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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Sep. 24, 2013

 





Need for more routes to teach English
The Star Online
Malaysia: The standard of the English language in the country has deteriorated to an alarming level. The government's previous and recent attempts have not brought about positive results. It is indeed good to know that there are citizens voicing out their concerns about its shameful state as there is no denying that it is indeed a universal language. Deputy Prime Minister Tan Dri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Education Minister, had said there would be renewed emphasis on improving the quality of teaching and learning of the English language.
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Not enough English classes as number of limited-English speakers rises
Voxxi
There was a point where something as simple as standing in line at a post office made Dolores Rangel nervous. That's because she feared the person at the counter would only speak English, which she didn't know how to do even though she has been living in the United States for almost three decades and is a naturalized U.S. citizen.
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More than 1 in 10 professors fails English language test
Expatica.com
Belgium: 10 to 20 percent of the professors teaching at college or university failed an English language test. That's according to a report in De Standaard. The tests took place over the past months. The Flemish government had asked all professors giving classes in English to take part in a language exam to test their English language skills. In all, some 3,000 professors had to do a language exam. On average, 10 to 20 percent of teaching staff failed. At Antwerp University, 13 percent did not pass the test, at Ghent University this was 14 percent, in Hasselt between 15 and 20 percent and Brussels University had the worst score with 20 percent failing.
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Free online conference: Technology in Teaching — Principles in Practice
TESOL
This full-day conference runs 12 October 2013 and is hosted jointly by TESOL's Computer-Assisted Language Learning Interest Section and IATEFL's Learning Technologies Special Interest Group. Topics are designed to provide a grounding for classroom practice in principled application of technology. Information on guest speakers, format and registration is available here.
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Call for authors: New TESOL book series
TESOL
The TESOL Book Publications Committee is accepting proposals for a new series on Perspectives on Teaching in Different Contexts. The series consists of 80-page books addressing the challenges specific to certain contexts for teaching English language learners. Please see the call and two helpful articles on context from the 14 August and 13 September issues of this English Language Bulletin. Deadline for proposals is 30 September 2013.
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TOEFL Small Grants for Doctoral Research in Second or Foreign Language Assessment
TESOL
The deadline is 15 October 2013 for applications for the TOEFL Small Grants for Doctoral Research in Second or Foreign Language Assessment. Cash awards up to US $2000 are available to promising students working in the field of foreign or second language assessment that will help them finish their dissertations in a timely manner. Applications received after 15 October will be considered for the next application deadline of 15 February 2014. For more information about the award, please visit www.ets.org/toefl/awards.
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More than 1 in 10 professors fails English language test
Expatica.com
Belgium: 10 to 20 percent of the professors teaching at college or university failed an English language test. That's according to a report in De Standaard. The tests took place over the past months.

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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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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.

