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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Sep. 10, 2013

 





Mexico passes a weakened bill to evaluate teachers
The New York Times
Mexico: Mexico took a major step toward instituting evaluations of public schoolteachers and ending their practice of buying and inheriting their posts, but analysts said violent protests by teachers had led Congress to include provisions in the new legislation that might undermine the overhaul.
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States may move closer to uniform way of identifying ELLs
Education Week
The widespread adoption of the Common Core Standards and the imminent rollout of shared content assessments is pushing states to find common ground in yet another dimension of schooling: how best to serve the growing population of English language learners. With a just-released set of recommendations from the Council of Chief State School Officers to help guide them, most states are now set to embark on an effort to bring more uniformity to identifying who English learners are and when those students are no longer in need of language instruction. The goal is to move all states to a more consistent playing field over the next four or five years.
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Classroom chaos? Critics blast new Common Core education standards
Fox News
A full year before students around the nation submit to the new Common Core standardized tests, the federally-backed program is already causing chaos and confusion at local school board meetings, in the classroom and at the dinner table. As critics fear Washington is poised to take control of what and how local districts teach kids, school administrators are adopting a new curriculum in an effort to ensure their students outperform their peers and parents worry that their children are being used as academic guinea pigs. As the program gets closer to full implementation, a full-blown backlash is developing despite assurances from supporters that it is merely a test aimed at establishing a national standard.
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Explore TESOL 2014 in Portland, Ore., USA
TESOL
Registration is now open for the TESOL Convention & English Language Expo to be held 26–29 March 2014. The convention is an opportunity to renew friendships and explore current English language teaching and research. Visit the convention website for Keynote speakers, events both before and after convention, travel and visa information, and much more.
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Call for TESOL Convention Award and Grant applications
TESOL
Need help with travel expenses to attend TESOL 2014 in Portland, Oregon? The TESOL Awards Committee invites you to apply for one of the many awards and grants offered to provide financial assistance to TESOL members who wish to attend convention. Awards are available for graduate students or recent graduates, ESL/EFL teachers and teacher trainers, and TESOL researchers. Applications must be received on or before 1 November 2013. Visit the TESOL Awards & Grants Web page for more information.
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TESOL Journal 2014 special issue: Call for abstracts
TESOL
TESOL Journal announces a call for 600-word abstracts for the 2014 special-topic issue on nonnativeness, race, class, gender, and sexuality in an era of World Englishes. Deadline for submissions is 1 October 2013. Details are provided here.
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Funding available for adult education classroom materials: Deadline 30 September
TESOL
The Tina B. Carver Fund offers grants for funding the purchase of student classroom learning materials and/or teacher-related materials to support adult ESL education programs in the United States. Applications should be submitted online by 30 September. Read more information online.
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Upcoming Virtual Seminars
TESOL
18 September: Towards a Praxis of Recognition for Latina/o ELLs in the U.S. Public School System

30 September: Implications and Applications of the Latest Brain Research for English Language Learners and Teachers

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Education department seeks feedback on supporting English learners
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education is looking for guidance on how it can provide better technical support and services to local educators and state education officials responsible for English-language learners. That request was published in the Federal Register.

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Cutting to the Common Core: Making vocabulary No. 1
Language Magazine
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) call upon students to tackle increasingly complex informational and narrative texts and articulate their comprehension using academic register.

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Does geography influence how a language sounds?
National Geographic
Languages spoken at high altitudes are more likely to contain a certain kind of sound made using short bursts of air, according to a new study. The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, is the first to show that geography can influence how a language sounds.

