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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Nov. 28, 2012

Advocates for Native students call for federal education policy changes
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Leaders in the National Indian Education Association have released a new policy statement asking for the federal government to take several steps they say are necessary to improve outcomes for Native American children who are among the most at risk for struggling in school and dropping out before graduation. More

What is DOE's stance on using testing data in teacher evaluation? Blog    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Marciano Gutierrez, a 2012 Teaching Ambassador Fellow, on loan from Alta Vista High School in Mountain View, Calif., writes: "A recent letter to the Department of Education from a teacher in Cincinnati contained a quote that really struck me: 'It is not at all that I am afraid of what my test scores might reveal. I am more concerned about what my student's test scores will not reveal.' The quote rings true of so many classrooms across the country, including my own. I teach students who have been removed from other institutions due to behavior, chronic absences or other issues that have prevented them from being successful in the traditional school setting. Each of my students has been identified as a potential dropout and each has a profound set of challenges that manifest in the classroom." More

Former TESOL President Brock Brady attends 47th ASOCOPI Conference
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Brock Brady returned from the the 47th ASOCOPI (Asociación Colombiana de Profesores de Inglés) conference in Tuluá, Colombia, noting that it was an honor to represent TESOL International Association. The theme of the conference was "Encounters with Varieties of English," a highly appropriate topic in that a few years ago, the Colombian Ministry of Education mandated that everyone in Colombia be (at least?) bilingual in Spanish and English by 2019 (with support provided by the British Council). More

World Class: Be the Solution

In our TESOL/TFL programs, you’ll learn the world’s most important skills from our instructors: bringing people together through the power of a new language. MORE

Call for proposals: TESOL CALL Interest Section Electronic Village
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Call for proposals is available for the TESOL CALL Interest Section Electronic Village events for the TESOL International Convention in March 2013. The deadline is approaching. These events allow interaction and engagement for both the presenters and participants. They are a wonderful place to showcase your use of technology in the classroom. The CALL IS looks forward to receiving your proposal. Please contact Dawn Bikowski with questions. 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 at the International TESOL Convention in Dallas, Texas USA. For more information, contact Rebecca Smith-Murdock, CEA accreditation review manager. More

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush criticizes education 'gap'
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush criticized the state of education in the United States during a speech on education reform. Bush called on the United States to adopt global benchmarks for students at the Fifth Annual National Summit on Education Reform in Washington, D.C. "We have a huge problem," he said of the current education system. Bush serves as chairman of the board of The Foundation for Excellence in Education, the organization sponsoring the event, which is attended by hundreds of lawmakers, teachers and education nonprofit workers. More

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Should there be a bar exam for teachers?
Take Part via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Eager law school graduates are tasked with taking the dreaded bar exam before they practice law. What do you suppose would happen if there was a similar test for teachers? Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, was the first to propose this idea at the Aspen Ideas Festival in June. Weingarten, who strives to help the teacher labor unions in her charge, suggested the bar exam in part as a way to help counter the impression that unions protect failing teachers. More

Why do so many teachers quit their jobs? Because they hate their bosses
The Atlantic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
What's the reason so many new teachers quit the profession or move to a different school? The heavy workload? Low salary? A paucity of classroom resources? An absence of autonomy? The "always-on," continually demanding nature of the work? None of the above. The main reason is their principals. To find out what factors influence novice teachers' decisions to leave the teaching profession, Peter Youngs, associate professor of educational policy at Michigan State University and Ben Pogodzinski of Wayne State University, working with two other colleagues at Michigan State, surveyed 184 beginning teachers of grades one through eight in eleven large school districts in Michigan and Indiana. Their study was recently published in Elementary School Journal. More

What if the highest-paid people at school were ... the teachers?
Take Part    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Barnett Berry shows a picture of himself from 1979 to a group of Arkansas teachers. The educators laugh at the young, bright-eyed teacher, who is now president of the Center for Teacher Equality. He tells them it's been decades since he's been in a classroom, but that doesn't mean he is clueless about what they handle on a daily basis. He also shares where he thinks the teaching profession needs to go. "There is a difference between those who teach and those who lead," Berry said during the lecture for Arkansas teachers at the William J. Clinton Presidential Center. More

