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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Oct. 24, 2012






NCLB waivers in doubt under Romney administration
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the first substantive remarks from the Mitt Romney campaign on No Child Left Behind waivers, adviser Phil Handy indicated that the flexibility granted this year to 33 states and the District of Columbia would be in serious jeopardy if the former Massachusetts governor wins the presidency. In a substantive 90-minute debate at Teachers College, Columbia University that featured some pointed arguments and sparring, Handy squared off against Jon Schnur, an education adviser for President Barack Obama. The debate, co-sponsored by Education Week, filled in many of the blanks for those who wanted to know more about Romney's positions on education. More



Texas schools head to trial over school finance
The Associated Press via The Seattle Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Texas lawmakers cut $5.4 billion from public schools nearly 18 months ago, and now districts are headed to court to argue that the resulting system is so inefficient and unfair that it violates the state constitution. Simply restoring funding to levels prior to the 2011 legislative session won't be enough to fix the fundamentally flawed way Texas funds its schools, lawyers for the districts say. They point out that the cuts have come even as the state requires schools to prepare students for standardized tests that are getting more difficult, and amid a statewide boom in the number of low-income students that are especially costly to educate. More






TESOL board member Janet Orr engages teachers in Qatar
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Janet Orr, director of Teaching English as an Additional Language Services: Learning for Development, was recently sponsored by the U.S. Department of State to engage Qatar's Independent schools' English teachers as well as teachers from Qatar University's English Foundation Program in professional development training. More

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Special virtual seminar 7 November
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Is your ESL teacher education program preparing for recognition by the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education? This interactive webinar presents an overview of the recently revised TESOL/NCATE P–12 Teacher Education Standards and help guide you through the process of preparing a TESOL program report for NCATE review. More

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. The event kicks off the 39th PRTESOL Convention and the 11th CA & CB Regional Conference, 16–17 November. The Symposium Brochure is full of event information. For even more information visit TESOL's website. Hope to see you there.




Obama finding teacher support secure, if tepid
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ask Antonio White what he thinks of Race to the Top — President Barack Obama's signature K-12 initiative — and the Florida teacher will tell you the competitive-grant program is a "difficult pill to swallow." Merit pay for teachers based partly on student test scores is "a joke," he says. He's also not a fan of expanding charter schools, or of U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. Still, White, like thousands of educators around the country, has spent months making calls and knocking on doors, trying to persuade voters to support a president with whom he has sharp disagreements on a host of issues central to his profession. More

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: http://rossieronline.usc.edu


Florida's race-based goals for students spark debate
The Orlando Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Florida Board of Education looked prepared to vote — without discussion or debate — when board member John Padget pointed out a passage on page 169 of the board's agenda book. "I just asked my fellow board members if we are happy with the signal this sends?" he said. The board went on to adopt the item Padget had highlighted: reading and math goals for students that varied by race, among other categories. More

Translating the Common Core for dual-language classrooms
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it comes to putting the new Common Core Standards into classroom practice, dual language teachers must prepare and adapt their instructional strategies to teach the more rigorous common standards in language arts and mathematics not only in English, but in a second language. In many dual-language programs, particularly in the early grades, students are learning as much as 90 percent of their content in the target, non-English language. So what does the Common Core look like in Spanish language arts, for example? Who is doing the kind of translation and modification that dual language teachers need to bridge the language they are teaching in with the content standards? And where can dual language teachers find more resources to help them? More



'English language learning must go hand in hand with multilingualism'
The Hindu    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India: In the classic Odia short story of the late 19th Century called "Daka Munshi," Fakir Mohan Senapati's memorable character, Gopal Babu, the English educated postmaster, treats his father Hari Singh as a "fool" and an "imbecile," showering upon him gratuitous "English blows" for his ignorance of English. It is an iconic tale that is marked by the debate over the English language and its selective appropriation by the emerging bourgeoisie in the colonial State. While education is strongly upheld by the author as a major objective, westernization, primarily seen propelled through the English language, is often equated with the colonizing agenda of the British. More



Students train as interpreters, with benefits for all involved
What Kids Can Do    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On a fall morning in this community outside Seattle, most of the people waiting in line at the local food bank were elderly immigrants from Ukraine. From her post near the front desk Valentina, a lcoal high school senior, spotted a woman hunched in frustration, struggling to understand a food-bank staffer's repeated instructions. With little hesitation, she stepped in. "I've been in that position myself," recalls Valentina, herself a Russian immigrant. "The person keeps talking, raising his voice as he grows impatient." She knew just what to tell him: "If he wanted the lady to understand him, he’d have to pause between sentences to give me time to interpret. I also told him he’d need to speak slowly and respectfully." Valentina's experience as a newcomer served her well, but an unusual program in the Highline School District has served her even better. More