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Education department seeks feedback on supporting English learners
Education Week
The U.S. Department of Education is looking for guidance on how it can provide better technical support and services to local educators and state education officials responsible for English language learners. That request was published in the Federal Register. Respondents have until Sept. 25 to provide their feedback. The Education Department seems to want to improve its services to the ELL community on two fronts: Title III technical assistance to state and local education agencies and the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition, or NCELA.
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National effort underway to streamline English language learning guidelines
The Gainesville Times
With identifying and classifying English language learners traditionally left up to states and individual school systems, a new movement is pushing to nationalize those standards. That general push for one set of guidelines is comparable to states joining Common Core, a national set of standards that the majority of states have adopted. Georgia currently belongs to a 33-state consortium called the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment Consortium.
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Can school networks handle Common Core demands?
eSchool News
A majority of school districts feel that their networks are not equipped to handle the demand that online assessments — a key part of the Common Core State Standards — will require, according to a survey conducted by Enterasys, a wired and wireless infrastructure company. Seventy-three percent of survey respondents said they are "not very confident" that their current networks will be able to support the capacity needs of Common Core State Standards assessment.
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Will new Common Core Standards mean less teaching to the test?
NPR
One of the big questions as Florida and 44 other states transition to new education standards and new tests over the next few years is how much time will teachers have to spend teaching to the test? Teachers complain that they can only spend classroom time on items which will appear on the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test. In addition, another complaint is that class time is used to teach kids how to take a test rather than imparting more important knowledge.
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Hispanic, English language learners making gains
The Watch
Colorado test results revealed Hispanic students in Montrose and Olathe schools are narrowing the achievement gap with their white counterparts, and that proficiency ratings among English language learners and those on government lunch programs are on the rise. More Hispanic children are reaching proficiency on statewide exams, a measurable sign of progress, with the Hispanic population now comprising 38 percent of the Montrose County student population. Statewide, 32 percent of Colorado's students are Hispanic.
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Language barriers complicate life at 'failing' Buffalo high school
The Buffalo News
Girukwishaka Elize kept quiet his first three years at Lafayette High School, silently trying to decipher what the teachers were saying and fearful that speaking would invite more questions. "People used to think I was deaf," remembered the 20-year-old from Tanzania who goes by "GK." He arrived in Buffalo as a refugee when he was 14. For Lian Kham Thang, a native of Burma, rifling through the pages of "MacBeth" — required reading in senior-level English — was bewildering.
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English language learners in Hillsboro, Ore., perform below federal, state standards
The Oregonian
Each year, the federal government expects more and more English language learners in public schools to demonstrate proficiency in English. But the number of such students who met federal targets in Hillsboro, Ore., schools has fallen. Data released by the Oregon Department of Education Thursday morning shows that school districts across the state are not just struggling to meet federal English proficiency targets that get tougher every year; the percentage of students meeting the standards is actually decreasing. And Hillsboro's English language learners perform well under state averages.
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District falters on English language learning
Statesman Journal
Salem-Keizer School District in Oregon continues to stumble on three measures of how well it helps non-native speakers learn English, according to a state report on English language learners released today. The percent of students who made one year's worth of progress dropped 2 percent after a 1-point drop the year before. Students who learned enough academic English to exit the program last year remained steady.
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UCLA student body drops term 'illegal immigrant'
The Huffington Post
The student government of a California university vowed to drop the term "illegal immigrant." The Undergraduate Students Association at the University of California at Los Angeles unanimously passed a resolution last week endorsing the "Drop the I-Word" campaign launched by the Applied Research Center and its publication ColorLines. "[T]he racially derogatory I-Word endangers basic human rights including the presumption of innocence and the right to due process guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution," the resolution reads.
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Put Your Passion Into Practice

Teach with a purpose. SIT students learn to teach language for social change, advocacy, education, and empowerment through SIT’s online and on campus accredited master degree programs. MORE
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'Home base' for adult education
Inside Higher Ed
Housed inside a former Blockbuster video store at the end of South Omaha strip mall, Metropolitan Community College's newest (and smallest) location may be modest in size, but it reflects plenty of ambition. While in the past, the community college has offered GED and English as a Second Language classes at its campuses and at community sites throughout Omaha, the college's adult education initiative — MCCC Express — is a new strategy to provide multiple adult education services in one space.
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English language in today's era
Pakistan Observer
Pakistan: Language is the source of communication and communication is the tool for interacting with people in everyday life. It is the means for perception. English language may be a foreign language but it is international because of its significance. This is the most common language in most parts of the world and keeps us connected with the whole universe. The importance of English language nowadays cannot be ignored. Whether we go to Europe, Asia, Africa, America, Australia or the North or South poles, we will definitely find someone who knows English.
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Learning new language has significant impact on brain structure
Science World Report
The age at which children learn a new language can have a significant impact on the adult brain structure, suggests a new finding. It has been suggested before by experts that a great way to make one's brain healthier is by learning a new language. Second language boosts brain power. A previous study conducted by researchers at Lund University showed that learning a new language actually makes parts of the brain grow. According to a new joint study, learning a new language alters brain development.
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What if you only had 5 minutes to inspire a student?
Education Week
First impressions are important. We know this. We've heard about it in commercials and read about it in books. The statement, "You don't get a second chance to make a first impression," is a popular statement that is ingrained in our psyche. As much as we often think this only means adult-to-adult relationships, it also pertains to the relationships we have with our students.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Apps for English language learning: Speech-to-text for writing development (By Beth Crumpler)
New Common Core resources for educators (eClassroom News)
6 ways to motivate students to learn (MindShift)
Learning a new language alters brain development (McGill University via Science Daily)
Apps that snap and tools that rule (Language Magazine)

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




Teaching English in CR: A teacher's view
The Costarican Times
Costa Rica: Proving yourself at a new job is a two-way street. While there is an obvious onus on a new employee to impress their direct superior, onus is also on that superior to prove that the new work environment is in fact desirable. It goes without saying that in order to get the most out of any employee, a positive and respectful work environment must be established from the outset of any professional relationship.
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iPads create learning experience for students, teachers
Evansville Courier & Press
It wasn't just the students at Evansville Lutheran School in Evansville, Ind., who needed to get accustomed to a new classroom tool when the school year began; teachers have also had to adapt to integrating and using iPads on a daily educational basis. On Aug. 13, when the school year started at ELS, every fourth- through eighth-grader walked into their classroom with not only pencils, paper and lunchboxes, but also their very own iPad. The school is implementing a one-to-one initiative after testing the possibilities last year when ELS used a private donation and funds to purchase two mobile carts of iPads — 25 for upstairs classrooms to share and 25 for the main level classes. School officials decided it would be beneficial to implement the program to better prepare students for the 21st century.
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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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