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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Oct. 11, 2012






Schools falter at keeping ELL families in the loop
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As thousands of communities — especially in the South — became booming gateways for immigrant families during the 1990s and the early years of the new century, public schools struggled with the unfamiliar task of serving the large numbers of English-learners arriving in their classrooms. Instructional programs were built from scratch. Districts had to train their own teachers to teach English to non-native speakers or recruit teachers from elsewhere. School staff members had to figure out how to communicate with parents who spoke no English. More



Nevada Republican wants $20 million to help Hispanics learn English
Hispanic Business    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
State Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, recently announced a $20 million-a-year plan to help Clark County, Nev., students learn English. The bill would expand state aid to preschools, where state money is almost nonexistent. Clark County School District would be able to serve 6,400 young English language learners taught by 400 teachers and teacher aides. More

Understanding accents: Effective communication is about more than simply pronunciation
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With immigration on the rise, the use of English as a second language is sweeping the world. People who have grown up speaking French, Italian, Mandarin or any other language are now expected to be able to communicate effectively using this new lingua franca. How understandable are they in this second language? Instead of assuming that someone who sounds different is not communicating effectively, we need to listen beyond the accent, says Concordia University applied linguist Pavel Trofimovich and his colleague, Talia Isaacs. Their work tackles the tricky question of what distinguishes accented speech from speech that is difficult to understand. Their results show that accent and comprehensibility are overlapping yet distinct dimensions. More

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For some teachers, strain runs deeper than budget cuts
The Texas Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Since the Legislature eliminated more than $5 billion in funding from public education in 2011 some early results are easily quantifiable — like the approximately 25,000 employees shed from the state's schools and the more than 6,200 additional elementary school classes that have more than 22 students. Other potential consequences of the budget cut are not as easily measured. Several organizations — some with a stated agenda, like the Texas branch of the American Federation of Teachers, and one from the nonpartisan Houston-based advocacy group Children at Risk — have conducted studies that investigate the impact of budget related changes, like the loss of one-on-one time with students and teacher planning periods, in which educators have reported a loss of morale and increased stress levels within the classroom. 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 2012. The event kicks off the 39th PRTESOL Convention and the 11th CA & CB Regional Conference, 16–17 November 2012. 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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Preparing your ESL Licensure Program for NCATE Review
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Date: 7 November 2012
Is your ESL teacher education program preparing for recognition by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE)? This interactive webinar presents an overview of the recently revised TESOL/NCATE P–12 Teacher Education Standards and helps guide you through the process of preparing a TESOL program report for NCATE review.
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TESOL 2013 Convention & English Language Expo
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The complete education program for the2013 TESOL Convention is now available. Visit the itinerary planner to view all sessions and abstracts. You can sort by interest section, content type, and key words. Find details on K-12 Dream Day, Invited Speakers, Academic Sessions and Intersections, Pre- and Postconvention Institutes, Breakfast With TESOL's Best, and Educational Site Visits.

Graduate and Doctoral students, it's not too late to submit proposals for presenting at the Graduate and Doctoral forums taking place on Wednesday 20 March 2013. The deadline for proposal submissions for both forums is 22 October 2012.

Register today for the best rates.



Obama, Romney spar over education funding
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama said his Republican rival for the presidency, Mitt Romney, favors cutting the education departments budget by up to 20 percent, while Romney insisted that was false. The moment was one of many during their first debate in which the two candidates disagreed sharply over policy decisions with important implications for schools. Seeking to draw a distinction between himself and Romney, Obama recalled a teacher he met in Las Vegas who had students sitting on the floor and using 10-year-old textbooks. He suggested that Romney's plans to cut taxes by 20 percent across the board while also cutting federal spending don't add up — and they won't allow the nation to make important new investments in research and education. More



Loopholes seen at schools in Obama Get-Tough Policy
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With an agenda that Arne Duncan, the secretary of education, has described as a "quiet revolution," the Obama administration has pushed rigorous new standards for a majority of the nation's public schools as well as requirements that states and districts evaluate not just schools but individual teachers, in part by assessing their ability to improve student scores on standardized tests. But some critics suggest that at the same time the administration has gotten tough on teachers and set higher standards, it could be allowing states to set new, unambitious goals for how quickly students must reach those standards, particularly poor and minority students. More

