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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Oct. 3, 2012

State ballot measures include hot K-12 issues
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Big changes to the way teachers are evaluated and paid, expanded access to charter schools, and increased education funding are major issues on state ballot initiatives and referendums as election season enters its final weeks. Some of the education-related ballot items, like those in Arizona and California, are part of the perennial effort to obtain more financial support for schools and seek to help K-12 school systems recover in part from the Great Recession and subsequent economic stagnation. More

Supreme Court to revisit affirmative action in Texas case
Los Angeles Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After a U.S. appeals court struck down race-based college admissions in Texas 16 years ago, the first Mexican American woman elected to the state Legislature proposed a simple change that transformed education in the state. Rep. Irma Rangel, D-Kingsville, said all students who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class should win admission to the state's colleges, including the highly regarded University of Texas. Her bill, signed into law by then-Gov. George W. Bush, opened the door to higher education for Mexican American students from the Rio Grande Valley, for black students from Dallas and Houston and for rural white students. More

US educaiton department unveils $290 million in performance-pay grants
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education unveiled its fourth batch of Teacher Incentive Fund grants, a program that supports differentiated compensation systems. TIF has had more makeovers than Madonna since its 2006 inception, so if you haven't been paying attention, there are a few tweaks to this round worth noting. First, the program has expanded to include career ladders, whereby teachers get additional professional responsibilities, not just higher pay, as part of the programs. Second, grantees had to secure more support from teachers' unions and others up front, rather than during a planning year. More
Related story: Affirmative action history

MATESOL degree in One Year!

Commonly cited as one of the top programs in the country for preparing language educators, the Monterey Institute offers an Advanced Entry MATESOL degree.

English-language Researcher/Practitioner Grant program
TOEFL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The TOEFL® English-language Researcher/Practitioner Grant program has been launched. The purpose is to enable practitioners to become involved in ETS's efforts to promote English language learning and to support education and professional development for English language teachers worldwide through ETS's assessments and services. More

TESOL seeks nominations for outstanding research articles
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The TESOL Award for Distinguished Research recognizes an outstanding empirical research project in English language teaching and learning that was published in a peer-reviewed scholarly journal in 2012. The recipient is awarded $1,000 plus travel and lodging expenses to attend the next year's convention to present his or her research. This year's recipient will present at TESOL 2013 in Dallas. The deadline for nominations is 1 November. Authors may nominate their own papers. For more information, please visit the TESOL website.

Master's in Teaching TESOL

The MAT@USC TESOL is a Master’s in Teaching program delivered online by the USC Rossier School of Education. The program is the first of its kind to blend interactive online learning with field-based teaching experiences to prepare students to be English language teaching specialists in a variety of settings and educational levels.

To learn more about the MAT@USC TESOL, please visit us at:

TESOL executive director presents at forum in China
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Rosa Aronson, TESOL executive director, traveled to Chengdu, China, 19–24 September, to represent TESOL International Association at the 2012 Education Forum for Asia. The Forum was created with the vision of promoting a more relevant, more dynamic, and higher quality of education in Asia. This year's theme was "Asia Education: Towards a More Prosperous and Better Future." Dr. Aronson presented at a session on teacher quality.

TESOL Publications is seeking proposals for a new book on "ESOL for Different Professions" and is seeking contributions for "New Ways in Teaching Writing," revised edition. Deadline for submissions is 1 December.

