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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Nov. 14, 2012






ELL-focused projects are big winners in i3 competition
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education has announced 20 awards in the latest round of its Investing in Innovation competition, and proposals that pledge to improve outcomes for English language learners are well-represented in the winners' circle. Winners of the i3 competition — some school districts; others, nonprofit organizations — will share $150 million in federal prize money to help underwrite their various projects. As a condition of getting the federal money, they must secure private matching funds. More



School curricula face controversial changes via recent bills, legislation
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Over the past couple years, several states attempted — and in some instances, succeeded — in passing legislation that brought controversial changes to school curricula. For instance, under Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal's proposed sweeping new school voucher program, tens of millions of Louisiana taxpayer dollars will be used to offer vouchers to more than half of the state's poor and middle-class public school students. These students can in turn use these vouchers to attend more than 120 private schools, including a number of small, Bible-based learning institutions that boast extreme anti-science and anti-history curricula while championing creationism. More






CEA needs site reviewers
CEA via TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Please consider this great opportunity for expanding your professional knowledge and serving the field. The Commission on English Language Program Accreditation is receiving quadruple the number of applications due to federal law mandating accreditation for all postsecondary English language training programs by December 2013. A critical step in the accreditation process is the site visit, during which qualified and trained peer reviewers apply the CEA Standards. See the Reviewer Application Form, and plan to attend a reviewer training workshop 19–20 March 2013 at the International TESOL Convention in Dallas, Texas, USA. For more information, contact Rebecca Smith-Murdock, rsmith-murdock@cea-accredit.org, CEA accreditation review manager.

Convention Advance Program now available online
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Advance Program for the 2013 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo is online in Nextbook format. The Advance Program includes information on registration, housing and travel; abstracts and bios of keynote speakers; invited speaker sessions; and events, including Breakfasts With TESOL's Best, the new ELT Leadership Management Certificate Program, Educational Site Visits, and Pre- and Postconvention Institutes. Remember, 1 February is the deadline for early registration and the best rates. More


World Class: Be the Solution


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Call for submissions: TESOL Connections new section
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TC Quick Tips are short, novel, easy-to-follow ideas for use in the English language classroom or in any aspect of English language teaching. Read submission guidelines here.

US Conference on Adult Literacy: Proposals due 14 December 2012
ProLiteracy via TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Conference on Adult Literacy, to be held 31 October–2 November 2013, in Washington, D.C., USA, brings together a diverse group of national organizations committed to the literacy and education needs of the nation and the world. The USCAL planning team is looking for presentations that share proven successful strategies and practical tools for adult literacy instruction, program management and leadership, and advocacy. If you have questions, please contact the USCAL conference team at conference@proliteracy.org or Robyn Smith, conference and event coordinator, at (315) 214-2578.

TESOL Publications is seeking proposals for a new book on ESOL for Different Professions and is seeking contributions for New Ways in Teaching Writing, revised edition. Deadline for submissions is 1 December 2012.



Obama wins re-election, but future unclear for schools
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the early hours of Nov. 7, teachers' unions were touting the re-election of President Barack Obama as a "victory" for both students and educators. But with the U.S. House of Representatives staying under Republican control and the Democrats maintaining a Senate majority that is too small to overcome repeated threats of filibustering by the GOP, it's unclear how much of Obama's education agenda will be implemented in the next four years. More

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In first postelection speech, Duncan talks NCLB waivers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan has been relatively quiet since his boss won re-election on Tuesday. But he broke his silence tonight, in his first speech since the elections to the Education Trust's national conference. During what was planned as a relatively brief speech — which wasn't on his public schedule — he was expected to talk tonight about his commitment to implementing the No Child Left Behind waivers. And, he was expected to reaffirm his support of the waivers' goal that at-risk students should be expected to make faster progress toward academic goals. More

Viewpoint: The election has compromised education reform
TIME (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The 2012 presidential election sidestepped the issue of school reform. Neither candidate spent much time laying out, let alone talking up, an education policy agenda. But around the country, there were ballot referendums and state and local races with big implications for schools. Teachers' unions had a good night, but so did charter schools. In other words, Nov. 6 left the country with an education mandate as unclear as the electoral mandate overall. Still, what happened in various states will influence what happens in Washington during President Barack Obama's second term. More

Evaluating teachers based on student test scores hurts children the most
The Washington Times (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Eileen Riley-Hall, author of "Parenting Girls on the Autism Spectrum," writes: "My daughter Caroline is a bright, sweet, inquisitive thirteen year-old. She also has autism. Over the past seven years of school, Caroline has made amazing progress because she always been included in the general education classroom with the help of a 1:1 aide." More



