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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Nov. 5, 2013

 





What it takes (and means) to learn English as an adult
NPR
Ana Perez never made it to high school. Her education ended after the sixth grade, when war broke out in her native El Salvador. She says she's "desperate" to learn English, but she gets nervous trying to speak it. Immigrants like Perez see English as the key to a better life. Many hope learning the language will help lift them out of poverty and integrate them into American society. But gaining English proficiency is a difficult task amid everyday obligations.
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Need for English language programs on the rise in Durham
Durham Region
Canada: Lourdes Marrugat didn't speak a word of English when she arrived in Canada from Mexico two years ago. The inability to communicate created distance between her and others, including her own family at times. Her husband and sons were both fluent in English, having studied the language in Mexico.
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More US states leaning on teachers
MoneyWatch
With an increased focus on the performance of the nation's public schools, a growing number of states are scrutinizing the effectiveness of their teachers. Thirty-five states, along with the District of Columbia, now require that student achievement be a significant, or even the most significant factor, in teacher evaluations, according to a new report from the National Council on Teacher Quality, which advocates for teacher reforms. Just four years ago, a mere four states required evidence of student learning to be the most significant factor.
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Call for proposals: 2014 Electronic Village
TESOL
The Computer Assisted Language Learning Interest Section invites you to submit a proposal for the Electronic Village at the 2014 TESOL Convention. The Electronic Village is a wonderful place to showcase innovative uses of technology in the classroom, including mobile technology. The deadline for submissions is 30 November 2013. The CALL IS will also be soliciting proposals for the Classroom of the Future sessions sponsored by TESOL and tied to the 50th anniversary in 2016.
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TESOL to help implement CCSS
TESOL
TESOL International Association has received a generous grant from the Braitmayer Foundation to design and pilot a series of professional development workshops. These practical, ready-to-use resources will help schools implement the Common Core State Standards for English learners at the beginning language proficiency level. The workshops will focus on four grade levels: lower elementary, upper elementary, middle grades and high school.
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eBooks from TESOL Press
TESOL
The new TESOL Press eBooks are compatible with Apple, Kindle and Android devices, and cost, on average, 40 to 60 percent less than their print counterparts.
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Utilizing cellphones with students: Sending reminders 101
TESOL
Tara Arntsen, TESOL tech blogger, shares a resource that allows you to connect with your students via text message to help keep them on track with classwork. Other recent TESOL blogs: Stay Up-to-Date in EL Writing: Five Great Journals, Classroom Activity: Hiring the New ESL Instructor and Online Language Teacher Education: Resource & Report.
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Turning the page on illiteracy, adults go back to class
NPR
The national debate around education usually focuses on children in school. But there are those in the U.S. who have trouble with basic literacy — they struggle to read a menu, a pay stub or a bus schedule.

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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 explained the differences between fiction and nonfiction as he clapped, gestured and pointed to his eyes — all visual cues for key words and concepts.

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Cutting to the Common Core: Making vocabulary No. 1
Language Magazine
The Common Core State Standards (CCSS, 2010) call upon students to tackle increasingly complex informational and narrative texts and articulate their comprehension using academic register.