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Department awards $30 million in grants to support teacher and principal development
Office of Innovation and Improvement
U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced nearly $30 million for six grant awards to improve student achievement by increasing the effectiveness of teachers and principals. The national nonprofits funded under the Supporting Effective Educators Development program, will enhance preparation of pre-service teachers, provide professional development to in-service teachers and leaders, and disseminate best practices, ultimately serving approximately 27,000 teachers and principals, reaching a significant number of students across all 50 states.
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In fast-growing ELL states, what does spending look like?
Education Week
South Carolina has seen the most extreme growth in its population of English language learners — a jump of 610 percent in the last decade — but the state does not provide schools with any resources on top of the regular per-pupil allocation to educate those students. Mississippi, in the same period, saw its English learner population grow by 158 percent, but like in South Carolina, its schools don't get any state aid to help pay for their educational services. Nevada, a third high-growth ELL state, until this year had not ever provided targeted funding to schools to pay for the education of ELLs. A measure signed earlier this year by Gov. Brian Sandoval is changing that.
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English language association boosts language proficiency
AllAfrica
Namibia: A professor and Dean for the School of Humanities at the Polytechnic of Namibia, Sarala Krishnamurthy is the driving force behind what might be hope for many Namibian teachers — the Namibian English Teachers' Association. NETA's main objectives are to raise awareness about English language teaching issues in Namibia and to identify key issues that need addressing within a regional framework and then within a broader all-Southern African Development Community perspective.
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Civic teachers to get training in English language
The Times of India
India: Experts from British Council will train civic schoolteachers in English language. The BMC will pay the organization Rs 1.1 crore for the English language training program, which will be implemented phase wise, for five years. In the initial phase, 30 civic teachers will be trained for 60 days this year, and another 60 days next year. Then select teachers from the first batch will train 2,400 others in the second batch. The BMC aims to train 9,600 teachers in the next five years under this program.
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DIET mulls training for high school teachers in English
The New Indian Express
India: The District Institute of Education and Training (DIET) has proposed a training program for teachers taking English medium classes in government high schools, in the district. The training program would be organized with State Council Educational Research and Training funding. SCERT functions as the academic wing of the school education department in formulating and implementing the government programs in school education.
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Leveling the playing field
Language Magazine
President Barack Obama's ConnectED Initiative calls for 99 percent of America's students to be connected to the Internet through high-speed broadband and high-speed wireless within five years, and this fall, an increasing number of students are returning to schools taking large strides toward achieving that goal. "In 2013 and going forward, digital literacy is an essential subject that must be taught," says Leo Gómez, president of the National Association for Bilingual Education. "If we don't start to recognize the true importance of digital literacy in the school setting, we're setting up our kids for many problems and conflicts in their futures." Preparing our students with the digital skills they need to compete for jobs globally and locally is essential. But do English language learners and their native-English-speaking counterparts approach technology on a level playing field?
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Non-English speakers attend ESL open house
The Paris News
About 25 students came to Texas' Paris Junior College's open house. But these students aren't learning calculus. They're learning English. As part of PJC's Adult Education and Family Literacy program, English second language education is provided free to those who want to take advantage of it, according to English Language/Civics coordinator Susan Sanchez.
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Free online classes shouldn't replace teachers and classrooms — They should make them better
Slate
For a year or two there, free online classes seemed like they just might be the future of higher education. Why, some influential computer scientists wondered, should there be thousands of colleges and universities around the country all teaching the same classes to small groups of students, when you could get one brilliant professor to teach the material to the whole world at once via the Internet?
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How to improve your spoken English: 5 tips
DNA
India: English is the language of business and professional communication in India. Even in academics, most courses in Indian institutes and universities are offered in English. Therefore even for students, it becomes extremely essential to have a command over the English language that aids them to excel in their academics.
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Chinese restaurant first to offer English training to staff
SAMPAN
China Pearl became the first Chinese restaurant in Boston to invest in the language skills of its employees on June 5, introducing an English language program for its predominantly Chinese-speaking staff. The well-known restaurant has engaged the Asian American Civic Association to provide ESOL (English for speakers of other languages) classes to employees while they are at work. The program is funded by a $150,000 Learn At Work grant from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education over two years.
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Survey: Motivated, English-speaking grads more likely to find jobs
The Malay Mail
Malaysia: Employers are more likely to hire based on a fresh graduate's positive personality and command of English rather than where he obtained his university qualifications, a recent survey by employment website Jobstreet.com suggests. According to its poll of employers and jobseekers in July, the job placement firm found deficiencies in interpersonal skills (60 percent) and language mastery (55 percent) to be the second and third most-frequently cited reasons for why fresh graduates' are not hired.
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Back to school stress: Establishing good habits
Edutopia (commentary)
While other people make resolutions in January, most teachers make their resolutions in September. I will not fall behind my grading. I will not get as stressed out as I did last year. I will not eat an entire package of Chips Ahoy! in one sitting. With all your attention on teaching, it's important to make sure your personal life is set up to withstand the additional stress. Establishing a few good habits now will help you avoid slipping into a destructive cycle that will leave you burned out by spring.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    A recipe for ELL student success (Language Magazine)
Career dual-language educator named head of Federal ELL office (Education Week)
Why can't New York City kids master the English language? (Times Ledger)
11 tips on teaching Common Core critical vocabulary (Edutopia)
Employers can help win the war on bad grammar (Financial Times)

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


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6 ways teachers can use Google Hangouts
THE Journal
As director of technology for Groton-Dunstable Regional School District in Groton, Mass., as well as a teacher of high school courses in digital and information literacy, Andrew Marcinek knows what it takes to effectively implement tech in the classroom. One of Marcinek's recent discoveries is Google Hangouts, a free video chat service that enables one-on-one chats and group chats with up to 10 people at a time. For Marcinek, Hangouts provides a new way to connect students beyond the four walls of the classroom.
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3 tips for integrating tools at the start of school
Edutopia
The school year has started, and teachers across the country are excited to try out all the cool new tools they learned about during their "summer off." It's great to know there are so many educators out there ready to introduce something new and exciting in their classroom, but here are three tips to help you make sure that you get the most out of them.
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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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