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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Sep. 26, 2012






Report indicates significant re-segregation of public schools
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The nation's public schools have experienced dramatic re-segregation over the past two decades, a trend that is "systematically linked to unequal educational opportunities" for minority students, according to a new report by the Civil Rights Project/Proyecto Derechos Civiles at UCLA. In its latest in a series of reports analyzing segregation trends in public schools, "E Pluribus ... Separation: Deepening Double Segregation for More Students," the organization used federal data from the 2009-2010 school year, in comparison to previous trends. More
Related story: Civil Rights Project Report: American schools still heavily segregated by race, income (The Huffington Post)




Prize for Somali woman whose life work has focused on empowering women
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Somalia: Hawa Aden Mohamed watched the young women in blue and red shawls as their hands fluttered busily over clacking sewing machines in an airy workshop in Somalia's Galkayo town. "Seeing these girls earning a living, it is a good feeling," said the diminutive Somali, whose work to help displaced women improve their living standards was recognized when she was named winner of this year's Nansen Refugee Award. More

Ruined Syria schools a challenge for new term
The Daily Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Syria: Over 2,000 Syrian schools have been damaged or destroyed and hundreds more are being used as shelters, the U.N. said Friday, warning it faced a staggering challenge to prepare for the new school year. "It's going to be an immense challenge," Marixie Mercado, a spokeswoman for the U.N. children's agency UNICEF said in Geneva ahead of the start of the new term in Syria. Mercado said it was crucial for children to return to school to shift focus from the "nightmare" they were living after 18 months of escalating conflict in Syria that has killed 27,000 people according to activists. More






Register NOW! A TESOL Symposium: Facilitating learning through student empowerment
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL International Association is hosting a TESOL Symposium at the Intercontinental Hotel, Isla Verde in San Juan, Puerto Rico on Thursday, 15 November. The event kicks off the 39th PRTESOL Convention and the 11th CA & CB Regional Conference, 16–17 November. The Symposium Brochure is full of event information. For even more information visit TESOL's website. Hope to see you there.

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International exchange and research opportunities for U.S. classroom teachers
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs offers Fulbright grants for U.S. primary and secondary classroom teachers and other educators to participate in international exchanges during the 2013–2014 academic year through the Fulbright Classroom Teacher Exchange Program and the Distinguished Fulbright Awards in Teaching Program. The application deadline for the CTE program is 15 October. The application deadline for the DA program is 15 December. For more information, please visit the program website.

TESOL board member delivers opening speech at regional ESP symposium
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL Board Member Kay Westerfield delivered the opening speech for the Lower Mekong ESP Symposium, held 23–24 August, in Bangkok, Thailand, on the need for English for special purposes to help Lower Mekong Initiative countries' work forces become more competitive and able to collaborate on important regional initiatives. Her presentation was titled The Micro and the Macro-Economic Impact of ESP. The symposium was the culmination of the Lower Mekong Initiative Education Pillar English Project, Professional Communication Skills for Professionals. It was presided over by Dr. Piniti Ratananukul, the secretary general of the Thai Office of Higher Education Commission. For information on the symposium, read the press release and the symposium summary.



Race to Top winners push to fulfill promises
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the 12 Race to the Top winners reach the midpoint of their four-year, $4 billion federal grant program, states are shifting their work from the planning stages to what is perhaps the more difficult part: implementing new programs and school improvement efforts in the classroom. This critical midpoint comes as President Barack Obama, who considers the initiative one of his signature domestic-policy achievements, campaigns for a second term. More

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What citizenship means for the 21st century
The Philadelphia Inquirer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Conference on Citizenship and National Constitution Center celebrated the 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills is exploring how citizenship has changed in the 21st century. Rapid technological advancements, economic globalization and political forces around the world have had a profound impact on our democracy and on what it means to be a productive member of society. More

Democrats introduce bill to overhaul teacher training
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Democratic Representative Mike Honda, D-Calif., and Senator Jack Reed, D-R.I., have introduced identical bills that would reauthorize and make major changes to federal laws governing teacher preparation, including the reporting requirements, accountability provisions and TEACH grant scholarship program. The legislation has already won an endorsement by American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education. Unlike the GREAT Act — the other major federal teacher-preparation proposal floating around — the new bill appears to work mostly within the heavily higher-education dominated teacher-preparation marketplace. More

