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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Dec. 5, 2012






English language learners in Arizona graduate at lowest rate in nation
KNAU-FM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Preliminary data recently released by the Department of Education shows that only 25 percent of English language learners in Arizona graduate high school in four years. That's compared to Texas, where the English language learner graduation rate is 58 percent, and California, at 60 percent. More



Report: Colleges with the highest Hispanic graduation rates
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When it comes to Hispanics and higher education, few colleges in the nation have an acceptable graduation rate to show for, according to "Advancing to Completion: Increasing degree attainment by improving graduation rates and closing gaps for Hispanic students," a new report by the Education Trust. "Institutions can benchmark their progress toward producing more degrees in two ways: Some colleges can focus on making gains in graduation rates for their Hispanic students, while others can focus on closing gaps between Hispanic students and white students," read the report. Illinois State University is one of the few that ranked high for graduating Hispanic students. More

'Friends' sitcom helps ESL community learn English
Global Edmonton    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The catchphrases "How you doin?" and "We were on a break!" are now more than just instantly recognizable sayings made famous by the popular American sitcom "Friends." Research by Kaplan International Colleges, an international education service provider, found that the long-running American sitcom was the most popular television show for helping people who are studying to improve their language skills. The study found that 82 percent of people said watching television programs helped them learn English while 26 percent claim to have improved their understanding of the language from watching episodes of "Friends." 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






TESOL congratulates the winners of the TESOL Facebook Giveaway!
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL International Association recently announced that it would give away 5 free memberships to its fans when its Facebook page reached 60,000 Likes. TESOL is happy to announce that its page has finally reached that benchmark: The lucky winners are Erica Morrison from Canada, Roya Ashtianinaia from Iran, Kiang Chui Tan from Malaysia, Beatriz Ramos-Martinez from the United States, and Andrea Karla Wei from the Philippines. Each will receive a free Professional Membership and enjoy full membership benefits. Congratulations to the winners, and thank you to all who entered the giveaway and who support TESOL on Facebook.

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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.

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Do you feel confident discussing grammar in the classroom?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Two online courses, Grammar Course 1: Phrasal Structures and Grammar Course 2: Multiclause Structures, will help you develop the confidence you need to discuss grammar with your students and provide tools to prepare grammar lessons. The courses run simultaneously from Monday, 4 February until Sunday, 3 March 2013. The registration deadline is 25 January 2013. Please visit the links above to register. Send questions to edprograms@tesol.org and put "Grammar" in the subject line.



5 states to extend classroom time for almost 20,000 students in bid to boost achievement
The Associated Press via Star Tribune    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Open your notebooks and sharpen your pencils. School for thousands of public school students is about to get quite a bit longer. Five states announced that they will add at least 300 hours of learning time to the calendar in some schools starting in 2013. Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee will take part in the initiative, which is intended to boost student achievement and make U.S. schools more competitive on a global level. More

Common Core sparks war over words
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As states across the country implement broad changes in curriculum from kindergarten through high school, English teachers worry that they will have to replace the dog-eared novels they love with historical documents and nonfiction texts. The Common Core State Standards in English, which have been adopted in 46 states and the District, call for public schools to ramp up nonfiction so that by 12th grade students will be reading mostly "informational text" instead of fictional literature. More



Reforming teachers — and unions
The Hour (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Another critical demographic shift is occurring. This one is taking place, quietly, in teachers unions: Over the past several years, teachers who have spent 10 years or fewer in the classroom have become the dues-paying majority. The impact of this new majority is as important to the role of unions as the changing electorate is to presidential elections. These newer teachers, along with many longtime teachers, are looking for their unions to elevate the profession — not to sacrifice teaching quality for job security. More

No consensus on which skills should be included in teacher evaluations
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At least 30 states are launching new systems to evaluate teachers using more rigorous criteria about what makes a good teacher, but so far there is little consensus on what the criteria should be. Teacher evaluations have become highly controversial as states introduce increasingly different models. Can the quality of a teacher be measured by looking at just a few key skills, such as setting academic goals and running an effective class discussion? Or should teachers be evaluated based on a broader range of abilities, including lesson-planning and content knowledge? More

Teaching English to Young Learners?