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The role of early oral language in literacy development
Language Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Supporting young children's language and literacy development has long been considered a practice that yields strong readers and writers later in life. The results of the National Early Literacy Panel's six years of scientific research synthesis supports the practice and its role in language development among children ages 0 to 5. The NELP was brought together in 2002 to compile research that would contribute to educational policy and practice decisions that impact early literacy development. It was also charged with determining how teachers and families could support young children's language and literacy development. More

Admitted, but left out
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Ayinde Alleyne arrived at the Trinity School, an elite independent school on the Upper West Side in Manhattan, N.Y., he was eager to make new friends. A brainy 14-year-old, he was the son of immigrants from Trinidad and Tobago, a teacher and an auto-body repairman, in the South Bronx. He was soon overwhelmed by the privilege he saw. Talk of fancy vacations and weekends in the Hamptons rankled — "I couldn't handle that at that stage of my life," said Alleyne, now a sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania — and he eventually found comfort in the school's "minority corner," where other minority students, of lesser means, hung out. More

2 languages, 1 classroom
Times-News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As first-grade teacher Adan Sanchez taught his students about syllables, he spent most of the time talking in Spanish. But occasionally during the lesson, he switched over to English if a student got confused. When students broke into groups, some used pieces of paper to string together different sounds. Next week, the students will start reading text in Spanish. "We're actually moving along pretty quickly," Sanchez said. The English and Spanish languages, he said, share a lot of consonant sounds. Sanchez said the theory behind dual immersion is that students will transfer language skills between English and Spanish. More


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The challenge of teaching English language learners
The Salem News (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
English language learners are the fastest-growing student population in Salem, Mass. While the majority are native speakers of Spanish, Salem students represent 37 different language backgrounds, from Albanian to Vietnamese. These students enrich our schools, our neighborhoods and our community by allowing us to better understand different cultures, viewpoints and histories. Yet, there continues to be a significant achievement gap on standardized measures between ELLs and their peers. As Salem seeks to "turn around" some of the policies and practices in our schools that affect students whose first language is not English, we may be better able to discuss the current challenges if we reflect on the past. More

English no burden for Jakarta schoolkids
The Jakarta Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Indonesia: Fifth-grader Khairunisa timidly shares her interest in the English lesson she gets once a week for two hours in her class. "I have learned about time, how to greet people, and making simple sentences using 'there is' or 'there are'," the student of SD Bendungan Hilir 02 in Central Jakarta said. Ninis, as her friends call her, has been learning English since she was in first grade. Although she and her friends rarely speak in English, she always enjoys her time studying English in class. And when she hears English words on television, she never hesitates to ask her teacher the following day. "I like it. I think it's easy," she said. More


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Touch-pad lingo setback for English
The Malay Mail (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Malaysia: English language is being desecrated in schools and no one is doing anything about it. It has come to a stage where students are more conversant in social media language than the standard English language. As an English language teacher, I am astounded with poor spelling, punctuation and grammar that are required standards of written English. Almost 90 percent of my students speak and write "touch pad English." Like me many English language teachers feel we are fighting English while teaching English. More

Nothing lost in translation
China Daily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China: Class act shows learning English can be fun, report He Na and Peng Yining in Beijing. It was time for reading class at the kindergarten. A dozen children, aged 4 to 6, leaned back on their small chairs and gazed at Sarah Curtiss, their 26-year-old teacher from the United States. "Blue Chameleon," said Curtiss, pointing at a cartoon lizard on the cover of the children's book of the same name. More



Language too big a barrier for non-English speakers
The Australian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Australia: While the main challenge for regional and poorer students remains just getting into university, other equity groups confront different forms of disadvantage during or even after their studies. Students from non-English speaking backgrounds, for example, are underachievers at university and underemployed after it. Their plight highlights the need for a policy approach that targets disadvantage at all points of the higher education spectrum. More





Continuing education can give employees an edge in the workplace
BPT via Milwaukee Journal Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A volatile economy and tough job market have revived American workers' interest in continuing education. Now more than ever, adults are returning to educational environments to advance their skills, training and knowledge. "Continuing education generally refers to any type of post-secondary education for the purpose of keeping current with changes in a particular field of study or for preparation to obtain a certification," says Dr. Marianne Greenfield, a program chair at Argosy University, Atlanta. More



A little bit of extra sleep pays off big for kids
WebMd    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Twenty-seven minutes. That's how much extra sleep a school-aged child needs per night to be brighter and more productive the following day. According to a new study, kids who slept that extra amount each night were less impulsive, less easily distracted, and less likely to have temper tantrums or cry often and easily. By contrast, losing just shy of an hour's worth of sleep had the opposite effects on behavior and mood. More


