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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Dec. 10, 2013

 





Ahead of games, Sochi tries to learn English
The Moscow Times
Russia: Everybody speaks English in Sochi these days. Or, rather, they speak enough of the language to claim that they speak it, quickly admitting, however, that they know "very little." This polite if unhelpful reply is typical when you try to talk to taxi and bus drivers, flower vendors, cashiers, ordinary citizens and the numerous guest workers who came to build what is meant to be one of the most impressive Olympic Games in history. As part of the strategy to make the environment tourist-friendly, Sochi has embarked on a race to make English the city's second language.
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Could these new standards work better than Common Core?
eSchool News
Imagine this "unicorn" scenario in education: You take an entire subject–one whose mastery could push the country to the forefront of innovation — and spend years doing nothing but perfecting its standards and assessments with absolutely no looming deadlines or high-stakes requirements. Be prepared to believe, educators, because this scenario is real, and it's happening with new science standards. In a recent webinar hosted by the Alliance for Excellent Education, "Scientific Assessments: Innovations in the next generation of state assessments," noted state education leaders described the enormous potential the Next Generation Science Standards could have for states and how assessments may be developed from these standards.
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Results of TESOL International Association 2014 election
TESOL
TESOL International Association announces the results of the 2014 election. The president-elect, board members, and nominating committee members all begin their terms at the conclusion of the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo in 2014 March.
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Recruiters: Don't miss the Job MarketPlace
TESOL
Do you have an English language teaching job to fill? Consider recruiting at the Job MarketPlace at the 2014 TESOL Convention, 26–29 March 2014, in Portland Oregon. Rates and registration are now available.
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What does the PISA Report tell us about US education?
YouTube
When the OECD releases the PISA report every three years, many people use the ranking to claim public education in the U.S. is failing and push their corporate education reform agenda. But looking at the data, lessons that can be learned from the highest performing countries point in a completely different direction.
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Eavesdropping on the present perfect
TESOL
Alexandra Lowe shares an interactive grammar activity to get ELLs listening for the tricky present perfect tense in the real world and discussing it in class. Other recent TESOL blogs: Looking at Communication Through a Leadership Lens; How to Teach Online: Get to Know Your Course Participants; Using Superstitions for Practicing Cause-Effect Phrases; and Best Language Learning Games: Part 4 of 5.
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Learning the language
ABC
Australia: When Fiona came to Hobart she didn't speak English and says she didn't know what to do. She discovered the Migrant Resource Centre's English language classes and her life turned around.

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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.