California's English language learners getting stuck in schools' remedial programs
Press-Telegram    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Melanie Perez wishes she could have played the saxophone. Octavio Reyes would have liked to take a computer science class. Both students at San Pedro High School in California say they can't sign up for these electives because, at some point in their school careers, they were stuck having to take remedial classes for English learners — even though both speak English fluently and have performed reasonably well on English tests. More

DPS, plaintiffs now speak same language on modified consent decree
The Denver Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The controversial, court-ordered plan for serving English language learners in Denver Public Schools has undergone its first overhaul since 1999 — with what all parties call unprecedented cooperation. If approved by a federal judge, the modified consent decree will mandate several new standards for teaching more than 36,000 students as they work toward English proficiency while also mastering academic content. More

Teaching English to Young Learners?

Come to Cal State San Bernardino for a one-month, intensive TESOL Teacher Training Program, with a focus on teachers of young learners ages 2-8. The program includes visits to local elementary schools for practical application of the content studied in workshops taught by TESOL experts. MORE

LAUSD English learners to move faster into mainstream classes
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Triggered by a federal civil rights investigation, Los Angeles Unified has launched a network of programs designed to more quickly move English learners into mainstream academic classes and help close the achievement gap. The strategies are detailed in the 150-page English-Learner Master Plan, which the district overhauled last year after a U.S. Department of Education probe determined that English learners and African-American students were being denied access to educational opportunities. More

Program aims to build English fluency
The News-Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jacqueline Hoke slips what she calls the "magic scarf" around her neck, and the students in her classroom know that now it is time to speak only English. Hoke, a first-grade teacher of bilingual students at Eastlawn School in Rantoul, said her students' English-speaking ability varies widely — some not speaking much of the language while others are more proficient. More

Too many students misidentified as English learners, study says
San Jose Mercury News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Julian Ruiz is an English speaker who doesn't know a word of Spanish or any other foreign language. Yet when the 7-year-old entered kindergarten in Torrance, Calif., three years ago, he was classified as an English learner — a student not fluent in English. This shunted him into a category that his mother, Millie Ruiz, says he shouldn't be in, and triggered a dispute with the school's administration. More

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New program for mentoring gets high marks
Santa Ynez Valley News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A new program at Santa Ynez Valley Union High School helping English language learners succeed with assistance from their peers is off to a great start, according to school officials. The Academic Mentor program, which began this school year, brings bilingual speakers — English and Spanish — into classrooms to work with English learners struggling with language barriers plus organizational and study skills. The volunteer mentors receive academic credit they can put on college applications and resumes and the mentorees get the extra academic support they need to boost their grades and confidence, said Principal Mark Swanitz. More

Call of Duty and World of Warcraft double as language class
The Toronto Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canada: Mette-Ann Schepelern remembers when she first heard a curious sound coming from her son's bedroom. Someone was speaking fluent English loudly, peppered with mysterious slang. To her surprise, it was her 9-year-old Danish son. Schepelern and her son Carl live in Copenhagen, where English lessons begin in the first grade. To become fluent, a child would need to practice several hours a day — which Carl did, but not in front of a textbook. More

Seeing is believing
Inside Higher Ed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The number of Chinese students on American campuses has increased by 139 percent in the last five years, and admissions officers are struggling to keep up with demand. Confronted with tales of widespread fraud, higher education's gatekeepers describe difficulties in getting accurate portraits of who their Chinese applicants are — and how well they speak English. More

Is Southern Utah University tolerating plagiarism by ESL students?
The Salt Lake Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Southern Utah University has placed an instructor in its English as a Second Language program on probation and is investigating allegations that the program tolerates widespread plagiarism by students. The probe was triggered by complaints from former instructor Belinda Frost, who said she quit earlier this month in disgust. Frost taught for a year in SUU's English as a Second Language program, which some international students — many of them from Saudi Arabia — attend to prepare for college-level work. She estimates one-fifth of the writing assignments she graded contained unattributed prose from other sources. 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

Boris Johnson: Student visa crackdown sends out wrong signal
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: The London mayor, Boris Johnson, has said government restrictions on overseas students are putting off the brightest from coming to study in Britain. During a five-day visit to India, Johnson said the clampdown on overseas students and bogus colleges had sent out the wrong signal and could hit the £2.5 billion revenue stream that British universities earn from their fees. Johnson told Indian students at Amity University, south of Delhi, that he was pressing the government to set up an educational exports commission to promote Britain's universities abroad and help secure their future. One of its first tasks would be to examine whether foreign students were choosing to study in the U.S., Canada and Australia instead of Britain. More

