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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   September 30, 2014

 





Schools develop 'newcomer' programs, English help for teens crossing US border alone
The Associated Press via Newser
American schools are scrambling to provide services to the large number of children and teenagers who crossed the border alone in recent months. Unaccompanied minors who made up the summer spike at the border have moved to communities of all sizes, in nearly every state, Federal data indicate, to live with a relative and await immigration decisions. The Supreme Court has ruled that schools have an obligation to educate all students regardless of their immigration status, so schools have become a safe haven for many of the tens of thousands of these young people mostly from Central America living in limbo.
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Common Core can help English learners in California, new study says
The Hechinger Report
The rigorous new Common Core standards represent both a daunting challenge and a promising pathway that could help close the achievement gap for the growing number of American students who enter school knowing little or no English. So concludes a new yearlong study released today by the California-based arm of Education Trust, a nonpartisan research and advocacy group that has repeatedly voiced concern that the new national standards might prove to be an additional burden for students whose native language is not English, particularly those who come from low-income families.
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Could bilingual education mold kids' brains to better resist distraction?
MindShift
For decades, psychologists cautioned against raising children bilingual. They warned parents and teachers that learning a second language as a child was bad for brain development. But recent studies have found exactly the opposite. Researchers now believe that when people learn another language, they develop cognitive advantages that improve their attention, self-control and ability to deal with conflicting information. Today the benefits of bilingualism are being put to the test in schools all across Utah.
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New from TESOL Press: Fostering International Student Success in Higher Education
TESOL
Gain a better understanding of international students' needs through quotes, anecdotes, and reflection questions, and learn specific strategies, resources, and activities that serve as tools for responding to common instructional challenges.
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TESOL Awards & Grants: Apply Today
TESOL
TESOL is accepting applications/nominations for several different awards and grants. Funding for TESOL 2015 in Toronto, Canada is available. Applications must be received by 1 November 2014.
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Efforts underway to help non-English speakers learn the language
KLAS-TV
More people than ever, who call Las Vegas home, barely speak English, according to a Brookings Institute report. The report ranks Las Vegas the 16th highest in the nation for the number of working-age adults with limited English skills.

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Flexibility with English language learners
The Denver Post
The question of how to teach immigrant students has provoked perhaps the most bitter, rancorous debates in American education over the past 40 years.

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English language tests inquiry declares thousands of results invalid
The Guardian
United Kingdom: More than 50,000 English language tests taken by overseas students to extend their British visas have been declared invalid or questionable as a result of an official investigation into cheating on a huge scale.