Candidates: Where I stand on education
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When voters go to the polls on Nov. 6, they'll choose from among presidential candidates who have very different views on the major issues affecting America, including education. With the election rapidly approaching, we've pulled together a summary of what each of the two major party candidates — President Barack Obama for the Democratic Party, and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney for the Republican Party — have said about their plans for K-12 education. More



How school stakeholders view the presidential election
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Stakeholders involved in K-12 education plan to vote for President Barack Obama in the Nov. 6 presidential election, 53 percent to 42 percent, according to an informal poll of eSchool News readers. But among those involved in private K-12 schools, the gap between Obama and his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, is somewhat smaller: 51 percent to 45 percent. More

Stopgap spending measure deals with highly qualified teacher issue
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There's a big budget showdown brewing in Washington, but school districts have at least some funding information to go on now, at least for the next six months, thanks to a rare bipartisan bill that passed the House of Representatives and is expected to gain approval in the Senate. With very little fanfare or drama, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to extend funding for almost every federal agency until March 27, well after the presidential election. There's actually a very small increase for the education department, about $417 million, according to the Committee for Education Funding, a nonprofit organization in Washington. More

Bleak outlook for education spending under sequestration
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As schools face ever-increasing budget dilemmas, education stakeholders are desperately hoping to avoid sequestration, or across-the-board cuts, to domestic spending next year — cuts that could devastate education programs and affect many of the country's neediest students, experts say. To avoid a government shutdown in 2011, Congress passed the Budget Control Act, which increased the national debt ceiling in exchange for a major reduction to federal deficits. Congress set limits to federal spending for 10 years and created a "supercommittee" tasked with creating legislation to reduce the deficit. More

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Teachers' unions court GOP
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The strike by public school teachers in Chicago drew national attention to a fierce debate over the future of education and exposed the ruptured relationship between teachers' unions and Democrats like Mayor Rahm Emanuel. Over the past few years, lawmakers who have previously been considered solid supporters of teachers' unions have tangled with them over a national education agenda that includes new performance evaluations based partly on test scores, the overhaul of tenure and the expansion of charter schools. More

Kindle's English language teaching role 're-examined'
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Days before U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Amazon founder Jeff Bezos were due to launch a partnership, to promote U.S. culture and provide English lessons to young learners around the world via 35,000 Kindle e-readers, the event was quietly cancelled. The proposed partnership with Amazon to develop the Kindle Mobile Learning Initiative was officially terminated on 15 August. The cancellation notice stated that the state department "intends to conduct additional market research and re-examine its requirements for this program". More

English training targets Asean's link language
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Brunei: Brunei and the U.S. will start delivering the first of a series of intensive 11-week English-language courses for teacher trainers and government officials in southeast Asia, where consolidated language skills are expected to help unify the region before it becomes a single economic zone in 2015. The courses are part of a five-year, $25 million Brunei-U.S. English Language Enrichment Project for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, aimed at linguistically unifying the 10 members — all of which speak their own languages — and strengthening diplomatic, educational and teaching opportunities across the region. More


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Skills shortage stalls training of 67,000 Maharashtra teachers
The Guradian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: A partnership between the British Council and the government of Maharashtra state in India to improve the English language teaching skills of 67,000 primary school teachers has hit a skills shortage, according to local press reports. The English Language Initiative for Primary Schools was launched in June with a budget of $616,000 with the aim of recruiting up to 920 "master trainers" to deliver skills to at least one teacher in every state school over two years. More

Ability to help language learners limited by resources
The Gannon Knight    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Working at Gannon's Writing Center in Erie, Penn., has pretty much cemented the fact that at some point in Christine Peffer's life, she is meant to teach, in some capacity. And one of those appealing capacities is English as a second language. Some of Peffer's favorite students she has tutored have been ESL students. But there are times when she felt under prepared to adequately help them hone their grammar, let alone write an effective thesis statement and paper. And this is no fault of the training system or director, because this is a changing landscape that is reshaping rapidly. More

Scottsdale, Ariz., scrambling to train teachers
The Arizona Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lack of time and money is squeezing the Scottsdale Unified School District's efforts to train its teachers in the new Common Core Standards. Arizona adopted the tough new standards two years ago, and Scottsdale has been updating its curriculum and technology ever since. But it has been difficult to find enough time for teachers to learn the new concepts — a dramatic change in the way they've taught before. More


