teachers embrace technology and social media. Others lurk. Many ignore. So what does the average teacher do if they're somewhere in the middle? Why, use the handy infographic from Online Colleges of course. Below you'll see a guide to who is using social media (pretty much everyone is aware of it) to which actual social networks they prefer. More

New website helps teachers give speaking practice
The Korea Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Korea: Many English teachers in Korea face a common problem: A lack of contact hours makes it difficult to give students enough speaking practice. KAIST professor Tim Thompson launched the website on Aug. 1 to give teachers the chance to offer speaking practice using video recording. The project has changed somewhat from its inception in 2010, when Thompson and a fellow professor started work on a program to help deal with the lack of contact time with students. More
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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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