Poll: Obama leads Romney on children's issues, Americans want politicians to address our 'American Challenge'
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By almost a 3-to-1 margin (56 to 20 percent), American voters are deeply concerned that the lives of American children have become worse over the last decade. And, by a 58 to 36 percent margin, voters are not confident that life for our children's generation will be better off. They recognize that American children are no longer the healthiest, the most educated, and best-prepared kids in the world. They feel that what once was the American Dream — the knowledge that our kids would have opportunities we could never even imagine — is today the "American Challenge" to make that the reality once again. And that challenge is an American one — not a partisan one. More

Oversimplification abounds in teacher evaluation discussion
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Should student achievement data be a major factor in teacher evaluations? While the political winds are whispering "yes" more loudly every day — and in many places, the whispers have become shouts — it seems that the louder we yell, the dumber we get. Chicago Teachers Union President Karen Lewis has been widely misquoted as having said that there is no way to measure teacher effectiveness. More

The hangover: Thinking about the unintended consequences of the nation's teacher evaluation binge
AEI    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the past three years, more than 20 U.S. states have passed legislation establishing new teacher evaluation requirements and systems, and even more have committed to do so in Race to the Top or Elementary and Secondary Education Act Flexibility Waiver applications. These new evaluation systems have real potential to foster a more performance-oriented public education culture that gives teachers meaningful feedback about the quality and impact of their work. But there are pitfalls in states' rush to legislate new systems, and there are real tensions and trade-offs in their design. More

New Florida pre-K test draws concerns from educators
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teachers at Orlando Day Nursery in Florida have always evaluated how well their 4-year-old prekindergartners — most of them poor and African-American — could recognize letters, isolate sounds in words, understand stories read to them and show other hallmarks of early literacy. Just as important, though, have been the teachers' formal observations of social and emotional development: Could children follow instructions, for example, and make friends and cooperate in a group? More

Infographic: The economic and political impact of US immigrants state by state
American Immigration Council    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Click on any state to see the full political and economic power of immigrants, Latinos and Asians. More

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Advocacy group expands services for DREAMers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United We Dream, an immigrant youth-led network, is expanding its efforts to assist and inform aspiring citizens who are interested in the Department of Homeland Security's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. In addition to in-person clinics and webinars, the network has partnered with legal service organizations to create English and Spanish websites —, and — where so-called DREAMers can find information about deferred action and can conduct a free online assessment to see if they are eligible. More

Newspaper: Test security inconsistent among states
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The federal government has no standards to protect the integrity of the achievement tests it requires in tens of thousands of public schools, and test security among the states is so inconsistent that Americans can't be sure those all-important test scores are legitimate. That's according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution report. The newspaper surveyed 50 state education departments and reported many states do not use basic test security measures designed to prevent cheating. More

Battle over 'Won't Back Down' won't end anytime soon
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
"Won't Back Down," is Hollywood's fictionalized account of an attempted takeover of a struggling school, and the race to define the film as either an triumphant motivational tool for the school-reform set or an cartoonish depiction of teachers and assorted school bureaucrats is well underway. A "must-see movie," concludes Jonathan Butcher at the conservative Goldwater Institute, who hopes it will inspire policymakers "to give parents the freedom to turn failing schools into success stories." More
Related story: Director of "Won't Back Down" tries to explain, but questions remain (Education Week)

Reader's Theater Helps Increase Achievement

ESL test scores improved with a curriculum including multi-leveled Reader's Theater. K-8 scripts have roles at the right level for each student. Free sampler.

Partnering as a way to 'deprivatize' your professional practice
The National Center for Literacy Education (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Lately, I've been hearing and reading the term "deprivatizing practice" in reference to building capacity for teaching and learning. The term has elicited strong reactions for me. I wonder, whose practice needs deprivatizing? And who is deprivatizing it? It feels like someone is doing something to me, like another attempt to point the finger at teachers and demand change. Once I get beyond my initial reaction, I reflect on what it really means. More

Salem-Keizer students not learning English fast enough
Statesman Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The academic progress of Salem-Keizer's English language learners stalled last year, according to a statewide report released today on how well districts help students gain English proficiency. The percentage of students who made one year's worth of progress dropped one percentage point, as did the rate of students who learned enough English to exit the program last year. Students who learned enough academic English in five years to exit the program remained the same at about 28 percent, which means that nearly three out of four students remained for six years or possibly longer. More