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ESL teachers, academic language and the Common Core State Standards
Education Week (commentary)
Making the rigorous Common Core State Standards in English/language arts and mathematics accessible to every type of learner is a huge undertaking for educators. In a new special report called Moving Beyond the Mainstream, three of my Education Week colleagues and I try to tackle some of the most central challenges to that endeavor, as teachers in every state but four forge ahead with using the new standards and delivering their instruction in varying ways to meet the needs of all students — those with disabilities, those from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, those who are gifted and those who are still learning English.
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Finding their voice: English language learner students working to fit in while maintaining cultural identity
Steamboat Pilot & Today
Inside Room 221 at Steamboat Springs High School, students' projects are stapled to the wall, words are scribbled on the whiteboard and six large, circular tables are spread across the room. Students begin filing in for their 10:05 a.m. class and slump into their chairs. After all, it is Friday, and it's the last day of the quarter. The first round of assignments from the semester needs to be turned in for grading, and some students are understandably having some midterm blues.
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English necessary, but teach in Kannada
The Times of India
India: Striking a delicate balance, chief minister Siddaramaiah batted to make the mother tongue compulsory in primary schooling, while underlining the importance of English. The CM was speaking at the Karnataka Rajyotsava celebrations organized by the public instruction department at Kanteerava Stadium. "I am of the opinion that making mother tongue (Kannada) compulsory for primary schooling is good. The medium of education has run into controversies over the years. Our government's stand on this is clear. Neither should we impose any language on children nor stop them from learning any language.''
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Kickstart kids in language learning
The Star Online
Malaysia: Learning English should be best encouraged during early childhood for there are benefits in the long run. Children should learn how to read and write in English from a young age as it is a language of communication, business and science. Being a global language, young people should make sure that they are proficient in the English language, said Deputy Education Minister II P. Kamalanathan. He was speaking at the launch of the Cambridge English for Life program and Kinder World's graduation and concert 2013 in Subang Jaya, Selangor, recently.
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GCSE shakeup to include international benchmarking of English pupils' results
The Guardian
Great Britain: Pupils sitting GCSE exams in England could be awarded grades measured against their peers in countries such as Singapore, in an effort to tackle under-performance in international education league tables. Glenys Stacey, the head of Ofqual, said that a new grading system to be introduced in 2017 — with grades from nine at the top to one at the bottom replacing the current grades of A to G — could be based on international benchmarks, calling for a public debate on the subject.
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'We're not this alien group': Chinese students on fitting in at US colleges
The Atlantic
Four Chinese students at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where Chinese enrollment has grown 356 percent in the last decade, have set out to educate their American peers about themselves. They've taken to YouTube to explain the social misunderstandings that block many foreign students — particularly those from Asia — from integrating with the slang-speaking, booze-guzzling Americans.
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English language learners demand slang; teachers try to keep up
Southern California Public Radio
Jiu Hua Zhang stands in front of her classmates reading from a sheet of paper. She's practiced the lines over and over under her breath. "You can count on one thing," she said, forming each word carefully. "If a critic thinks a movie is a bomb, it'll be a smash hit." A movie could be a bomb or a smash hit. Not to mention da bomb. These are the kind of things Zhang wants to know. The 23-year-old has been studying English in her home country of China since middle school. She's among thousands of students who come to the United States with hopes of picking up what they can't get back home: the idioms, the catchphrases — the slang.
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Aspiring, current taxi drivers sign up for English language course
The Straits Times
Singapore: With his $1,400 salary as a delivery driver barely sufficient to cover his mortgage, household expenses and school fees for his two teenage children, Teng Khoon Hai decided to become a cabby six months ago. The problem was that he did not have the necessary qualifications in English, which meant having to pass a computerized test before he could qualify for a taxi vocational license, issued by the Singapore Taxi Academy.
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How to turn adult education into careers, quickly
NPR
Adults wanting to go back to school have the odds stacked against them. They juggle many responsibilities, there are long waitlists for classes and often there isn't a connection between what they learn in class and the skills they need to get a job. But a program offered in Washington state has been so successful in getting adult students into the workforce that more than 20 states are implementing the model. It's called Integrated Basic Education and Skills Training, better known as I-BEST.
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Organization teaching language skills to adults
News Leader
Andrea Camacho studies intensely. She pores over words in a written text, and she rehearses the words' pronunciation carefully. Sometimes her gaze is solemn, and sometimes — as she works with her tutor, Linda Grogan — she breaks into a smile. Camacho was studying English with Grogan at the Waynesboro Public Library recently. It's where they meet as part of the Learn English and Reading Now program, a county-wide organization designed to reach out to English-speaking adults working on literacy, as well as to adults who are learning English as a foreign language.
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Turning the page on illiteracy, adults go back to class
NPR
The national debate around education usually focuses on children in school. But there are those in the U.S. who have trouble with basic literacy — they struggle to read a menu, a pay stub or a bus schedule. It also means it's difficult for them to get and hold onto the most basic jobs. Tens of thousands of other adult learners are slowly and painstakingly trying to fill in the gaps of their rudimentary schooling. The long shadow of their unfinished education still follows them every day.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Language teachers use visual cues to engage students (The Columbus Dispatch)
Segregating English learners in schools (Los Angeles Times)
Study: Grade placement affects math performance for immigrant ELLs (Education Week)
American English becoming more popular in former British colony (Voice of America)
Cutting to the Common Core: Making vocabulary No. 1 (Language Magazine)

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




Language study: 'Delay English medium till after grade 5'
The Express Tribune
Pakistan: The introduction of English as the medium of instruction in all subjects in public schools in the province should be delayed till after the primary level, a new study has recommended. Seventy per cent of teachers find teaching science and mathematics in English from grade 1 to be problematic, according to the "Policy and practice: teaching and learning in English in Punjab schools" report.
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Chinese puts in a good word for the English
China Daily
Words of Chinese origin are playing a key role in driving the ongoing globalization of English, experts in both languages say. "The fact that some 300 million Chinese people are now studying or have studied English means the important impact of Chinese on the language can't be denied," said Paul J.J. Payack, president and chief analyst at Global Language Monitor. The consultancy, based in Austin in the US state of Texas, documents, analyzes and tracks trends in language usage worldwide, with a particular emphasis on English.
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Ready to learn? The key is listening with intention
MindShift
Listening and observing can be passive activities — in one ear and out the other, as our mothers used to say. Or they can be rich, active, intense experiences that lead to serious learning. The difference lies in our intention: the purpose and awareness with which we approach the occasion. Here's how to make sure your intentions are good. Research on how we learn a second language demonstrates that effective listening involves more than simply hearing the words that float past our ears. Rather, it's an active process of interpreting information and making meaning.
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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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