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School spending decisions: Are you getting the best value for dollars spent?
District Administration Magazine
Student achievement, teacher quality, school safety, 21st century teaching and learning — these are but a glimpse into the areas of need each administrator must consider when making school spending decisions. Add to each of these spending decisions the impact of student productivity, and your efficiency and financial anxiety might increase. As the 2014-2015 school year heads into full swing, are you left wondering how to spend your tight budget on the right things?
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Tilles: Some students being set up to fail
Newsday
Under the federal No Child Left Behind and the Race to the Top reform programs, English language learners in New York are required to take the state English language arts test as soon as they have been enrolled for a year and a day. Most educators believe the timeline is one to two years premature for students to be proficient enough to pass the exam. Similarly, the U.S. Department of Education also mandates that special education students take the state English language arts and math tests at their age levels — regardless of the levels at which they are being taught.
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Sherman, Texas, ISD sees substantial increase of English language learners
KXII-TV
The Sherman Independent School District in Texas is looking toward the future of expanding its English language learning programs after a substantial growth in its number of English language learners. During the past seven years, Sherman ISD has had a more than 50 percent increase in its number of English language learners, according to Lauren Dill, the Coordinator of Bilingual and ESL for Sherman ISD. "We currently have a 1,501 students in the district who qualify as English language learners," Dill said. In 2007, that same number was at roughly 900 students.
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Want to be rated 'highly effective' in New York? Don't teach English or math in grades 4-8
The Hechinger Report
English and math teachers in grades 4-8 in New York are much less effective in promoting student growth on state assessments (or comparable measures) than other teachers in the Empire State. Does that sound plausible? That teachers of particular subjects in particular grades are just not as good at promoting student learning? Perhaps not. But it's the inevitable conclusion to be drawn from the scores awarded to New York teachers as part of the 2012-2013 Annual Professional Performance Review. New York's state education law, passed in 2010 and amended in 2012, provides for teachers to be classified as "highly effective," "effective," "developing" or "ineffective" based on their score on a 100-point scale.
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At Jydstrup Elementary, students speak 37 languages — And learn a lesson in diversity
Las Vegas Sun
The children gather on a rug in Mrs. O'Brien's kindergarten classroom, ready for the morning routine. "All right, can you show me sitting down crisscross applesauce style?" Kara O'Brien asks in a sing-songy voice. She plays a medley of songs for 5- and 6-year-olds. "Give them your right hand/Look them in the eye/Put a smile on your face/Then you say, 'Hi!'" The kids giggle and act out the words, shaking each other's hand. Next comes a disco-tuned ABC song, then a song encouraging them to wiggle and shake. Every song has a purpose. O'Brien and other Jydstrup Elementary School teachers have kids in their classrooms from Ethiopia to Ukraine to Brazil, each with a varying grasp on the English language. This is more than just a morning routine — it's a way to help the students learn English and respect students from different cultures.
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Language learning by the numbers — And how you can come out on top
USA Today
College course catalogues can be overwhelming. There are so many concepts to learn, so many worlds to explore, and so many professors to befriend, yet so little time to do it all. It's no wonder, then, that learning a language sometimes sinks to the bottom of our list of priorities. But it shouldn't. Learning a language can advance our careers, our personal lives, our cognition, and our potential to make a positive impact on the world.
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Efforts underway to help non-English speakers learn the language
KLAS-TV
More people than ever, who call Las Vegas home, barely speak English, according to a Brookings Institute report. The report ranks Las Vegas the 16th highest in the nation for the number of working-age adults with limited English skills. The Clark County School District is working to change that. English is much more than just a language, which is what Jackie Ramos, the director of Join America, teaches people who speak English as a second language.
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New linguistic tools can predict your dialect characteristics
Linguistic Society of America via Science Daily
A new linguistic study may make it possible to more accurately predict the dialect features people use based on their demographic characteristics and where they live. In a new article, researchers used statistical modeling techniques to predict whether speakers in Tuscany use words from standard Italian or words unique to local dialects.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Reclassification patterns among Latino English learner students in bilingual, dual immersion and English immersion classrooms (SAGE Journal)
Testing reformed (Language Magazine)
College essay tips for English language learners (U.S. News & World Report)
Easy conversational activities for teaching pronunciation (By: Douglas Magrath)
English language classes overlap in primary, secondary schools (VietNamNet Bridge)

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


Study: Deeper learning approach shows positive student gains
THE Journal
The idea that students need to develop a deeper understanding of content and the ability to apply what they learn in one area to another area are major premises of new learning standards, such as the Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards. A new study now shows that schools promoting the practices of what's called "deeper learning" are getting better results from their students. For example, those students are more likely to graduate on time, are more likely to attend four-year colleges and achieve higher test scores.
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An hour of after-school exercise linked to better cognitive functioning
Medical News Today
A new study finds that at least 60 minutes of physical activity after school every day is not only beneficial for children's physical health, but it may also improve their cognitive functioning. The research team, led by Prof. Charles Hillman of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, publish their findings in the journal Pediatrics. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recommend that children and adolescents aged 6-17 years engage in at least 60 minutes of physical activity a day. But last year, a survey of high school students found that only 29 percent had met this recommendation within the last 7 days.
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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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