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Virginia sets new testing benchmarks for students
The Washington Examiner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Virginia schools officials are backing away from a plan that would set different achievement goals for minority and low-income students on standardized math tests, instead preparing to ask the state school board to set a benchmark of 73 percent math proficiency for all students by 2016. To close the achievement gap and get all students to the 73 percent level, Virginia teachers will be tasked with helping minority, disabled and English language learner students make large gains every year for the next five years on the Standards of Learning tests. More

California governor approves long-term ELL bill
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recently, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation that will bring attention to those English language learners who get stalled for years in public schools without ever becoming fluent. Brown's approval makes California the first in the nation to put a statewide policy focus on long-term ELLs — a group of students with persistently low achievement and at high risk of dropping out of school. More



Education in the election: Romney breaks from Ryan budget on Pell grants
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Mitt Romney said he doesn't agree with his running mate Paul Ryan when it comes to Pell grant funding at a "Meet the Candidate" event geared toward Latino voters. Ryan's budget would reduce funding for Pell grants, which are given to low-income students to attend college, increase eligibility requirements and freeze the maximum grant at $5,550, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. President Barack Obama supports raising the maximum to $5,635 — about a 1.5 percent increase. More


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Reports highlight colleges that improve minority graduation rates
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The gap in degree attainment between white students and minorities has been a persistent and troubling trend in higher education. But two new reports by the Education Trust highlight schools that are making progress and explains the strategies used to improve graduation rates for African-American and Hispanic students. The difference in student success in college by race is substantial and relatively unchanged. The Washington-based nonprofit's Advancing to Completion study on African-Americans reports that in 2004, 41.2 percent of black students graduated in six years, compared to 40.6 percent in 2010. More

Rifts over OECD's global test of learning
Inside Higher Ed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Most of the discussion at the biennial conference of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development here this week was, per the group's name, about potential collaboration in solving the common issues and problems that many countries face in their higher education sectors: shrinking government support, growing dependence on tuition dollars and rising student demand, to name several. They didn't quite break into a chorus of Kumbaya, but darn close. More

Treatment of international students is a hot topic at European conference
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As economic troubles continue to plague Europe, universities here are ramping up their efforts to recruit tuition-paying students overseas. At the same time, more European academics are asking whether these students are being treated well, challenging institutions to think less about the bottom line and more about how to create truly international campuses. That was the central message at this year's meeting of the European Association for International Education, where widespread interest in all things international was evident among the 4,000 or so participants. More





Sign language that African Americans use is different from that of whites
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Carolyn McCaskill remembers exactly when she discovered that she couldn't understand white people. It was 1968, she was 15 years old, and she and nine other deaf black students had just enrolled in an integrated school for the deaf in Talledega, Ala. When the teacher got up to address the class, McCaskill was lost. More

Do scores go up when teachers return bonuses?
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Chicago, parents were fuming over a weeklong strike by teachers. Around the rest of the country, in the face of growing evidence that many U.S. students are falling behind, administrators have tried to devise different ways to motivate teachers. Among the contentious issues is whether teachers should be held accountable for their students' performance on standardized tests. Such efforts have produced enormous conflicts between school districts and teachers. In many parts of the country, administrators and teachers have fought one another to a standstill. More

What is this app doing to my kid's brain?
Fast Company    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Seven out of 10 kids in tablet-using homes use the tablet themselves. The author of a new book argues parents are paying attention to the wrong criteria to decide what's good and bad in kids' media. The amount of digital media exposure we're getting, even among the tiniest infants, just keeps growing. Half of all children under the age of 8 have access to a touch-screen device, whether smartphone or tablet, at home, and half of infants under 1 year watch TV or videos — an average of almost two hours a day. The educational app field is seeing massive growth with 80 percent of educational apps in the iPad store targeted to young children. But research, says one expert, is lagging far behind practice. More

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Study: Segregation prominent in schools
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The United States is increasingly a multiracial society, with white students accounting for just over half of all students in public schools, down from four-fifths in 1970. Yet whites are still largely concentrated in schools with other whites, leaving the largest minority groups — black and Latino students — isolated in classrooms, according to a new analysis of Department of Education data. The report showed that segregation is not limited to race: blacks and Latinos are twice as likely as white or Asian students to attend schools with a substantial majority of poor children. More