Time for higher pay? Teachers are more likely to work 2nd jobs
Take Part    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
After the school day ends, many teachers are heading to second jobs to make ends meet. According to a new study from the National Center for Education Statistics, the sad truth is that teachers are more likely than non-teachers to work multiple jobs. The report provides a variety of reasons why educators, who on average make $56,039 per year, might need to seek a supplementary income. More

Surveys gauge generational divide in teaching
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Newer teachers are more likely than their veteran counterparts to support controversial education policy changes such as using student growth in teacher evaluations, differentiating pay based on performance and decreasing tenure protections, according to the findings from two recent national surveys. Recently, the Boston-based teacher-policy organization Teach Plus released a report highlighting differences in attitudes between what it calls "new majority" teachers — defined as those with 10 or fewer years of experience, who now make up more than 50 percent of the teaching force — and "veterans" with 11 or more years of experience. More

Experts call for better English teaching methods
The Times of India    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India: Universities have to teach English as a language which will help students develop good communication skills, said College for Leadership and HRD director Sunney Tharappan. Speaking at the inaugural of a one-day symposium on Teaching English language and literature in the contemporary Indian context: new horizons and challenges, Tharappan highlighted the importance of spoken English in modern times. He said learning English does not necessarily mean studying literature. More

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The Philippines: The world's budget English teacher
BBC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Philippines: The Philippines is fast becoming the world's low-cost English language teacher — with rapid increases in overseas students coming to learn English or study in English-speaking universities. There might be other countries that people think about as a classic place to learn English, such as the U.K., the U.S. or Australia. More

Students must be fluent in English language
Jamaica Information Service    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jamaica: Education Minister Hon. Rev. Ronald Thwaites has underscored the critical need for Jamaican students to be fluent in the English language, noting that this is critical for the country's progress. He said that English is the language of professionalism, scientific discovery, and commerce. More

Foreign English language teachers for schools in Vietnam
SGGP    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Vietnam: Vietnam is well on its way to integrating with the world and for that reason emphasis on English language skills has become essential. Recently, the City Department of Education and Training decided to recruit foreign native English speakers to teach in elementary, middle and high schools in Vietnam. More


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When ABCs are in a new language
The Miami Herald    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hello. Hola. Bonjour. Ni Hao. Four languages. One meaning. Whether it's English, Spanish, French or Mandarin, mastering a second or third or fourth language is within reach — especially at a young age. Language and cultural programs for children are springing up across the county, as parents realize that fluency in a language connects children to their heritage and can open many doors. More

La doppia vita
Language Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In the public classrooms of Glendale Unified School District, a small part of Los Angeles is being taught language arts, math and science in Italian nearly all day long. More than a decade after Proposition 227 mandated that California's English language learners be taught exclusively in English, Glendale has become one of the nation's laboratories for dual-language programs in which instruction is delivered in two languages from kindergarten through 12th grade. More

New standards for English language learners
Santa Maria Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
School districts throughout California are getting ready for new developmental standards for English language learners as part of the state's switch to a nationally adopted core curriculum. State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Torlakson announced California's formal adoption of new English Language Development Standards that align with Common Core State Standards for English language arts, literacy in history/social studies, science and technical subjects. More



Growing number of students face the challenge of a new language
Northwest Florida Daily News via Crestview News Bulletin    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On any given day, more than 700 students in Okaloosa County in Florida schools might not understand what they hear. Some struggle to translate every word. Others miss only a word here and there. All of them are part of a growing population of English language learners in the district. In the last year alone, the number of students whose native language is not English enrolled in Okaloosa schools has increased by about 65. More

Indonesia to end teaching of English in primary schools
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Indonesia: The teaching of English in Indonesia's primary schools will end next year as the government attempts to reverse falling standards in Bahasa Indonesia. Deputy education and culture minister Musliar Kasim announced an overhaul of the curriculum that will see English classes cease by July. He told the Jakarta Post newspaper that students need more time to master their first language. More



UK universities failing to bridge culture gap for foreign students
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: A common lament heard at U.K. universities among staff who come into contact with international students is that the English language tests we use for university admissions do not do their job well enough. The result is that students are "let in" to universities when their English is not up to the level required. To test this claim it is worth examining how the university admissions system for international students currently works and whether current practices are fit for purpose. More