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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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Education Department official: Other countries beating US at own game
Education Week
There has been a good amount of concern expressed about the results that American students put up on the Programme for International Student Assessment, although my colleague Liana Heitin has spelled out some reasons not to rush to conclusions based just on those test results. But during a conversation with state legislators at the National Conference of State Legislature's forum in Washington on Dec. 6, acting U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education James H. Shelton argued that it was "mythology" to say that the U.S. had truly "fallen behind" in terms of actual educational performance.
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Ministry plans English teaching overhaul
Bangkok Post
Thailand: The Education Ministry is pushing reforms it says will enhance English language proficiency among students and teachers. A ministerial draft regulation on English learning and teaching reform with a greater emphasis on communication over grammar has been drawn up by the Office of the Basic Education Commission's English Language Institute.
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Tech, teacher bonuses, data help transform Utah middle school
The Salt Lake Tribune
The 780 students at Northwest Middle School face myriad challenges. Ninety-two percent come from low-income homes and 87 percent are ethnic minorities. Nearly two-thirds don't speak English at home. And yet, three years after receiving a $2.3 million multiyear school-improvement grant, the west-side Salt Lake City school has risen from the bottom to the top tier of Utah junior high and middle schools in student achievement.
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Movies enhance language learning program
TribLive
Hamsa Daher, an Iraq native who grew up speaking Arabic, speaks fluent English with barely a trace of an accent. She learned English mostly from watching American television shows and movies, rather than taking classes. Daher — now chief operating officer of Mango Languages, a company that offers self-guided language-learning systems — says watching popular foreign media, like TV and movies, offers a more fun and engaging learning experience.
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English language program faces challenges
St. Joseph News-Press
A recent St. Joseph School District financial analysis showed that lack of funding for its English for Speakers of Other Languages program is an area of concern. A rapidly growing influx of English language learners over the last eight years is outpacing the funding for the program, said officials. "As the diversity of our population changes, our needs change," said Dr. Fred Czerwonka, superintendent. "Our schools are a direct reflection of our community."
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English language learners show off the skills in anthology
Kenosha News
A bunch of brand-new writers made their literacy debuts Dec. 7 at Southwest Library. They are Kenosha Literacy Council students, who read essays they wrote for the 12th annual student anthology produced by the council. "It's a wonderful opportunity to let the community know how hard these students work," council Executive Director Cheryl Hernandez said. "It's always an exciting day for us. We look forward to it the whole year through." This year’s anthology features work from 54 students hailing from13 countries, including Myanmar, Ukraine, China, Honduras, the Czech Republic and Mexico. The works include essays, memories and poems reflecting three themes: visions of home, traditions and Celebrations, and helping hands.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Special report: Learning a language online (eSchool News)
Adult English language learners struggle against program's policy (Minnesota Public Radio)
Language teachers use visual cues to engage students (The Columbus Dispatch)
Dual-language learners make key gains in head start and public pre-K (Medical Xpress)
Cutting to the Common Core: Making vocabulary No. 1 (Language Magazine)

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Learning the language
ABC
Australia: When Fiona came to Hobart she didn't speak English and says she didn't know what to do. She discovered the Migrant Resource Centre's English language classes and her life turned around. The Migrant Resource Centre English language classes aim to fill the gap for those needing help with their English but who don't qualify for other classes, such as the English language course through TAFE. The classes are free to students who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend a language class. The classes are largely run by volunteers, with some funding for the project from the 26TEN literacy and numeracy project from the Tasmanian Government.
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MOOCs as neocolonialism — Who controls knowledge?
University World News
Massive open online courses — MOOCs — are the latest effort to harness information technology for higher education. The concept takes advantage of the significant advancements in technology that permit much more interactive pedagogy as well as more sophisticated delivery of content.
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Firms offer English language courses for Saudi employees
Arab News
Saudi Arabia: With the Saudi economy growing, companies in the Kingdom have realized that proficiency in the English language is one of the best ways to communicate with the world. And with Saudis being hired in various job positions, corporate leaders have stressed the need for them to learn English, although many citizens are yet to realize the importance of the language. The government has made its policy known to international companies that they should employ Saudis and help them improve their English language skills, and even fund such training courses.
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Messy children make better learners: Toddlers learn words for nonsolids better when getting messy in a highchair
University of Iowa via Science Daily
Attention, parents: The messier your child gets while playing with food in the high chair, the more he or she is learning. Researchers at the University of Iowa studied how 16-month-old children learn words for nonsolid objects, from oatmeal to glue. Previous research has shown that toddlers learn more readily about solid objects because they can easily identify them due to their unchanging size and shape. But oozy, gooey, runny stuff? Not so much.
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English language variation in the classroom
Phys.Org
Anne H. Charity Hudley has spent 11 years bringing her message about linguistic and cultural diversity to teachers involved in kindergarten through 12th grade. Thanks to funding from the National Science Foundation and the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia, she has spent the last four years refining that message and narrowing its recipients to secondary school English teachers.
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Passive aggression in the classroom: Student vs. student
Psychology Today
Passive aggressive behavior occurs on a continuum, from everyday acts of procrastination, selective hearing and convenient forgetting to extraordinarily destructive acts of personal vengeance and workplace sabotage. Truth be told, all passive aggression is damaging to relationships in the long run and most people who find themselves on the receiving end of this behavior style feel worn down by the pattern of covert hostility.
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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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