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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Sep. 5, 2012






Republican platform supports English immersion over bilingual education
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The GOP platform released at the Republican National Convention closely mirrors an officially nominated presidential candidate Mitt Romney's plans for revamping K-12 education. It views expanded school choice as a major factor in fixing K-12 education, and celebrates local and state control while steering clear of getting rid of the U.S. Department of Education. More
Related story: Educator and bilingual-education foe remains in Romney's corner (Education Week)




Immigration officials advise educators on deferred action
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School records will be among the key documents that young undocumented immigrants must submit in their requests for deferred action, the new immigration policy that allows individuals who arrived in the United States as children to seek relief from deportation and gain work permits. Applicants have to demonstrate, among other criteria, that they are currently enrolled in school, have graduated from high school or have obtained a GED. But school records will also help many potential beneficiaries prove another key qualification: continuous presence in the U.S. for the last five years. A high school transcript documenting four years of schooling would be "fantastic evidence in a single document," according to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. More






What? Registration for TESOL 2013 is open already?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Yes, indeed. You can now register for TESOL 2013, 20-23 March, in Dallas, Texas. For information on plenary and keynote speakers, what do to in Dallas (between sessions, of course), convention hotels and much more, please visit the TESOL 2013 convention page — and register today.

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The TESOL — US Department of State partnership: Frequently asked questions
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In November 2011, TESOL International Association announced a collaborative partnership with the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs at the U.S. Department of State to help connect teachers and resources in the United States with English language teaching needs and opportunities worldwide. The goal of the partnership is to utilize each organization's expertise and international resources to respond to the rising global demand for English language teaching and learning. These frequently asked questions will provide more information about the partnership and TESOL's role in it.



Nearly 900 districts to apply for Race to the Top
The Associated Press via USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nearly 900 school districts across the nation intend to apply for a slice of close to $400 million in grants that the U.S. Education Department will distribute in support of local initiatives that help close achievement gaps and prepare students for college and a career. The department announced that 893 applicants are slated to participate in the Race to the Top-District competition. "I believe the best ideas come from leaders at the local level," Education Secretary Arne Duncan said. More

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Using No Child Left Behind waivers to improve English language learner education
Center for American Progress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The No Child Left Behind law fundamentally changed the expectations and data that schools should have for their English language learner students. The landmark 1974 Lau v. Nichols Supreme Court case concluded that students who speak English as a second language have a right to a "meaningful education." But No Child Left Behind — a reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — was the first law to hold schools and districts accountable for the achievement of their English language learner students. The law requires districts and schools to disaggregate and report data by student subgroups, including English language learners, and to take action if they do not make sufficient academic progress. More

Arizona reaches deal over education of English language learners
Reuters via Chicago Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arizona has agreed to offer targeted reading and writing instruction to tens of thousands of public school students who were wrongly denied services under an English language learner program, the Justice Department said. The settlement resolves a complaint filed with the Department of Education's Office of Civil Rights and the Department of Justice that students had been incorrectly identified as fluent in English over the past five school years or prematurely moved out of the language assistance program. More



Education department gears up to oversee NCLB waivers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Now that more than half the country is operating with waivers of key mandates of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the U.S. Department of Education must turn to overseeing a hodgepodge of 34 different state accountability systems and holding states to the promises they made to win the new flexibility. As the school year begins, states are preparing to provide their first evidence that they are implementing their plans as proposed — and are already asking federal officials if they can tweak their proposals. More
Related story: Alaska readies request for NCLB waiver (Peninsula Clarion)




Evaluating ELLs for special needs a challenge
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A kindergarten teacher in a San Diego public school last fall referred six of her students — all English language learners — for evaluation for special education. All of them, as it turned out, needed eyeglasses; one needed a hearing aid. None needed to be placed in special education. A few years ago, such simple explanations for the students' academic difficulties might not have been picked up so early. But last year, the 132,000-student San Diego district — with a history of lopsided referrals of English learners to special education — created a step-by-step process to make sure every explanation and intervention for a child's lagging academic performance had been examined before assigning a placement in special education. More

Anaheim, Calif., high school cancels events found to be demeaning
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Seniores" and "Señoritas" events held at an Anaheim high school in California — in which students dressed as gang members and a pregnant woman pushing a baby stroller — have been canceled after officials concluded the activities were demeaning toward Latinos and their culture. The events, which have been held for at least three years at Canyon High School, took place during senior activity week in June and were approved by campus administrators, according to school district officials. More