Improving Educational Outcomes for English Learners in the Middle Grades

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The demand for native English-speaking graduates in Asia
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Recent data gathered by TEFL England highlighted some of the most highly sought after travel and TEFL destinations overseas. The data was gathered from approximately 3000 people from all over the U.K. and conveyed some interesting results. The more popular destinations included India, Malaysia, France, Brazil, Spain, Mexico and Italy. Top of the table with the most interest however were Japan and China. More

Crafting your art of English fluency
Voice of America (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When I came to the United States, I was barely fluent in spoken English, although on paper I seemed competent in the language. In fact, it turned out the English I had learned over the course of my middle and high school years was quite different from American English. When you're not comfortably fluent in the language of your "new home," a casual chat can rapidly turn into a roller coaster of confusing words. I could barely even understand the information that the immigration officer told me when I landed in the U.S. More



Vancouver adult students are seriously shortchanged
The Vancouver Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canada: One of every two Metro Vancouver high school students lives in or near Surrey, yet the city has barely more than half the capacity of other parts of the province or the region to offer its young people post-secondary schooling. Worse, this kind of imbalance between high potential demand and skimpy supply has existed for decades. There's no improvement in sight. And there's every reason to believe that the social and economic cost will be huge if the productivity of the city's future workforce is allowed to be stunted by inadequate education. More

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Road to language learning is iconic
Association for Psychological Science via ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Languages are highly complex systems and yet most children seem to acquire language easily, even in the absence of formal instruction. New research on young children's use of British Sign Language sheds light on one mechanism — iconicity — that may play an important role in children's ability to learn language. For spoken and written language, the arbitrary relationship between a word's form — how it sounds or how it looks on paper — and its meaning is a particularly challenging feature of language acquisition. More

'Read my lips' — it's easier when they're your own
Springer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
People can lip-read themselves better than they can lip-read others, according to a new study by Nancy Tye-Murray and colleagues from Washington University. Their work, which explores the link between speech perception and speech production, is published online in Springer's Psychonomic Bulletin & Review. Most people cannot read lips — just try watching television with the sound turned off and see how much of a news item you understand. If you see someone speak a sentence without the accompanying sounds, you are unlikely to recognize many words. More

Infants mimic unusual behavior when accompanied by language
Northwestern University via ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new Northwestern University study shows the power of language in infants' ability to understand the intentions of others. As the babies watched intently, an experimenter produced an unusual behavior — she used her forehead to turn on a light. But how did babies interpret this behavior? Did they see it as an intentional act, as something worthy of imitating? Or did they see it as a fluke? To answer this question, the experimenter gave 14-month-old infants an opportunity to play with the light themselves. More

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Where clarity is lacking in English language teaching
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: Quality in TESOL Education, a U.K.-based association that brings together English language teaching professionals, wants to know why and how people enter the profession. The initial research it has carried out suggests that entrants into ELT are often confused by the information that is available and are making poorly informed judgments about the training courses they choose. More

Setting students up for success
Education Next    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What do a successful teacher and a wealthy grocery-store owner have in common? This sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, but the answer is simple. Both are familiar, even if they don't know it, with "technical successes" and "technical failures." Aiming to maximize his sales, our grocer puts staples such as milk, eggs and bread at the back of the store, as his customers may pick up other items while looking for the staples. Placing the staples at the back of the store is a "technical success," while placing them at the front constitutes a "technical failure." In the classroom, a technical success arises when a teacher prepares her students to succeed, and a technical failure exists when she sets them up to fail. More



Pinning down the cloud
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The social networking site Pinterest offers more than wedding reception ideas and vegetarian recipes. In the hands of thoughtful educators, it's becoming a source of invaluable information. The virtual bulletin board gained an early reputation as a frivolous corner of the Internet. As tech-savvy teachers, school counselors and others in the field have seen the value of sharing important ideas in a quick and fun way, this social cloud resource has become a practical place to turn for helpful hints and expertise. More

Schools provide teachers with the training tools for flipping the classroom
EdTech Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Equipping classrooms with technology is a good start, but schools also need to train teachers how to integrate those tools into their lessons and make learning more engaging for students. Teachers seem to be demanding it, in fact. According to CDW-G's Learn Now, Lecture Later report, 76 percent of high school IT professionals have received more teacher requests for help with technology integration and related professional development over the past two years. More

Is the technology 'ready' for blended learning?
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Blended learning and technology are at a crossroads. On the one hand, several schools with blended-learning programs continue to use curricula from one online provider, and although it doesn't give them the customization they may prefer ideally, its simplicity and reliability are worth the tradeoff. On the other hand, increasing numbers of schools are adopting blended-learning models that have each student working with multiple software providers within one subject. This is pushing the industry toward modularity perhaps a bit before it is ready to shift. More
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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