School funding inequity forces poor cities like Reading, Pa., to take huge cuts
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The day before school starts, 8-year-old Tianna wakes up worried. She's worried about the cafeteria food that she receives for free, because usually "it's nasty." She's worried about making friends, since she'll be in a new school. But most of all, she's worried about where all the fired teachers will go. "When we were at assembly, I learned that people didn't have enough money to let all the teachers come back next year, so they were kicking teachers out," explains Tianna, in a quiet, earnest voice as she bounces up and down on her chair. "There was this one teacher that I really liked, and she's getting kicked out." More

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Californians Together honored for equality advocacy
Gazettes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Long Beach, Calif.-based nonprofit Californians Together is known for its achievements in advocating for equal education, and the latest award from Migration Policy Institute honors its work for promoting biliteracy reforms that benefit students in Long Beach and across the nation. Californians Together was one of four organizations that received the 2012 $50,000 E Pluribus Unum Prizes at a ceremony in Baltimore, and was recognized for its work in implementing three efforts to improve education for young English language learners. More

Education chief wants textbooks to go digital
The Associated Press via NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Worried your kids spend too much time with their faces buried in a computer screen? Their schoolwork may soon depend on it. Education Secretary Arne Duncan called for the nation to move as fast as possible away from printed textbooks and toward digital ones. "Over the next few years, textbooks should be obsolete," he declared. It's not just a matter of keeping up with the times, Duncan said in remarks to the National Press Club. It's about keeping up with other countries whose students are leaving their American counterparts in the dust. More



Arizona's education of English learners is woefully inadequate
The Arizona Republic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The academic achievement of Arizona's ELL population is low and consistently lags behind that of native speakers. When compared, ELL students earn lower scores on standardized state assessments regardless of grade level or test subject; on average, third-grade ELL students in the state scored between 49 to 53 points lower than non-ELL students in reading; fourth-graders, 53 to 59 points lower; and fifth-graders, 50 to 57 points lower. Arizona's four-hour block model, featuring prolonged daily segregation and the grouping of students by language proficiency, does not align with research in the field of second-language acquisition or cognitive-infrastructure theories associated with bilingual development. More


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Students sacrifice Saturdays to build English language skills
Las Vegas Review-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators hope a little Saturday school is just what these struggling students need. Global Community High School principal John Anzalone calls them "long-time learners." They are students who "have been in the country for several years but still have a major gap in their proficiency." Some of them are four or five years behind in reading and writing, Anzalone said. He is trying to help these students through the Language Enrichment Acquisition and Acceleration Program, or LEAAP. More

Large and persistent achievement gaps exist for Massachusetts ELL students
South Coast Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In New Bedford's school district, large and persistent achievement gaps exist between the so-called English language learners and the district as a whole, gaps that have only increased over the past five years. In recent months, the district's ongoing inability to effectively reach these students has drawn increased public scrutiny and rising pressure to change the way this group of students is taught. District officials seem to recognize the need to reform the ELL program and point to some changes that have already been implemented even as work is ongoing on a more comprehensive plan to overhaul the program. More


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California program takes aim at 'teacher-diversity gap'
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the country's K-12 student population grows more ethnically diverse, students of color face the troubling possibility of never having a teacher who looks like them. According to federal data, more than 40 percent of students are nonwhite, compared to just 17 percent of teachers, and that mismatch appears to be on the rise. But a new project here is taking a deeper aim at the factors contributing to what's sometimes called the "teacher-diversity gap." The organizers hope to encourage more adults from a variety of ethnicities and backgrounds to enter the profession — and stay in it. More

A new language for Oregon ELL
The Oregonian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Oregon school districts get an extra $3,000 per year for every student classified as an "English language learner." One general goal is for students to become fully proficient in English, and no longer need ELL support services, within five years. Yet most students stay in ELL longer than five years, which shouldn't be a surprise when school districts have a financial incentive to keep them there. Oregon's entire program for students learning English needs an overhaul, from best practices to funding: Students deserve better than a system that rewards slow — or no — progress. More



1.7 million more teachers needed to reach universal primary education by 2015
Bikya Masr    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Some 1.7 million more teachers are needed to achieve universal primary education by 2015, the second of the eight anti-poverty Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the heads of various United Nations agencies said in a joint statement marking World Teachers' Day. More

