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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL August 11, 2015


 Hot Topics

English teaching faces crisis as standards slip
Viet Nam News
Viet Nam: About half of the total of 817,000 students who recently sat for the national high school and university exams scored less than five out of 10 marks for English, one of the three compulsory subjects. This seems to pour cold water on an ambitious national plan to ensure that all young people leaving school by 2020 have a good grasp of the international language. The highest number of students who passed the exam had a 2.5 mark for English, compared to 6.5 for math and five for literature. This further shocked many education law makers.
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How can we support kids in learning more than one language?
The Conversation
There is little doubt that knowing more than one language carries tremendous advantages. Young bilinguals are known to be flexible thinkers and better problem solvers. They have a competitive edge in the labor market, with those fluent in English along with another language showing higher earnings. What's more, research shows that knowing more than one language could even delay the onset of Alzheimer's and dementia by two to four years. Most people have come to agree that it is necessary to know more than one language. Over 70 percent of respondents in a recent study conducted in Florida agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that all students should learn an additional language of their choice. The question is, how can we support our children in learning more than one language?
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Speaking the global language
The Star
Malaysia: In an increasingly interconnected world, the importance of English cannot be understated as it opens up opportunities regardless of one's color, ethnicity or background. As the world is becoming truly borderless, it is now absolutely important for us to master the English language. It is, after all, the most widely spoken language worldwide. The fact that English is a global language is something even the diehard nationalists in the country cannot argue with, said the G25, a group of prominent Malaysians, in an open letter. "So, if we aspire to be more proficient in the language, we are only trying to be better citizens of the world," they said.
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 TESOL Association News

TESOL Employment Issues survey
The Employment Issues Committee is collecting information on employment issues affecting TESOL educators worldwide so that they can make recommendations to the Board of Directors on how such issues can be addressed in the association's new organizational structure. Information is being collected through 15 August 2015. Thanks for taking this quick survey.
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Video from the TESOL Symposium in Vietnam
Sa Chau Vu, a TESOL Symposium attendee, talks about her experience at the July 2015 TESOL Symposium in Danang, Vietnam.
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TESOL Awards & Grants: Now accepting applications
TESOL is now accepting applications for several different awards and grants. Awards for excellence and service, a teaching materials grant, and funding for TESOL 2016 in Baltimore, Maryland are available. Applications must be received by 1 November 2015. Apply today!
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TESOL 2016 Convention keynote speakers announced
Be inspired by these industry leaders!

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 TESOL Press

NEW from TESOL Press: Teaching English in a Binational Center in Brazil
The latest volume in the ground-breaking ELT in Context series examines how language teaching and learning organizations (LTOs) are affecting Brazil's ELT industry and international economy.

NEW from TESOL Press: Materials Development
The final volume in the English Language Teacher Development series, this book provides principles and approaches for adapting material to suit a variety of contexts and how teachers can work successfully with limited resources.

DEADLINE EXTENDED: Call for Contributions: Voices from the TESOL Classroom Series
TESOL Press has extended the deadline to 15 September 2015 for the call for abstracts for two volumes in this new series: Voices From the TESOL Classroom: Participant Inquiries in Young Learner Classes and Voices From the TESOL Classroom: Participant Inquiries in Online and Hybrid Classes

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: 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.

  Register Now: CAL Institutes
Professional Development Opportunities in Washington DC

CAL Institutes provide research-based strategies and practical, hands-on tools to help educators develop effective classroom activities on a variety of key topics, including meeting the demands of the Common Core State Standards.

Learn more and register.

 Language and Education Policy

Why educating English language learners means success for everyone
New Haven Register
As Congress crafts an updated Elementary and Secondary Education Act, President Barack Obama has set a goal for our nation: to prepare all students for college and a career. Achieving such a goal will remain impossible unless we improve our approach to educating English language learners. By the year 2030, the U.S. Census Bureau predicts that 40 percent of all public schoolchildren will speak a language other than English at home. If current trends hold, roughly half of these students will not succeed in school unless they receive help mastering English.
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Here's what Americans want from a No Child Left Behind overhaul
The Huffington Post
As members of the Senate and House of Representatives work to find compromise on their respective overhauls of the No Child Left Behind Act, Americans are expressing agreement with a central tenet in both chambers' proposals: the federal government should have less influence over standardized tests. A nationally representative HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted in early August shows that more than half of Americans think state governments should have more power than the federal government to determine how standardized tests are used in schools. Only 21 percent of respondents said they thought the federal government should have more power than states in this arena; about a quarter said they were not sure.
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Introducing LEXICA English Placement Test

Based on decades of research, Diglossia has developed a fast test for English placement with immediate, customized reports, with Arabic, Spanish, or Chinese user-interfaces. MORE
Advertise here!

To find out how to feature your company in the TESOL eNewsletter and other advertising opportunities, Contact Geoffrey Forneret at 469.420.2629.

