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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL August 18, 2015


 Hot Topics

STEM way to better English
The Star
Malaysia: Teaching STEM subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics in English will be a more effective way to address the declining standard of the English language among students in the country, according to Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia founder Datin Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim. She said improving proficiency in English language merely through a subject called "English" in the school curriculum was insufficient as educational planners at the Education Ministry and teachers in schools had realized over the years.
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4 years to English proficiency
Language Magazine
Study finds English learners in Seattle-area elementary schools successfully reach language and literacy targets in nearly four years. A new Regional Educational Laboratory Northwest study, prepared in partnership with seven Washington school districts, found that English language learners took 3.8 years on average to gain English proficiency. The study included nearly 18,000 students who attended district elementary schools between 2000 and 2013.
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IGCSE results: Drop in top grades for English language, as entries increase by two-thirds
United Kingdom: The proportion of U.K. students gaining top grades in IGCSE English language exams has fallen this year, while entries have shot up by two-thirds, according to figures from Cambridge International Examinations, which runs the tests. Figures from the exam board show that just 3.4 percent gained an A* this year, down from 5.7 per cent in 2014. And 12.4 percent gained an A or above, down from 15.5 percent last year. Sixty-three percent of pupils gained a C or above, down from 64.1 percent last year; 98.2 percent gained at least a G grade, down from 98.6 percent in 2014.
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 TESOL Association News

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 seeks awards reviewers — apply today!
Apply to serve as an awards reviewer for one of the TESOLs Awards and Grants. Deadline: 25 September 2015.
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TESOL at 50 — Deadline extended for submissions
The deadline for nominations for 50 at 50 & 30 Up and Coming has been extended to Friday, 21 August 2015. The deadline for TESOL Success Stories has also been extended to that date.

Interactive Timeline: Submissions to the interactive timeline can be done throughout the year. Your submissions can and should include an image.

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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

UAE a leader in English education
The National
United Arab Emirates: The UAE has the highest number of English medium international schools — institutions where the language of instruction is English — in the world, according to the U.K.-based International School Consultancy. In countries where English is not the official language, the UAE has 511 English medium schools, ahead of China (480), Pakistan (439), India (411) and Saudi Arabia (245). "What many consulting groups are saying is that the two most attractive industries in the UAE for investors are education and health care," said Alison Burrows, managing director and co-founder of the KDSL Education consultancy firm.
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 K-12 Education

Added English language learners lead KCK schools to seek extraordinary need fund dollars
The Kansas City Star
Faced with increased enrollment, including many new students — such as English language learners — requiring special attention in order to keep up with grade-level lessons, Kansas City, Kansas Public Schools are among the dozens of districts across Kansas seeking Extraordinary Need Fund dollars from the state.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords ENGLISH LANGUAGE LEARNERS.

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

English learners find help in schools
Bowling Green Daily News
Speaking Spanish always felt natural to Rebecca Perez, a family resource coordinator with Warren County Public Schools. Perez, employed at Cumberland Trace Elementary for nine years, can often be seen having friendly conversations with Hispanic families at school events. Over the years, she's become the go-to person for confused Hispanic families. Even now, parents of English as a second language students who attended Cumberland Trace several years ago still come to her with questions, she said. Perez directs them to resources for personal problems they aren't able to tell other English-speaking people about. She helps them feel "confianza" or a feeling of mutual trust.
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Miss an issue of the English Language Bulletin? Visit the English Language Bulletin archive page.

Science, art camp sneaks in language for English learners
As elementary students swayed like seaweed and waddled like penguins in a dance lesson during an ocean-themed camp, they were soaking in something they probably didn't realize — lots of English language. That was the real goal of the two-week summer camp — a first offered by the Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified School District along with a university and a performance center in Southern California. Students who are English learners learned new, advanced English words and phrases and had opportunities to use them during the science and arts camp.
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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

 Post-Secondary Education

10 ways international students can prepare for US college success
U.S. News & World Report
Many international students are likely unfamiliar with the social and academic expectations of U.S. colleges. Differences may include a greater focus on teamwork and more flexibility when it comes to choosing a major. The following tips and information, collected from posts on the U.S. News' International Student Counsel blog, can help prospective students make the most of their time studying in the States.
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Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    How long does it take ELLs to develop English proficiency? (Education Week)
English teaching faces crisis as standards slip (Viet Nam News)
How can we support kids in learning more than one language? (The Conversation)
Cultural competence in the classroom: A key 21st-century skill (By: Erick Herrmann)
The not-so-secret ELL summer slide problem that no one has quantified (Chalkbeat Colorado)

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


Spoken language could tap into 'universal code'
American Association for the Advancement of Science
We know a lot about language, but we know very little about how speech developed. Did we start with gesturing and grunts? Beating our chests and pointing? Most linguists agree that some combination of movement and sound probably got us started. But how did we decide which sounds to use for various words? Now, an experimental game has shown that speakers of English might use qualities like the pitch and volume of sounds to describe concepts like size and distance when they invent new words. If true, some of our modern words may have originated from so-called iconic, rather than arbitrary, expression — a finding that would overturn a key theory of language evolution.
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 In The Classroom

Changing the conversation: Rethinking how we talk about students
Minimal. Basic. Low. Why are these words used to describe children who are anything but? Reporting on a narrow set of skills (primarily reading and math), by using numbers reflective of achievement rather than growth, can make teachers feel complicit in a system that overlooks many students' interests, talents and growth. Of course academic achievement is an important priority. However, when it becomes the singular focus at the expense of the whole child or acknowledging academic growth, it is problematic.
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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.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
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