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Study: Standardized testing costs states $1.7 billion a year
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Standardized-testing regimens cost states some $1.7 billion a year overall, or a quarter of 1 percent of total K-12 spending in the United States, according to a new report on assessment finances. The report released calculates that the test spending by 44 states and the District of Columbia amounted to $65 per student on average in grades 3-9 based on the most recent test-cost data the researchers could gather. More

Youth, Hispanic vote may mean clout on key issues
HispanicBusiness.com    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
College access and immigration issues may leap-frog high on Washington policymakers' postelection to-do lists, thanks to the critical role that the Latino and youth vote played in helping President Barack Obama secure both the national popular vote and majorities in key swing states in winning reelection. Advocates for young voters want lawmakers to make funding for college financial aid a priority as they try to cope with the "fiscal cliff," the automatic spending cuts and rise in taxes set to go into effect early next year unless Congress and the administration are able to come up with a way to avert them. Advocates also are hoping that policymakers can shore up the Pell Grant program, which faces a $7 billion shortfall, and act to avert a planned rise in student-lending interest rates. More



What the Latino achievement gap really looks like
ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This year, 1-in-4 public elementary school students is Latino, an indication that the young Latino population is growing quickly. But, Latino students still lag behind their white peers in high school graduation rates across the country, according to preliminary data recently released by the U.S. Department of Education. The report shows that in a state-by-state breakdown of high school graduation rates, Hispanic students were less likely to graduate from high school than whites and Asians in all but two states over the 2010-2011 school year. More


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English language activities wow special needs children in Saudi Arabia
MENAFN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Saudi Arabia: A government school in Alkhobar launched an English language awareness program prepared for and by special needs students. Lauding the achievement, Alkhobar High School Principal Ibrahim Al-Shehri said special needs students are an integral part of society. "We must give them the platform to succeed and to prove their talent. They deserve more attention in order to feel that they are an important part of the community," he said. More

The power of academic parent-teacher teams
Edutopia    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This time of year, many people are reflecting on what is truly important in life and all they have to be grateful for. The most common item at the top of these lists: family. Many successful individuals can point to family as a factor in that success — perhaps because of their unwavering belief in our abilities, perhaps because they pushed us beyond what we thought we were capable of, perhaps for their financial contributions to our education. But the overarching feeling is, because of their support. More

Young people and social media: Docs examine pitfalls
CNN    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
They're called "Generation M2": highly tech-savvy children aged 8 to 18, whose lives are immersed in electronic media. Now, the nation's top pediatric organization is mobilizing efforts around their well-being. "As pediatricians who are trying to help children behave in ways that keep them healthy and safe, we have to pay a lot of attention to what's happening in social media," said Dr. David Hill, chairman-elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics' council on communications and media. More



Being gay at school remains difficult for teachers
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Great Britain: When Jonathan became a teacher, he wanted to be open about his sexuality, but in a school where casual use of the word "gay" as a put-down was common, he wasn't sure if it was a good idea. "I went through a bit of a dilemma ... how could I be a role model for kids who were finding it difficult to come out, if I wasn't brave enough to come out in the classroom myself?" he says. About a year into his time at the school, a group of female pupils asked if he was gay and he said "yes." More

Online education programs tackle student cheating
U.S. News & World Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In online education, it's easy for students to "collaborate" on tests in ways that wouldn't be possible in the classroom, says Shannon Miranda, a senior at Ohio University who has taken three online courses in her college career. "If the teacher schedules an exam, you can have a bunch of people in one room sharing textbooks and taking the test at the same time," Miranda says. "I know friends who have taken an online test first so the next person can have all the right answers." While it may appear that cheating in an online setting is easier for students than in a classroom, it might not be so black and white, notes Connie Frazer, director of online learning at The Sage Colleges in Troy, N.Y. More



American and foreign students' communication goes 2 ways
The Review    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The University of Delaware launched a program working in conjunction with the English Language Institute called the Conditional Admissions Program, allowing current students to act as mentors to foreign students. University students can act as mentors to foreign students getting acclimated to the university by introducing them to campus registered student organizations, taking them to class and sharing meals together. 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


House approves more green cards to foreign students with advanced degrees
Economic Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The House of Representatives recently voted to make green cards accessible to foreign students graduating with advanced science and math degrees from U.S. universities, setting up what is expected to be a turbulent battle over immigration policy next year. Even this limited step, strongly backed by the high-tech industry, is unlikely to go anywhere this session of Congress, indicating how difficult it will be to find lasting solutions to the nation's much-criticized immigration system. More

Looking the other way?
Inside Higher Ed    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A former instructor in Southern Utah University's English as a Second Language program has raised a variety of concerns about the quality of the program, including the toleration of plagiarism, low academic standards and a preponderance of instructors without extensive training or experience teaching English as a second language. According to information provided by the university at Inside Higher Ed's request, five of the 14 instructors hold master's degrees in education, in one case with a focus on ESL. Three have master's degrees in other fields. Five have only bachelor's degrees and one has just an associate of science. Nine of the 14 instructors have less than two years of experience teaching ESL. More

Vassar College lacks writing support for ELL students
The Miscellany News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
With never-ending papers to write and exams to study for, college can be challenging for the average student. For some students, however, a possible language barrier may exacerbate these challenges, specifically when it comes to crunching out papers in a second language or even third language. Many of these English language learner students are going to the College's Writing Center for help with their English writing skills, but this resource is not the ideal space for these students to get help. More



