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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Oct. 12, 2011







TESOL statement on Alabama immigration law
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The harsh new immigration law now going into effect in Alabama is a tragedy for children, families and educators. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Plyler v. Doe in 1982 that all students are entitled to a quality public education, regardless of immigration status. The recent decision to allow the provision of Alabama's law that requires school officials to ask about students' citizenship or immigration status has created an atmosphere of fear in public schools, and has already resulted in a drop in attendance. To read the full statement, please visit TESOL's website. For background on the law and its effects, please got to "The Best Resources to Learn About Alabama's Awful Immigration Law," a list compiled by Larry Ferlazzo, an English language and social studies teacher at Luther Burbank High School in Sacramento, Calif.



Brazil TESOL celebrates 25 years
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TESOL affiliate BRAZ-TESOL was founded 25 years ago, in 1986. With 2,000 members, it is Brazil's largest not-for-profit association of teachers of English to speakers of other languages. Celebrations of the association's anniversary were held all across the country on Oct. 7-8. For more information about BRAZ-TESOL, please visit their website. You can post an anniversary greeting to all BRAZ-TESOL members on their wallwisher page.

TESOL Electronic Village seeks proposals for special events at TESOL 2012
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TESOL's Computer Assisted Language Learning Interest Section will host the Electronic Village at the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, March 28-31 in Philadelphia. The CALL Interest Section seeks proposals for special events at the Electronic Village: EV Fairs, Hardware and Mobile Technology Fair, Mini-Workshops, Developers' Showcase and Mobile Apps for Education. Deadline for proposals is Nov. 15. For more information, including proposal submissions forms, please visit the CALL Interest Section website.

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TESOL Conference in Qatar on Putting Research Into Practice
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article
TESOL International Association hosted a conference titled "Putting Research into Practice" on Oct. 1–3 at Qatar National Convention Center in Doha, Qatar. This event was the first in the new convention center. More than 400 people from over 30 countries participated in the three days of workshops, plenary sessions, panels and presentations of peer-reviewed research papers, reports and posters. For a full description of the event, please visit the TESOL Blog.



Subgroup accountability at issue in ESEA renewal
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The National Council of La Raza, which advocates for English language learners, is worried about the potential impact of language in a widely circulated draft of a Senate plan to reauthorize the nation's main education law, the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. The language calls for states to ensure that schools are making continuous improvement, but they would not have to set student performance targets toward a specific goal, as they do now under the current version of ESEA—the No Child Left Behind Act. More

Gov. Brown signs bill to help California's 1.5 million English learner students achieve English proficiency
California Newswire    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Gov. Jerry Brown signed Senate Bill 753 into law. The new law, authored by Sen. Alex Padilla, D-Pacoima, removes barriers California's English learners face when working to achieve English proficiency. The law goes into effect on Jan. 1. An English learner is a K-12 student who is deemed not proficient in English. More than 1.4 million California K-12 students are English learners, and only 11 percent are reclassified Fluent English Proficient each year. More

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A film on education that gets it right
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
article
Every policymaker should be required to see the new film "American Teacher," which powerfully reveals the huge challenge that the country faces in attracting and keeping the best teachers to help improve public education. Director Vanessa Roth's new film, co-produced by Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari and narrated by Matt Damon, notes that while "most people agree that a teacher is the most important in-school factor to school success," you'd never guess this from what many teachers experience in our public schools. More

Pakistan's madrasa reform 'stalls'
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pakistan: A majority of Pakistanis are in favor of English language teaching being introduced into the country's madrasa schools, according to a recent survey carried out by Gallup Pakistan. The nationwide poll indicates that 59 percent of Pakistanis want the language to be taught as part of the schools' traditional Islamic curriculum, with 31 percent of respondents against. But a government campaign to combat Islamic extremism that is seeking to bring madrasas under closer state control and to broaden the range of subjects they teach is unlikely to deliver effective change, critics say. More



Florida Board of Education approves English learner, pre-k rules
The Associated Press via Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Florida Board of Education approved new rules granting parents of students classified as English language learners the authority to opt out of services, a decision opponents said would put students at risk of being denied language instruction they are federally entitled to. The board also adopted new standards for the state's voluntary pre-kindergarten providers, which will require that 70 percent of students test as kindergarten ready on two exams. More

Updating No Child Left Behind
Politico (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When we last rewrote America's major K-12 education law, no one had an iPhone and Facebook did not exist. The world has changed, and it is time to update the law to ensure that every child receives a great education. This is both a matter of basic fairness and civil rights — and critical to U.S. economic strength in the hypercompetitive global marketplace. For more than a half-century — since the Supreme Court's landmark 1954 ruling in Brown v. Board of Education — the federal government has played a vital role in advancing equity and quality in public education. More