50 students, 1 teacher: Illinois' tough bilingual preschool reality
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new study released from the University of California at Berkeley offers a glimpse of the day-to-day challenges in preschool programs in Latino communities in Chicago and across Illinois. Less than 6 percent of the state's early childhood education workforce has training or skills to work with its growing numbers of English Language Learners — a group that now constitutes nearly a third of Illinois' Latino students. The dramatically low supply of linguistically trained teachers makes resulting student-teacher ratios predictable, but no less jaw-dropping: In preschools in Latino communities, as many as 50 ELL students clamor for the attention of just one teacher with bilingual training or ESL certification. More



Why international students should consider community colleges
U.S. News & World Report via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
American community colleges offer international students a cheaper entry point into their higher education pursuits via low tuition rates on freshman and sophomore level classes, often with the added bonus of an easier transition to U.S.-style academics, experts say. Students then transfer to four-year schools to complete their bachelor's degree. For instance, the tuition and fees at Diablo Valley College in Northern California are nearly $6,000 for 24 credits, while it costs more than $16,500 for the same number of credits at nearby San Jose State University. Based on two years of attending community college, the price difference and savings could be enough to pay for a student's junior year of tuition, fees, textbooks and meals. More

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

October 18-19, 2012
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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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Mother tongue influence on English
New Era    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In 1990 English was adopted as the official language in Namibia according to the language policy and planning of the new Namibia. This means English was incorporated in almost all places in both the public and private sectors. English as medium of instruction used and taught in most government and private schools brought about many challenges for both learners and teachers. English is taught with the objective to make learners competent in the four important skills of reading, speaking, writing and listening. Speaking and writing grammatical English are emphasized everywhere, especially in the education system. To be fluent in these skills, exposure and interaction with the speakers of the targeted language is of paramount importance. This is not to say listening and reading are not important. The argument put across by researchers and scholars is that the more one interacts with native or fluent speakers of English, the more one will have a good command of the language. More


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Testing can be useful for students and teachers
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
According to research from psychological science, while testing can be useful as an assessment tool, the actual process of taking a test can also help us to learn and retain new information over the long term and apply it across different contexts. New research published in journals of the Association for Psychological Science explores the nuanced interactions between testing, memory and learning and suggests possible applications for testing in educational settings. More

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Study: Language learning makes the brain grow
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At the Swedish Armed Forces Interpreter Academy, young recruits learn a new language at a very fast pace. By measuring their brains before and after the language training, a group of researchers has had an almost unique opportunity to observe what happens to the brain when we learn a new language in a short period of time. More



Valley schools help Thailand student, other second-language learners
Las Vegas Review-Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With the diverse population in Las Vegas, it is no surprise that there are a large number of ELL students in the school districts. The districts have employed many specialized teachers for these students. One of the strategies passed on to regular teachers is that gestures are paramount in working with English language learners. Instruction often can morph into a game of charades, said Laurie Daly, an ELL teacher at Spring Valley High School. "Think back when you took your first foreign language class," she says. "It's much of the same thing. We use flash cards, and we play all sorts of games. It's like starting from scratch." More



Google says Apps for Education now has more than 20 million users
TechCrunch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Google recently announced that its Apps for Education suite is now being used by more than 20 million students, faculty members and staff worldwide. The company made this announcement in a blog post celebrating the upcoming World Teachers' Day. Google Apps For Education launched almost exactly six years ago. The service seems to be growing at a rate of about 5 million new users per year. In 2010, Apps for Education had about 10 million users and last year, Google announced that it had signed up an additional 5 million users for the service since. More

Calgary tech company hopes to score by matching right product with right market
Calgary Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Baby World Language is an innovative company that has developed advanced tech-based English language learning tools for pre-K aged children. Its focus is China, and enabling all the parents there to become their child's first English teacher. Now there's a market with great potential — an estimated 400 million English learners. More



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

Separating Difference From Disability With Students Learning English as an Additional Language (Online Course) 22 October–19 November 2012

Preparing your ESL Licensure Program for NCATE Review (Special Virtual Seminar) 7 November

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






Test Prep and English Teacher, Kaplan Language Training (HK) Limited, Hong Kong

Clinical Assistant Professor ESL Education, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX USA

ESL Instructors, American University of Iraq, Sulaimani, Iraq

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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