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At some schools, the demographic future is now
The Texas Tribune via The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Certain characteristics set the Laredo Independent School District apart from most other districts in Texas. Its western boundary aligns directly with the Mexican border. Nearly all its students are poor, and nearly all are Hispanic. Most rely on the school to provide two meals a day. On the first day of school, some showed up without shoes, or without parents accompanying them. More

Middle-class children learn to be squeaky wheels
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
If it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease, middle-class children are more likely than their lower-income peers to grow up learning how to make the gears of the education system turn smoothly. Working-class parents, meanwhile, tend to raise their children to avoid conflict and be self-sufficient in problem-solving, an Indiana University researcher says. The findings, the latest from a longitudinal study of Pennsylvania students, suggest parents of different classes may teach their children very different approaches to navigating the school system and championing their own education, priming them for later academic challenges or success. More

Massachusetts teachers visit South African pen pals
The Salem News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As a seventh-grade world geography teacher at Swampscott Middle School in Massachusetts, Judy McKenzie always wanted to make other places — and the people who live in them — seem real to her students. But when she and six other teachers from Swampscott went to Cape Town, South Africa, this summer to visit their sister school in Langa Township, they made their own profound contact with reality. More


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Teacher realizes lifelong passion in China
Telegram Towns    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China: For the third summer in a row, Heather Wojcik of Worcester has spent a good part of her summer in a place where McDonald's, KFC and Walmart exist beside a 600-year-old city wall, where carts hawking steamed buns and bowls of boiled eggs stewing in tea are part of the landscape, and where provincial music played late into the night serenades her to sleep. All part of the magic of a summer spent teaching in China. More

Chinese parents defrauded by 'perfect' education
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China: For ambitious Chinese parents, the opportunity was too good to miss — even with its 100,000 yuan (£9,950) price tag. Their children would learn to read books in 20 seconds and identify poker cards by touch. The most talented would instantly see answers in their heads when presented with test papers. Around 30 pupils aged from 7 to 17 were enrolled for the Shanghai summer course. But 10 days later their "special abilities" had not materialized. "I found that my child learned nothing except how to cheat," one parent complained. More



Smoothing the path from foreign lips to American ears
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For hundreds of grown men and women here, work can mean sticking fingers into models of the human mouth, or trying to talk while peering at their tongues in mirrors or while hopping up and down stairs. They are foreign graduate students at Ohio University who are spending up to two hours a day learning how to speak so that their American colleagues and students will understand them. Many of them spend more than a year in the program, and they are not allowed to teach until their English instructors say they are ready. More


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From 'strivers' to 'highfliers,' report explores spectrum of foreign students
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of international students has grown significantly in recent years, yet American universities could do more to sharpen their recruiting by developing a better understanding of the different populations seeking their degrees, says a new report. The report, "Not All International Students Are the Same: Understanding Segments, Mapping Behavior," by World Education Services, a nonprofit group that evaluates international credentials, analyzes the educational aspirations, habits and pocketbooks of prospective foreign students. More

Making friends not always easy for foreign students
Voice of America    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent story in the Chronicle of Higher Education said many foreign students report feeling lonely or unwelcome in Australia. Those feelings are among the reasons why Australia is taking a close look at its international education industry. The government has formed an advisory council to help develop a five-year national strategy for the future of international education in Australia. But wherever international students go, making friends may not always be easy. The Journal of International and Intercultural Communication recently published a study done in the United States. More

Chinglish: Caught in the crossfire
The Chronicle of Higher Education (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This summer, while traveling in China, I delivered a lecture at the Changshu Institute of Technology to an audience of students, language teachers and translators. Speaking (through an interpreter) about the challenges of translators who serve as bridges between two languages, I noted that they are inevitably "traitors" to each. In the question-and-answer session that followed, a professor stood up and passionately attacked me for demeaning the status of translators in Chinese society. More



Unis urged to get serious about English proficiency
The Australian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Australia: Sophie Arkoudis, from the Centre for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Melbourne, says attention will shift from a narrow focus on the English language test scores for which some overseas students enrol when they begin. Arkoudis says the focus will have to widen in order to see how students, including locals from disadvantaged or non-English backgrounds, develop communication skills as they grapple with the content of their disciplines. It will also take in how institutions measure that achievement through, for example, a final year "capstone" project. More