Education Nation: Finding classroom success in noisy mix of Spanish, English
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At Ernest R. Geddes Elementary School in Baldwin Park, Calif., one third-grade teacher, Pamela Ochoa, encourages the children in her group of struggling readers to get out of their chairs and dance. Kindergartners in another room interrupt stories to predict what will happen next and ask about words they don't understand. Often at this majority-Hispanic school, the arguments and singing that spill out of classrooms are in a mix of Spanish and English. At Geddes, 87 percent of students are poor enough to qualify for federally subsidized lunches. More than half are still learning English. But in 2011, while 56 percent of elementary-age students in California were proficient or above on state tests for English language arts, two thirds of Geddes students were. More

Building a positive, trusting classroom environment
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Believe it or not, I had a bit of a freak-out before the first day of school. All summer, I had prepared my curriculum, re-thought my lesson plans, reflected on the energies I would put out to my students, and got plenty of professional development (specifically in science and math integration). Yet, a few hours before I went to bed, I posted on Facebook, "Always nervous about the first day of school with the students. Not because I'm scared of them, but because I want to do right by them." Despite my best efforts, I always feel like I can do better. Then, on the first day, I received a text message from one of my former students saying how much she missed her teachers — including me. More

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Twitter in the classroom...
What Ed Said (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A group of Jina's Year 4 students sit on the floor and I show them Twitter. She is fairly new to Twitter herself, so I love that she has set up a class account and is keen to get them started, especially as this is the first class Twitter account in our school. For now, the account can only be accessed if the teacher logs in. She plans to keep it logged in in the classroom, so that students can share their learning and gather data via their questions. Several articles in the past few weeks have covered dozens of ways to use Twitter for learning and we need to start somewhere to see where this takes us. More

Cyberbullying law protects teachers from students
NBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students who do more than bad-mouth teachers, but actually bully them online by posting doctored photos or false information about them, had best not do it in North Carolina. It's now the first state that's made it a crime. While cyberbullying laws, those protecting students from others students' horrid and hurtful behaviors, are becoming more common nationwide, North Carolina's School Violence Protection Law of 2012 throws the book and the blackboard at students who go after teachers and school employees. More

Educators fight online slams
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After years spent trying to shield students from online bullying by their peers, schools are beginning to crack down on Internet postings that disparage teachers. Schools elsewhere in the U.S. have punished the occasional tweeter who hurls an insult at a teacher, but North Carolina has taken it a step further, making it a crime for students to post statements via the Internet that "intimidate or torment" faculty. Students convicted under the law could be guilty of a misdemeanor and punished with fines of as much as $1,000 and/or probation. More



Teachers' expectations can influence how students perform
NPR (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In my Morning Edition story today, I look at expectations — specifically, how teacher expectations can affect the performance of the children they teach. The first psychologist to systematically study this was a Harvard professor named Robert Rosenthal, who in 1964 did a wonderful experiment at an elementary school south of San Francisco. The idea was to figure out what would happen if teachers were told that certain kids in their class were destined to succeed, so Rosenthal took a normal IQ test and dressed it up as a different test. More

Resistance to high stakes testing spreads
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A rising tide of protest is sweeping across the nation as growing numbers of parents, teachers, administrators and academics take action against high-stakes testing. Instead of test-and-punish policies, which have failed to improve academic performance or equity, the movement is pressing for broader forms of assessment. From Texas to New York and Florida to Washington, reform activists are pressing to reduce the number of standardized exams. They also seek to scale back the consequences attached to test scores and use multiple measures to evaluate students, educators, schools and districts. More

'Why are there so many words in math?': Planning for content-area vocabulary instruction
The National Center for Literacy Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Vocabulary presents a challenge to students in content area classes, making it difficult to understand new concepts and make connections to background knowledge. This article from Voices from the Middle describes the 5 Cs, a tool developed to help content area teachers consider vocabulary as part of lesson planning. By selecting a set of key words for instruction, teachers can help students focus on conceptual understanding and connect new ideas to existing knowledge. More



Separating Difference From Disability With Students Learning English as an Additional Language (Online Course), 22 October-19 November

Transferable Skills That Learners Need for Academic and Workplace Settings (Virtual Seminar) 26 October

ELT Leadership Management Certificate Program (Certificate Course), Deadline for registration 1 February 2013

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






Visiting Professor, Monterey Institute of International Studies, Middlebury, Vermont, USA

Assistant Professor, National Quemoy University, Taiwan

Assistant Director, University of Colorado Denver, USA

Project Director, Indiana University–Kabul Education University, Kabul, Afghanistan

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.
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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