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Education, income level of parent correlated to child's brain development
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A recent study presented at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscientists found a correlation between a parent's income and education level and the development of certain areas of their child's brain that relate to learning, memory and stress processing. The study analyzed the brain images of subjects whose parents had between eight and 21 years of education and incomes that ranged from below poverty level to over $140,000 for a family of four. The study was led by Kimberly Noble, an assistant professor of pediatrics at Columbia, in conjunction with Elizabeth Sowell, a professor of pediatrics at USC. More

Low income students' test scores leap 30 percent with smartphone use
Mashable    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Cellphones are banned from many schools — at least from the classroom — because students play games, text friends and do other activities that distract them from learning. But mobile technology for students in a classroom setting isn't always a hindrance to good grades and learning. Qualcomm's Wireless Reach Initiative aims to conquer the digital divide between those who can and can’t afford wireless Internet access. After smartphones were distributed to low income students, standardized test performance drastically increased because students could more easily communicate with their peers and access information throughout the day (and night). More

New blog to focus on Common Core and English learners
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As school districts and teachers around the country grapple with putting the new Common Core Standards in English/language arts and mathematics into classroom practice, many of them are looking for resources and strategies to use to support their students who are still learning English. Today, Colorín Colorado, a bilingual website on English language learners and dual-language learners, launched a new blog that will be devoted exclusively to the common core and what it means for ELLs, their teachers and their families. The blog will be helmed by Diane Staehr Fenner, a former Fairfax County, Va., ESOL teacher who now runs her own consulting company and specializes in working with school districts, states and other education-related organizations on issues related to English learners. More

Improving Educational Outcomes for English Learners in the Middle Grades

CREATE’s focused program of research is designed to address the critical challenge of improving the educational outcomes of English learners in middle grades content area classes. Visit CREATE’s website to download CREATE briefs and materials from past CREATE conferences. Learn More


A little science goes a long way: Engaging kids improves math, language scores
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A Washington State University researcher has found that engaging elementary school students in science for as little as 10 hours a year can lead to improved test scores in math and language arts. Samantha Gizerian, a clinical assistant professor in WSU's Department of Veterinary and Comparative Anatomy, Pharmacology and Physiology, saw improved test scores among fourth-grade students in South Los Angeles after students from the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science gave 10 one-hour presentations on science. More



What will work in new blended learning experiment?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the blended learning movement grows in the U.S., schools will need to experiment with what works best in different types of settings. There's still a lot to learn about different types of blended learning models, and a new nonprofit called Silicon Schools will raise and invest $25 million toward that effort. With partial grants from the Bay Area's Fisher family (owners of Gap), and the advice of board members Michael Horn from the Innosight Institute and Salman Khan of the Khan Academy, the nonprofit, which has raised $12 million so far, aims to fund new and innovative approaches in existing blended learning programs with grants to each school. More

Fair isn't equal: 7 classroom tips
Edutopia    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Teachers and schools strive to be fair and build programs and polices based on this value. But what is fair? Many define it as treating everyone the same, but I would argue that doing so is the most unfair way to treat students. Students are not the same. They have different motivations for their choices, different needs, different causes for misbehavior and different goals. I think this is good, because wouldn't the world be very boring if we were all the same? More

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10 important questions to ask before using iPads in class
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it comes to deciding how or whether to use iPads, schools typically focus on budget issues, apps, networking logistics, check-in and check-out procedures, school and district tech-use policies, hardware precautions and aspects of classroom management. But it's also important to think about instructional use. More

What to look for in PBL
District Administration Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Project-based learning looks different, and may seem messier, than traditional instruction. Administrators visiting PBL classrooms shouldn't expect to see orderly rows of students moving through the curriculum together. Instead, they're likely to find small teams of students working on investigations of open-ended questions. Students should be able to explain what they're doing and how activities relate to the project goals. More

Spice up your class routine
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
By this time of the school year, your students probably have a sense of the rhythms and routines of your classroom. There's a lot to be said for predictability. At the same time, adding a jolt of the unexpected can help banish the ho-hums. More



Why learning should be messy
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Can creativity be taught? Absolutely. The real question is: "How do we teach it?" In school, instead of crossing subjects and classes, we teach them in a very rigid manner. Very rarely do you witness math and science teachers or English and history teachers collaborating with each other. Sticking in your silo, shell and expertise is comfortable. Well, it's time to crack that shell. It's time to abolish silos and subjects. Joichi Ito, director of the MIT Media Lab, said that rather than interdisciplinary education, which merges two or more disciplines, we need anti-disciplinary education, a term coined by Sandy Pentland, head of the lab's Human Dynamics group. More



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

ELT Leadership Management Certificate Program (Certificate Course), Deadline for registration 1 February

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




English Language Educational Technology Specialist, Booz Allen Hamilton, Jubail, Saudi Arabia

Senior Instructor of English Language, University of Macau, nationwide

Assistant Professor of Linguistics, University of South Florida Tampa, USA

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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