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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Oct. 1, 2013

 





What does the possible government shutdown mean for schools?
Education Week
Brokedown Congress appears likely to spend the weekend attempting to keep the government from shutting down and the U.S. from defaulting on its debt. The sticking point this time isn't schools. Instead, education is getting caught in the crosshairs. Republicans want to defund, or at least delay implementation of, the president's landmark health care overhaul law (the Affordable Care Act to its fans and "ObamaCare" to its critics).
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Language lab at Ranchi University to help students speak fluent English
The Times of India
India: Ranchi University students will finally get a language lab which was long due. Monday onwards the varsity will start a language lab where students will be taught to speak in fluent English to help them get selected in campus placement interviews. The plan to start four language labs under Ranchi University was chalked out around two years ago but the implementation was pending owing to several reasons. Ashok Chaudhary, coordinator, council for vocational studies, who also heads the placement cell, said this step will benefit the students who appear for campus placement interviews.
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TESOL submits comments to the Office of English Language Acquisition
TESOL
In response to a Request for Information from the U.S. Department of Education, TESOL International Association submitted comments on the priorities of the Office of English Language Acquisition and the National Clearinghouse for English Language Acquisition.
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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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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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NCLB waiver states get more time to apply for teacher evaluation extension
Education Week
States with No Child Left Behind waivers will get another month to decide whether they want an extra year to implement a key part of their teacher evaluation systems.

