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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Oct. 29, 2013

 





Language teachers use visual cues to engage students
The Columbus Dispatch
The second-graders applauded, cheered and even screamed for Scott Koehler's language-arts lesson. The teacher at Hamilton Elementary in Ohio explained the differences between fiction and nonfiction as he clapped, gestured and pointed to his eyes — all visual cues for key words and concepts. The students mirrored his actions. The techniques are part of a teaching approach known as "whole brain" that suggests that students learn better when they engage their senses. "If they say it, see it, do it and teach it, they'll remember it more," said Koehler, who started using the techniques two years ago.
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Study: Grade placement affects math performance for immigrant ELLs
Education Week
Principals often have little time to decide what grade in which to place older immigrant English language learners entering U.S. schools for the first time, but their choices can have long-term effects on students' academic achievement, according to a new study published in the October issue of the journal Education Evaluation and Policy Analysis.
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Segregating English learners in schools
Los Angeles Times
Segregating young children for whom English is a new language according to their fluency levels produces the best academic results, according to most research. So the Los Angeles Unified School District has little choice in the matter. As a result of a settlement with the U.S. Department of Education, which had accused the district of doing poorly by its English learners, the district was required to submit an evidence-based plan for improvement, and that plan calls for sorting the students by English skills.
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2014 TESOL Convention — Call for volunteers
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TESOL classroom of the future — Call for submissions
TESOL
The Classroom of the Future is a new initiative tied to TESOL International Association's 50th anniversary in 2016. Proposals that focus on what might be happening for ELT teaching 5 or 10 years from now are highly encouraged. To access more detailed descriptions of the Classroom, Electronic Village events, and a proposal submission form, go to http://www.call-is.org.
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Deadline extended!
TESOL
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FEATURED ARTICLE
TRENDING ARTICLE
MOST POPULAR ARTICLE
Finding drive
Language Magazine
There is no question that one’s success in any task is closely related to motivation. Learning a language is no exception. But what is motivation? According to behaviorist theory, motivation is quite simply the anticipation of reward driven by previous experiences of reward for behavior.

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Apps that snap and tools that rule
Language Magazine
The old adage "the best things in life are free" has never been truer than in the world of Web-based tools and apps that are useful in the language classroom.

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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.

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Here's how Americans stack up against students in other countries
The Huffington Post
When it comes to math skills, Alabama performs like Armenia, Mississippi comes close to Dubai, Washington, D.C., performs like Ukraine, and Massachusetts is just one rung below Japan, according to a study released by the U.S. government. In science, Mississippi and Alabama look a lot like Kazakhstan, D.C. is close to Bahrain, and Massachusetts edges out Taiwan. The study is the first to show where U.S. states would rank on the international exam Trends in International Math and Science Study, or TIMSS. Students in most U.S. states don't take TIMSS, so U.S. statisticians approximated results using the National Assessment of Educational Progress, the largest U.S. comprehensive standardized test.
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December 9-12, 2013