Oregon, dissatisfied with chronic poor outcomes for limited English students, plans wholesale change next fall
The Oregonian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Oregon Department of Education has launched an effort to revamp almost every aspect of the way students with limited English skills are taught, including the materials, methods, curriculum targets and tests. Chronic poor outcomes for English language learners, including low rates of high school graduation and college entry, are the driving force behind the massive effort to change practices, said Susan Inman, who oversees ESL programs in her role as Oregon's director of learning opportunity, options and supports. More

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ELS supports its teachers. Learn about the joint ELS/Adelphi University Masters of TESOL program, providing opportunities for teachers to earn advanced teaching degrees. MORE

For teachers, a new lesson in diversity
The Kansas City Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
No wonder teachers come flocking for help. Many of them across Kansas City and the Midwest have found themselves where Amy Teeple was just a few years ago: Looking out at the faces of 25 kindergartners, as many as 20 of them unable to speak English. "They were well behaved," she recalled. "They're sitting there staring at me and I'm looking at them." "I had no idea how to help them." Too many teachers still don't. More

GOP lawmaker seeks more funding for English language learners in Nevada
Las Vegas Review-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nevada Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, said he will propose a bill in next year's Legislature to provide $20 million a year in funding for English language learner programs in Clark County, Nev., schools. Roberson, the expected Senate Republican leader in 2013, said there are no state funds earmarked for English language learning programs. More

Revived support for grammar instruction
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With American schools focused on raising reading and math scores to meet accountability requirements, writing often takes a backseat. The class of 2012 posted the lowest average writing score on the SAT this year since writing became part of the exam in 2006. But with 45 states adopting Common Core standards that include writing and specifically grammar, some educators are examining new ways to bring grammar back into the classroom. More

Fewer US students enrolling in graduate programs in education and arts and humanities
Inside Higher Ed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New graduate enrollments fell 1.7 percent in the fall of 2011 compared to the prior year, according to a report by the Council of Graduate Schools. The decline follows a 1.1 percent drop the previous year, reversing enrollment gains the prior two years. While those losses would seem relatively small, the new data also show a larger drop in new American graduate students, offset only in part by the enrollment of more international students. In many fields, the loss of new American students follows years in which they were being attracted to graduate school in increasing numbers. More

Distance learning and the future of education
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There is a lot of discussion in higher education about rising costs and a hope that technology could be used to make education more efficient and effective. Distance learning and digital education is the latest fashion in education. It appears to be an excellent way to enable American universities to globalize especially when compared to the effort by some American universities to establish physical satellite campuses outside the United States. More

How adult education can help close the skills gap
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It is impossible to ignore the skills gap that exists in today's labor market and the fact that thousands of job openings go unfilled because too many individuals lack the skills to perform these jobs. Most recently, this topic received national attention when political leaders at both the Democratic and Republican National Conventions discussed it. Policymakers have stressed the importance of equipping adults with the skills sought by employers and providing pathways to training programs. But before we can define solutions, we must take a step back and examine the current education system, specifically the adult education pipeline. More

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English Learners in the Content Area Classes: Teaching for Achievement in the Middle Grades

October 18-19, 2012

Top researchers will offer participants the chance to explore strategies for preparing ELs in the middle grades for college and career readiness while supporting language and literacy development in content area classes.

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Ideas for English language learners — Election 2012
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Research shows a critical quality of an engaging lesson is relevance to student lives. With an election focused on issues like jobs, health care, education and immigration — all deeply important to the lives of English language learners — we asked our expert, Larry Ferlazzo, to devote this installment of "Ideas for E.L.L.s" to Election, 2012. More

Adult education textbooks found dumped
Mail & Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Gauteng Democratic Alliance says textbooks and teaching materials used for an adult education course have been found discarded in Modderfontein. "Hundreds of textbooks and other resources for the adult literacy program, some still in wrapped boxes, stand abandoned in a dilapidated out-building in my constituency," said provincial DA finance spokesperson Mike Moriarty in a statement. More