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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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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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NCLB waiver states get more time to apply for teacher evaluation extension
Education Week
States with No Child Left Behind waivers will get another month to decide whether they want an extra year to implement a key part of their teacher evaluation systems. Today was the deadline for states to decide whether they want to postpone using student growth on state tests as a factor in personnel decisions for up to one additional year — until the 2016-2017 school year. Originally, the federal guidelines required states do all of this by the 2015-2016 school year. Now, the U.S. Department of Education says states have until Oct. 31 to decide whether to apply for the "waiver waiver."
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Schools report breaks down scores by student demographics
The Grand Island Independent
Part of the Nebraska's State of the Schools report involves disaggregation of scores for different student groups or categories. White students in Nebraska had the highest percent of students proficient in reading and math, followed by Asian students, students of two or more races, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander students, students eligible for free or reduced price school lunches, Hispanic students, English language learners, African American students, special education students and Native American students.
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See how your district's funding would change under SB 13-213
Education News Colorado
The per-student figures reflect the amounts districts are projected to receive under the formula established by Senate Bill 13-213, including basic state support, local revenue, additional funding for preschool, full-day kindergarten, at-risk students and English language learners. Percentages of at-risk students and English language learners are included because districts above the state averages would receive extra funding for those students.
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Identify the needs of your English Language Learners with an automated, time-saving assessment tool in speaking, listening, and reading. LAS Links Online™ is designed to strengthen your English Language Development Program and provides research-based results to support your instructional decisions.
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Students improving English proficiency
The Glen Rose Reporter
Texas' Glen Rose ISD students who really need to are improving their mastery of the English language. That was the message from Assistant Superintendent of Instruction Ellen Blair at September's school board meeting after she'd analyzed results. While students in kindergarten and first grade are evaluated based on classroom observation, older students are tested. "The Texas English Language Proficiency Assessment System Report" assesses particular students in grades K-12 in listening, speaking, reading and writing. It tracks the progress that limited English proficient students make in learning the English language.
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Chaturon urges English teaching reform
Bangkok Post
Thailand: Education Minister Chaturon Chaisaeng has urged all English teachers nationwide to help come up with new ways to improve their students' English communication skills. Chaturon said it is high time for the Education Ministry to overhaul English education in schools, as many Thai students could not speak English fluently even after learning the language.
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Teachers write book on English learning
The Emporia Gazette
Two Emporia, Kan., teachers have co-written a book that will be used in college classrooms to prepare future educators to teach English language learners. Village Elementary teachers Jill Jones and Brandi Mitchell joined four other Kansas educators to write, "English Learners & Science: Putting the Pieces Together." The book was published by Kendall Hunt and released this month. For the past three years, Jones and Mitchell have worked with former colleague Michele Hayes and three university education professors to write a book that helps prepare teachers for the unique needs of second language learners.
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Utica, NY, schools may offer sign language to help some students
Observer-Dispatch
Reading, writing, memorization — the building blocks of education. Some Utica, N.Y., students, however, soon could be learning in a different way — with their hands. Sign language currently is used to teach toddlers and senior citizens how to communicate when verbal communication isn't possible. But the Utica City School District is considering using it to help English language learners and struggling students.
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Is the English language learning program working in BTV schools?
WCAX-TV
Parents gathered in the cafeteria at the Sustainabilty Academy, patiently waiting to find out how effective the English language learner program has been in their child's classroom, and how the Burlington School District plans to make it better. Linda Walsleben is the director for the English language learner program and said, "Teachers are teaching English as a second language or English as an additional language and students have to learn English as well as content in our schools so it's a big challenge for everyone."
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Women say online degrees 'more achievable'
eCampus News
Women "see online degrees as more achievable than traditional on-ground program" by a margin of three-to-one, according to a survey released in September by Western International University. Nearly 80 percent of the survey's respondents, who were all women between the ages 22 and 50, said they believed online universities offered specialized degree programs and that they could advance their careers.
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Aphasia and bilingualism: Using one language to relearn another
University of Montréal via Science Daily
In the era of globalization, bilingualism is becoming more and more frequent and it is considered a plus. However, can this skill turn into a disadvantage, when someone acquires aphasia? More precisely, if a bilingual person suffers brain damage (i.e. stroke, head trauma, dementia) and this results in a language impairment called aphasia, then the two languages can be disrupted, thus increasing the challenge of language rehabilitation. According to Dr. Ana Inés Ansaldo, researcher at the Research Centre of the Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, and a professor at the School of Speech Therapy and Audiology at Université de Montréal, research evidence suggests that bilingualism can be a lever — and not an obstacle — to aphasia recovery.
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The importance of responsive interactions for language learning
Medical News Today
Young children readily learn words from their parents, grandparents and child care providers in live conversations, but learning from video has proven more difficult. A new study questioned why and found that it's the responsiveness of the interactions that's key: When we respond to children in timely and meaningful ways, they learn — even when that response comes from a screen. The study, by researchers at the University of Washington, Temple University and the University of Delaware, appears in the journal Child Development.
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Why aren't more Ph.D.s teaching in public schools?
The Atlantic
It's surprising that so few scholars are transitioning to K-12 education when unable to find work within academia. Nationwide, fewer than one percent of all public elementary and secondary school teachers have Ph.Ds. Why isn't public school teaching a viable Plan B for Ph.D.s?
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Not enough English classes as number of limited-English speakers rises (Voxxi)
More than 1 in 10 professors fails English language test (Expatica.com)
Need for more routes to teach English (The Star Online)
Adult education: Is it worth going back to school? (CNBC)
How to understand the deep structures of language (Scientific American)

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




What teachers want you to know
USA Today (commentary)
Don't you wish you had a crystal ball that told you what your child's teacher felt was important for you to know? I sure do. In more than 13 years as a teacher, administrator, parent and coach working with thousands of students in New Jersey, I have dealt with almost every teacher/parent/student issue imaginable — and even I am still learning about what parents need and want from teachers.
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Making conversation stick
Language Magazine
Do you think teaching a conversation course is easy? Do you imagine that you can walk into class and just start talking? If you do, you might be surprised to find out that teaching a conversation course in any language, whether it is your first, second or third, can be challenging for a variety of reasons. For starters, having to teach such a course within the confines of an actual classroom can feel artificial. As a result, creating a comfortable environment conducive to oral interaction among learners can be difficult. Instructors also face the task of implementing structure in such courses, not only for themselves but for their students as well. Unlike content classes, for example, conversation courses require little to no lecturing as they are — or should be — highly student centered and interactive.
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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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