Florida, Idaho join largest ELL consortium
Education Week
Florida and Idaho have officially joined WIDA, a group of states that share common-core aligned English language proficiency standards and assessments for English language learners. Florida adopted the standards from WIDA, or World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment, last summer after spending more than two years selecting new English language proficiency standards. WIDA won a $10 million federal grant in 2011 to design a new English language development test that is linked to the common standards. That effort is known as ASSETS, Assessment Services Supporting ELs through Technology Systems. Idaho participated in the ASSETS grant before officially joining WIDA.
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 K-12 Education

Access to education remains a challenge for New York ELLs, report finds
Education Week
A study designed to assess the needs of unaccompanied minors living in the New York City metropolitan area found that students, many of whom are English language learners, face an array of obstacles to enrolling in school and receiving an education free of discrimination. "Struggle for Identity and Inclusion: Unaccompanied Immigrant Youth in New York City," a report from the Vera Institute of Justice and the Fordham University Law School's Feerick Center for Social Justice explored the experiences of 23 youths who migrated to the United States without parents or guardians and had arrived between three months and five years prior to the study.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS.

 Post-Secondary Education

Dubai university administrators accused of faking English language test scores
Times Higher Education
Dubai: Two university administrators have appeared in a United Arab Emirates court accused of accepting bribes to change English language test scores. The pair, a Russian and a Lebanese, are alleged to have accepted kickbacks totaling Dh184,500 (£32,000) from students at the American University in Dubai, The National reported. In return, Dubai Criminal Court heard, they changed the learners' results from fail to pass on two sets of English language exams. These were the Test of English as a Foreign Language, run by Princeton-based Educational Testing Service, and the International English Language Testing System, owned by a consortium which includes the British Council.
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LAS Links Assessments Go Online

Identify the needs of your English Language Learners with an automated, time-saving assessment tool in speaking, listening, and reading. LAS Links Online™ is designed to strengthen your English Language Development Program and provides research-based results to support your instructional decisions.
Visit for an in-depth look at LAS Links Online.
Learn TESOL in summer in Vermont!
Saint Michael's College

• 4-week Intensive Diploma Program(a practical, fast-paced   introduction)
MATESOL(2 summers on campus plus 2 semesters online)

Saint Michael's MATESOL Program, now in its 50th year, is a nationally and internationally respected leader in the TESOL field.
Educational Testing Service
ETS is the leader in global English language assessment, developing and administering more than 6.2 million TOEFL® and TOEIC ® tests annually. The TOEFL ® test measures the ability to communicate English in academic settings. More info

Study-abroad tours in US booming
China Daily
China: Around Times Square, the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center, it's hard to miss groups of Chinese students wearing shirts with summer tour logos. More and more Chinese middle-class parents have encouraged their children to travel abroad during summer break. "The study tours have just sprung up in the past decade," said Michael L. Chu, president of Asian American Global Travel, a travel agency in Flushing, Queens. Chu said that there are programs designed especially for senior high school students applying to U.S. colleges: Apart from visiting elite colleges and landmarks, English language instruction and consultation for college applications would be interspersed on the tours, offered by local training institutions.
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 Adult Education

As Hispanic population booms, more are trying to master English language
Fox News Latino
Leticia Castanon concentrated on the difference between the words "must" and "should" scribbled on a white board in a McHenry County College classroom. If she wants to master the English language, she should study, the 45-year-old wife and mother thought. And if she wants to get a job that pays better than her current gig in fast food, Castanon, a Mexican immigrant, told herself she must learn English. "I need it to better understand people," Castanon said. "I started five or six years ago learning English."
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    The first thing schools often get wrong for English language learners is their names (Chalkbeat Indiana)
Public sector workers 'must have fluent English' (BBC News)
Top 5 reasons to study English as a second language (Study International News)
Minding your English is hard, but it pays off (New Straits Times Online)
Telling stories (Language Magazine)

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


How long does it take ELLs to develop English proficiency?
Education Week
A study of seven high-poverty districts in the Seattle metropolitan area found that it took nearly four years for elementary school-aged English language learners to develop English proficiency. Researchers from Regional Education Laboratories Northwest tracked nearly 18,000 language learner students in some of the lowest-performing school districts in Washington state. The districts are participants in the Road Map Project, a cradle-to-career program that aims to close the opportunity gap for low-income and minority students.
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Kindergarten boys less interested in language activities
Medical News Today
A Norwegian study of kindergarten children reveals that girls are more interested in language activities than boys. As a result boys may receive less linguistic stimulation and become less prepared for school than girls. It is well known that girls develop language skills earlier than boys. A study from the Norwegian Reading Centre at the University of Stavanger also reveals that kindergarten-age girls are more interested in reading and other activities that promote linguistic awareness. "This is thought-provoking. When boys participate less in language activities, there is a danger that they lose out on important linguistic stimulation that promotes key language skills as they start learning to read.
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Miss an issue of the English Language Bulletin? Visit the English Language Bulletin archive page.

 In The Classroom

New guidelines for EFL teaching standards
Language Magazine
TESOL Press, the publishing arm of TESOL International Association, has released a new resource for developing professional teaching standards in countries where English is not the dominant language. The new TESOL Guidelines for Developing EFL Professional Teaching Standards provides detailed steps and discusses important issues for postsecondary institutions, government agencies, ministries of education and other professionals working to improve the quality of English language teachers in English as a foreign language contexts.
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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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