Language conflicts trend higher in workplace
The Associated Press via The Seattle Post Intelligencer    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More people in the workforce are claiming discrimination over their English-speaking ability or foreign accents, leading the federal government to issue guidelines to employers on when they can enforce English-only rules, federal officials recently said. More

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Strong case for English proficiency in North Africa
Middle East Online    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Better mastery of the English language is sorely needed in North Africa so as to meet many of the region's critical challenges. Recent global studies show that English language proficiency is still lagging in this region. According to the latest edition of the English Proficiency Index, put out by the Swiss-based organization, Education First, English language proficiency in the North African countries of Morocco, Algeria, Libya and Egypt ranks at levels varying only between "low" and "very low." Libya, in fact, takes the lowest rank among the 54 nations assessed in the survey. More

37,000 teachers to benefit from English up-skilling course
New Straits Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Malaysia: The Professional Up-skilling of English Language Teachers program has been rolled out to train and improve the language proficiency of teachers nationwide. Under the program, approximately 37,000 English language option teachers will be trained in phases. It is a program aimed at helping to strengthen the teachers' grasp of the language so that students can also attain proficiency. More

Tutoring refugee students and their parents
KPBS-FM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The school day was over at Marshall Elementary in City Heights, Calif., and the campus was quiet, except for the clamor coming from about two dozen students filling one of the portable trailers at the far back corner of campus. The students are part of a new after school tutoring program. They've all come to San Diego from refugee camps around the world, or are the children of refugees. More



Language study boosted by British Council
Leeds Metropolitan University    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
A project led by Leeds Metropolitan University to understand the impact of English language on learners' wider lives has received financial backing through the British Council's English Language Teaching Research Award scheme. The researchers, including Dr. Naeema Hann and Dr. Ivor Timmis, will investigate the impact of English language on the learning and wider lives of students of English as a second language in Leeds and Salford in the U.K. as well as in China, Columbia and UAE. More

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English learners gain confidence using photography
WBFO-FM    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Buffalo schools are using writing and photography to help some students with their work, especially those who are learning English as a second language. One program is called Writing with Light, a joint project between Just Buffalo Literary Center and CEPA Gallery, which lets students work with words, poetry and photographs to tell stories. Some of the pictures were put on display in CEPA's gallery. More

Students learn better with Star Trek-style touchscreen desks
Popular Science    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Observe the criticisms of nearly any major public education system in the world, and a few of the many complaints are more or less universal. Technology moves faster than the education system. Teachers must teach at the pace of the slowest student rather than the fastest. And — particularly in the United States — grade school children as a group don't care much for, or excel at, mathematics. More

Language learning service Verbling launches Google hangouts-powered classes, adds support for 9 new languages
TechCrunch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Learning a new language can be tedious and frustrating. Thankfully, a new generation of startups are leveraging advances in mobile and web technologies to make that process more enjoyable and rewarding. Today, companies like Livemocha, PlaySay, Voxy and Duolingo provide increasingly viable alternatives to traditional language-learning software. Another recent entrant into the space is Y Combinator grad Verbling, a venture-backed startup that wants to help turn language learners into polyglots by using video chat to connect them with real, live native speakers. Unlike the text-focused and algorithm-based Duolingo, Verbling wants to help users reach fluency and avoid the drop-out bug by creating a frictionless, in-browser live video chat experience that encourages immersion — albeit a virtual one. More



At work, practice puts perfection in reach
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The overwhelming need to be great can swallow people up. If teachers are underperforming, or if student achievement appears to be plateauing, teachers can become paralyzed and fall prey to self-doubt or frustration. But there is an antidote to this sense of defeat: practicing and preparing outside the classroom. More

How tablets are invading the classroom
Digital Trends    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You've been hearing about it for decades. Equipping all students with computers has long been a holy grail for classrooms around the world, but it just hasn't happened. But there are signs that change is afoot. The rise of touch tablets has triggered a land grab in schools all around the country. Education officials with money to spend are overwhelmingly opting for tablets over PCs, and all of the major players in the tech industry — from Apple to Amazon and even Microsoft — are gearing up for a fight. Touch tablets offer a cheap and more intuitive alternative to laptops and desktop PCs. They also dispense with the need to carry around bags full of books. Tablets may be the next big thing in education, and everyone wants in. More

Young teens in US use mobile devices for homework
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When your son or daughter says they are doing homework on the phone, they may be telling the truth. More than a third of tweens and young teenagers in the United States said they are using smartphones to do homework, according to a survey, with Hispanic students using them at a higher rate than African-Americans or whites. "These middle school students are using mobile devices for more than entertainment purposes," said Kristi Sarmiento, research director at TRU, in an interview. "They have grown up with this technology." More



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English Instructor, St. Mary College–Nunoike Gaikko Senmon Gakko, Nagoya, Japan

EFL Instructor, Konan University, Hyogo, Japan

Adjunct EFL Instructors/ 2013 Spring Semester in China, Clark University Partner University, Shandong Province, China

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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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