Learning Chinese offers students window on the world
The Tennessean    Share    Share on
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For the second year in a row, Tennessee's Murfreesboro City Schools' Discovery School at Reeves-Rogers is hosting a teacher from China. Ye Cheng's visit, which will last the entire school year, was funded by the Teachers of Critical Languages Program run by the U.S. Department of State. The program is open to American schools looking to develop or establish a program in Chinese or Arabic. More

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Massachusetts aims to test its youngest students
The Boston Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Massachusetts is developing plans to assess students as soon as they enter kindergarten to gauge how prepared they are for school, part of a proposal to overhaul early education after a decade that saw basic literacy skills for elementary-age children across the state barely improve at all. But unlike the MCAS exams given to students in the upper grades, kindergartners — who are not expected to know how to read or write — would not be filling in bubble sheets or answering essay questions. More

School boundary plan divides Minnesota suburb
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Changing the school attendance boundaries that parents come to depend on is a reliable source of community discontent, even when the process can't be avoided. But even in that context, the boundary debate in the 9,700-student Eden Prairie, Minn., district has been bruising. More



ESL classes drawing people of all backgrounds
The Ledger    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For more than 20 years Modesta Guerrero lived in a country where she did not speak the native language. She picked up a few words and phrases, but it never bothered her that she didn't know English. She moved to Florida from Mexico solely for the purpose of working in migrant camps and helping her family back home. More

Most Confusing ESL Academic Words

Affect or effect? Complement or compliment? These are the Top 20 Most Frequently Confused Academic Vocabulary Words for ESL students.
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ESL classes crucial for Moroccan emigrant
Detroit Free Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Although Boutaina Lahlou spoke little English when she moved to the U.S. from Morocco five years ago, she could read it perfectly. There was just one problem: "I didn't understand anything I was reading," says Lahlou, 26, of Westland. Visits to doctors' offices, where she would be given a pile of paperwork to fill out, were an exercise in frustration. "It was difficult," says Lahlou, who credits learning French while growing up for her ability to read English phonetically. More



Young children show improved verbal IQ after 20 days of exposure to music-based, cognitive training 'Cartoons'
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canadian scientists who specialize in learning, memory and language in children have found exciting evidence that pre-schoolers can improve their verbal intelligence after only 20 days of classroom instruction using interactive, music-based cognitive training cartoons. More

Hearing bilingual: How babies sort out language
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Once, experts feared that young children exposed to more than one language would suffer "language confusion," which might delay their speech development. Today, parents often are urged to capitalize on that early knack for acquiring language. Upscale schools market themselves with promises of deep immersion in Spanish — or Mandarin — for everyone, starting in kindergarten or even before. Yet while many parents recognize the utility of a second language, families bringing up children in non-English-speaking households, or trying to juggle two languages at home, are often desperate for information. More

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Teaching nonlanguage courses in a foreign language improves language learning, research suggests
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students who in addition to their traditional German language courses are taught other courses in German end up with both a stronger vocabulary and a better communicative ability, according to a new doctoral thesis in German from the University of Gothenburg. The increasing globalization has led to a focus in school curriculums on communicative ability, a type of ability that can be improved in many ways. Most researchers agree that there is a strong link between the input students of a foreign language receive and their language production. It is also generally perceived that an authentic content helps boost students' motivation, which indirectly may facilitate language learning. More

Why do some people learn faster?
Wired    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The physicist Niels Bohr once defined an expert as "a person who has made all the mistakes that can be made in a very narrow field." Bohr's quip summarizes one of the essential lessons of learning, which is that people learn how to get it right by getting it wrong again and again. Education isn't magic. Education is the wisdom wrung from failure. More



How English language teachers can go with the Twitter flow
The Guardian    Share    Share on
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United Kingdom: Finding a rich seam of online teaching content, classroom materials and lively debate is an easy click away. From the Arab spring to the private lives of Hollywood stars, Twitter and other social networking sites seem to have become integral to the news agenda. But despite criticism that Twitter only amplifies the mundane, it is a very powerful sharing community where teachers can find a constant supply of articles, website links, lesson plans, interactive games, worksheets and a whole lot more. More



States linked in failure to provide trained teachers
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. state of Massachusetts and New South Wales in Australia may be distant geographically but they find themselves closely linked in opprobrium. Both have admitted to be failing to provide adequate language support for migrant children in their schools. The U.S. justice department has censured Massachusetts for violating civil rights law by failing to train teachers in the state's schools to support over 67,000 students with limited English. It found that 45,000 teachers were not adequately trained. More



Lansley: Foreign GPs will face English language test
BBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Doctors with a poor grasp of English will be prevented from working for the NHS in the future, Health Secretary Andrew Lansley has said. He told the Conservative Party conference that GPs would be vetted to ensure they had adequate language skills and could communicate properly. This follows the death of a man treated by a German locum GP in 2008. More


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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 TESOLInternational 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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