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December 13, 2013

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Obama education speech stresses investments ahead of budget conference
The Huffington Post
President Barack Obama spent Oct. 25 hanging out with students at Pathways in Technology Early College High School, before telling them they're "starting something across the country" in a speech in the Brooklyn school's auditorium. P-Tech, a new vocational school run in collaboration with IBM, goes two years beyond traditional high school and lets students graduate with an associate's degree. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, both Democrats, have praised the effort and called for the creation of more schools in its image.
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ESL and classroom teachers team up to teach Common Core
Education Week
It started with a simple after-school conversation last spring between two teachers. Barbara Page, a veteran English as a second language teacher, and Meredith Vanden Berg, an eighth grade science teacher, were discussing a student from Somalia who had just arrived from a refugee camp in Yemen and landed at their ethnically diverse middle school in Beaverton, Ore.
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International students enrich classrooms, boost diversity efforts
Rochester Business Journal
Where Oscar Kwon is from in South Korea, high school begins at 9 a.m., shortly after the students arrive on foot or by city bus. The school day officially ends at 3 p.m., but most students stay until 9:30 to do math exercises or pore over other subjects for extra credit. Rice, soup and the cabbage-based side dish kimchee help to keep them on task. Yet instead of following that routine, Kwon chose to come to the Aquinas Institute of Rochester at age 16. Now 18 and on track to graduate next year, he hopes to stay in the United States for college and pursue a sports management career.
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ELLs and Common Core: Denver students dig into persuasive reading, writing
Education Week (commentary)
A handful of middle school teachers in Denver became among the first to test drive a new, rigorous English/language arts unit designed for English language learners. The five-week unit — a Common Core instructional resource developed by Stanford University's Understanding Language team — focuses on persuasive speeches and texts. I wrote about the unit earlier this year just as the Denver teachers, along with some of their colleagues in Charlotte-Mecklenburg, N.C., and Chicago, were starting to roll it out in their classrooms.
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Minnesota students learning English face an uphill battle, but innovations are helping
Star Tribune
As the popularity of language immersion schools continues to surge in Minnesota, a bitter irony endures — many of the state’s 65,000 students who are trying to learn English are struggling. Only 17 percent of English language learners were determined to be proficient in reading on this year’s Minnesota Comprehensive Assessment exams, down almost 20 percentage points over the previous year. While most state students saw declines in their reading scores because of tougher new standards, English language learners fell the furthest. And the gap between them and white students is vast — about 40 percentage points in reading and 38 points in math.
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Utah's languages of opportunity
District Administration Magazine
When it comes to foreign language study, Utah is emerging as a national trendsetter. The state's five-year-old dual-language immersion program will likely give Utah students a leg up in the future job market and foreign affairs, and could serve as a model for other states, language experts say. The dual-language immersion program was born in 2008 under former Gov. Jon Huntsman with approval from the state legislature. Elementary school students spend half their instructional time in English and the other half in the target language; which language subjects are taught varies by grade level.
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China introduces education reform to de-emphasize English language curriculum
Open Equal Free
China: The Beijing Municipal Education Commission proposed education reforms that will de-emphasize English language curriculum in the gaokao, China's national higher education examinations. The proposition aims to relieve pressure on China's students to master the language and counteracts fears of the English language eventually overtaking Mandarin. The decision was met with conflictual opinions from China's students, parents and educators.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    English language courses soar by 35 percent (University World News)
Diversity is good for your English (Phys.org)
Cutting to the Common Core: Making vocabulary No. 1 (Language Magazine)
The state of the Common Core (Edutopia)
New strategy for more efficient learning (Psychology Today)
Why states are creating a common definition for English language learners (WLRN-TV)

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




Boise State teaches refugees how to shine
The Arbiter
According to the Idaho Office for Refugees statistics, there were 686 refugees from 20 different countries who came to Idaho in 2012. All of these refugees will have to obtain citizenship within seven years of their arrival in the United States. Some of them are without any English background, and some are illiterate, even in their native tongue. Assistant professor, Dr. Casey Keck, of the Boise State English Department has taken on the challenge of connecting Boise State students with the refugee population in the Boise community. With a Ph.D in applied linguistics, Keck and her team are working to help get elder refugees' English proficiency levels high enough to pass the citizenship test.
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After school violence, traumatized teachers need help
CNN (commentary)
Americans were shocked twice this week by more school violence — first, in Nevada, where a student shot and killed a teacher and wounded two students before taking his own life; then by the news that the body of a young teacher was found behind her school in Massachusetts. The images of traumatized parents and a campus surrounded by police tape shake us profoundly — our hearts break for the families of those who died. For them, this is the beginning of an unwanted journey.
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Finding drive
Language Magazine
There is no question that one's success in any task is closely related to motivation. Learning a language is no exception. But what is motivation? According to behaviorist theory, motivation is quite simply the anticipation of reward driven by previous experiences of reward for behavior. In this view, our acts are likely to be at the mercy of external forces. In cognitive terms, motivation draws much more heavily from the individual's "decisions, the choices people make as to what experiences or goals they will approach or avoid, and the degree of effort they will exert in that respect." Some cognitive psychologists see underlying needs or drives as the compelling force behind our decisions.
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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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