Learning English in the Philippines
The Manila Bulletin Newspaper Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Philippines: More foreign students are coming to the Philippines to learn English or enroll in English-speaking universities. The Bureau of Immigration reported that over 24,000 foreigners applied for study permits this year, compared to less than 8,000 four years ago. Most are from Asia — especially Korea, Taiwan and Japan — and the Middle East. More

Online learning strategies of male and female students
Universiti Teknologi MARA via ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Research Highlight — Virtual learning via cyber space. Researcher Rasaya Marimuthu and his team from Universiti Teknologi MARA conducted a study to determine the online learning strategies of male and female students in an English language course. Utilizing computers as a tool in education appears to be gaining momentum. There appears to be varying levels of interest in this method of online learning. This study attempted to investigate the relationship and differences (if any) of five variables: motivation, self-monitoring, internet literacy, internet anxiety and concentration of students when engaging in online studying. More

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Report: Innovative teaching, not technology alone, has 'greatest impact' in the classroom    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The academics from Nottingham's Learning Sciences Research Institute, in collaboration with the London Knowledge Lab, say that — just like traditional school resources — the key to success is the way in which digital technologies like interactive whiteboards, laptops and tablets are used. This new research suggests we need to ask more meaningful questions about technology and learning. The traditional approach asks whether a type of technology helps learning and always finds the answer is "it depends." So instead we need to ask what are the most effective activities for learners and then find ways that technology can support them. More

Young teachers with passion for teaching have tricky career start
The Associated Press via Yahoo News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Jordan McNeil offered skills in high demand by public schools when she graduated from college with a dual major in special education and elementary education in 2011. She needed just one interview to find the right spot for her, a classroom where she and two assistants spend all day teaching eight autistic children. A year into her career, she says the greatest satisfaction comes from the skin-tingling "light bulb moments" when someone's knowledge really opens. Moments "when something really clicks with one of my students and I can see it, that they've figured it out and they understand," she said. "It's the little moments that make it worth it." More

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Teach with a purpose. SIT students learn to teach language for social change, advocacy, education, and empowerment. Graduates are working around the world for social justice through teaching. MORE

Parents wonder: Why so much homework?
MindShift    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As the movement against excessive homework continues to grow, some parents say they're drawing a line in the sand between home and school. Schools, in turn, are starting to rethink the role of homework and how it should be assigned. If homework serves simply as busy work — proof that kids are "learning," then that time is wasted, some say. Parents are sensitive to pressures on their children and want them to have down time when they get home from seven hours in school. If the work isn't stimulating, then why do it? More

Parents and teachers: Turning conflicts into partnerships
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It was back to school night. I was teaching American History. A parent asked me, somewhat accusingly, "Given your liberal bias, how do you plan to teach the New Deal?" My assumption was that this was a Republican parent. My response was, "Well, as to being a liberal, guilty as charged! But as a history teacher, I have a responsibility to help students look critically at the varied perspectives of historical events. I give equal and fair time to Wilkie and other good Republicans." After the session ended, we chatted about how FDR tried to stack the Supreme Court, and I told him I was aware that FDR didn't walk on water. More

Better teacher-candidate mentoring targeted
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Summer Brewer's first student-teaching experience taught her many things, all learned the hard way. The teacher she was apprenticed to gave students worksheets for whole class periods and never got up from her desk. By Brewer's fourth day, her mentor was spending most of her time in the teachers' lounge. "I was essentially a full-time teacher," said Brewer, now a second-year high school English teacher in the Henderson County district, in Tennessee. "I'm not sure how [she] still gets student-teachers, unless the principal does it because he knows it's the only way any teaching will get done." More

Free Web tools make classroom management fun
The Digital Shift (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When I decided to become a teacher, the first course I took was on classroom management. It involved all sorts of rubrics and checklists for documenting student behavior — certainly not the most fun aspect of the job, but a necessary one. The records that I learned to keep have come in handy over the years, especially for sharing with students' parents when we meet to discuss their children's work. Thankfully, taking attendance and other record keeping no longer require paper, nor do parents and students have to wait until conference time to review this information. More
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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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