Britain revokes a university's license to enroll overseas students
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Great Britain: Britain's Border Agency has revoked London Metropolitan University's license to authorize visas for international students from outside the European Union, leaving more than 2,000 undergraduates potentially facing deportation, the BBC News reported. In July, the agency had suspended London Metropolitan's "highly trusted status" for sponsoring international students, preventing the university from recruiting new students from outside the European Union. The loss of its license will also affect overseas students who are already enrolled. The National Union of Students said the decision could mean more than 2,000 students would be deported within 60 days unless they find another university sponsor. More



iPods in classroom can boost academic time and resources for English language learners
The University of Texas at Austin    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Providing English language learners with iPod Touches, or similar handheld devices, can increase learning time and motivation, according to a study from The University of Texas at Austin's College of Education. To find out how ELL students and teachers would use iPods and how they would feel about using the devices for educational purposes, Min Liu, a professor in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction, examined elementary, middle and high school classes in a Central Texas school district. She found the devices might be useful tools in closing the achievement gap between ELLs and their English-speaking peers. More

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How language change sneaks in
Linguistic Society of America via ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Languages are continually changing, not just words but also grammar. A recent study examines how such changes happen and what the changes can tell us about how speakers' grammars work. The study, "The course of actualization," to be published in the journal Language, is authored by Hendrik De Smet of the University of Leuven/Research Foundation Flanders. More

Study: Text speak does not affect children's use of grammar
The Telegraph    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Great Britain: Researcher assessed the spelling, grammar, understanding of English and IQ of primary and secondary schoolchildren and compared those skills with a sample of their text messages. There was no evidence of any significant relationships between poor grammar in text messages and their understanding of written or spoken grammar. The results will reassure parents who may have feared that text speak was eroding their child's grasp of English. The findings were presented at the British Psychological Society's Developmental Section Conference, at Strathclyde University in Glasgow. More



Why I want to teach: The voice of a young teacher
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I recently graduated high school, and I am about to start the next new adventure of my life, college! When people hear this, one of their first questions is always, "What are you majoring in?" I respond quickly and excitedly, "Secondary math teaching!" Their response then varies between a troubled sigh and concern for my poorly paid future. "Why would you settle for that?" More



Educators evaluate 'flipped classrooms'
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A growing number of educators are working to turn learning on its head by replacing traditional classroom lectures with video tutorials, an approach popularly called the "flipped classroom." Interest in that teaching method was in full view this summer at the International Society for Technology in Education annual conference in San Diego, where almost every session on the topic was filled to capacity. The movement was inspired partly by the work of Salman Khan, who created a library of free online tutoring videos spanning a variety of academic subjects, known as the Khan Academy, which many view as a touchstone of the flipped-classroom technique. But, much like the Khan Academy itself, the approach is attracting increasing scrutiny — and criticism — among educators and researchers. More

Best practices for deploying iPads in schools
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As schools get ready to deploy iPads this year, each one is scrambling to figure out how to develop an efficient and effective system that works. With no standardized system or uniform roadmap to follow, at the moment, it's up to individual schools to reach out through their networks to find information about best practices and smooth, streamlined service. Without professional development and a set plan in place, educators in individual classes might be stumped by how to set up iPads for different uses. But once a system is in place, educators will intuitively be able to move on with the business of guiding student learning. More

Boost teacher learning with video clubs
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When my husband asks me how my day was, I rarely leave it at "fine." Usually I wind up telling a never-ending story about a struggling reader who finally understood how to put letters together to make words ... or gushing about a new strategy I used to teach students to count coins. (He's a good listener, my husband.) He often asks me about what happens in other teachers' classrooms. For years, I didn't take his question seriously. I'd say, how should I know? After all, I spend most of the day in my room with my students. More



Developing Smart Listeners: Teaching Students How to Listen (Virtual Seminar), 27 September

Doing "Principled ESP" — Best Practices and Case Studies (Virtual Seminar), 3 October

TESOL Symposium: Facilitating Learning Through Student Empowerment, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 15 November

Registration now open for TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, 20-23 March, Dallas Texas, USA

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






Lecturer, English Language Institute, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas, USA

ESL Specialist, American Language Institute, Toledo, Ohio, USA

English Language Institute Academic Specialist, English Language Institute, Missouri State University, Springfield, Missouri, USA

English Language Instruction Specialist, English Language Institute, Missouri State University, Springfield Missouri, USA

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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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