Study: Language use is simpler than previously thought
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For more than 50 years, language scientists have assumed that sentence structure is fundamentally hierarchical, made up of small parts in turn made of smaller parts, like Russian nesting dolls. A new Cornell study suggests language use is simpler than they had thought. Co-author Morten Christiansen, Cornell professor of psychology and co-director of the Cornell Cognitive Science Program, and his colleagues say that language is actually based on simpler sequential structures, like clusters of beads on a string. More

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Study: Young children explore as scientists do
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the ever-increasing drive to start the college pipeline as early as possible, debate has been heating up over just how much academics and testing should be included in early-childhood education programs. Now, a National Science Foundation-backed report in the journal Science argues that children's natural learning style already reflects the scientific process educators will spend the next decade trying to instill in school-age students — if they can get an engaging environment to explore. More

Recession's impact on education: Survey reveals parents unable to provide as desired
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Center for the Next Generation and Parents magazine recently surveyed over 2,100 parents across the country about how the recession and ensuing slow economic recovery has impacted parenthood — from family planning to education choices. On the education front, 1 in 5 parents indicated they have been unable to provide their children with the quality of education they would like due to the state of the economy. According to the survey findings, private school enrollment in pre-K-12 increased from 5.9 million in 1995-1996 to 6.3 million in 2001-2002 before decreasing to 5.5 million in 2009-2010. More

The nuanced relationship between language and different types of perception
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
New research published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, examines the nuanced relationship between language and different types of perception. Bilingual infants can tell unfamiliar languages apart. Speaking more than one language can improve our ability to control our behavior and focus our attention, recent research has shown. But are there any advantages for bilingual children before they can speak in full sentences? We know that bilingual children can tell if a person is speaking one of their native languages or the other, even when there is no sound, by watching the speaker's mouth for visual cues. More

DOE provides guidance to help classroom teachers combat bullying
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education has released a free, two-part training toolkit designed to reduce incidents of bullying, for use by classroom teachers and educators. The toolkit was developed by the Safe and Supportive Schools Technical Assistance Center, supported by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Healthy Students, in collaboration with the NEA and the American Federation of Teachers. Teachers care about bullying in the classroom, but many don't know how to effectively intervene and prevent it, according to data collected by the National Education Association. The toolkit is designed to provide classroom teachers with the knowledge and skills to intervene in bullying behavior and to de-escalate threatening behaviors at school. More

Help — I want to use social media in my classroom
The Educator's Room    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A lot of educators become overwhelmed at the thought of incorporating social media into their curriculum. We all know we must meet our students where they are in order to effectively teach them, and social media is definitely where they are these days. Below are some steps you must take as you get geared up for 21st Century Learning. More

Using games in the ELL classroom
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In Part I of this article, the authors explained how games can be effective instructional tools for language learners and describe the qualities that make games suitable for the classroom. In this piece, they offer examples of games — some of which are based on old standbys — that can be adapted for all English-ability levels. More

McGraw-Hill executive: Tech will make us rethink age-grouping in schools
Gigaom    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Online platforms like Khan Academy are already starting to flip classrooms across the country so that students can learn at their own pace. But some think it might not be too long before technology pushes schools to personalize education in even more structural ways, so that students are no longer grouped by age, but by competency. Noting advances in educational technology — from online platforms that deliver instruction to programs that analyze student learning data — Jeff Livingston, senior vice president of College and Career Readiness at McGraw-Hill, said he thinks that in the next five to six years, schools and educators are going to have to rethink age-grouping as the primary organizing principle for K-12 education, especially at the high-school level. More

5 buzzwords you're likely to hear in education this school year
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Education, like any other profession, has a language all its own. We've compiled a short list of some of the words and phrases you are likely to come across this academic year. It's by no means all-inclusive, and some of these terms are not new, but it gives you a sense of some of education's priorities as we start a new school year. More

Doing "Principled ESP" — Best Practices and Case Studies
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Transferable Skills That Learners Need for Academic and Workplace Settings
(Virtual Seminar) 26 October

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