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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Dec. 12, 2012






English learners and NCLB waivers: A guide for states and districts
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As 34 states move ahead with the plans that granted them U.S. Department of Education waivers from parts of the No Child Left Behind law, a team of researchers at the American Institutes for Research have been developing guides to help states and districts keep the promises they made to win the flexibility. English language learners are the focus of the first of these AIR waiver guides, which, among other things, highlights promising practices that state and local leaders may use to ensure that the particular needs of the English language learners in their schools are served well under states' waiver plans. More



Cutting to the Common Core: Communicating on the same wavelength
Language Magazine    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts articulate detailed grade-level expectations in the areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening to prepare all students to be college and career ready, including English learners. Major shifts include a focus on rigorous analysis of informational text, and evidence-based argumentation in formal presentation and writing. Equally emphasized is participation in academic discourse and collaboration with partners, as well as small and large groups. The prominent role of social interactional skills coincides with the initiative's aim to equip secondary school graduates for a more globally networked higher education arena, workplace and marketplace. More

Education department announces 16 winners of Race to the Top-District competition
U.S. Department of Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education announced that 16 applicants — representing 55 school districts across 11 states and D.C. — have won the 2012 Race to the Top-District competition. These districts will share nearly $400 million to support locally developed plans to personalize and deepen student learning, directly improve student achievement and educator effectiveness, close achievement gaps, and prepare every student to succeed in college and their careers. 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






New book release
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL Publications has just released "New Ways in Connected Speech," edited by James Dean Brown, director of the National Foreign Language Resource Center at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. Connected Speech presents more than 120 classroom role-plays, tasks and activities for teaching natural spoken English pronunciation, all directly useful in the ESL/EFL classroom. More

TESOL Quarterly call for 2014 special-issue abstracts
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The TESOL Quarterly 2014 special-topic issue is titled "K–12 Standards-Based Educational Reform: Implications for Immigrant and Indigenous English Language Learner Populations." Abstracts are due 1 April 2013. For more information, please read the call for abstracts.

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News in Levels
News in Levels via TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Looking for a new way to deliver current news headlines in your classroom? News in Levels is a free online news site specifically for students learning English. Each article is written in three difficulty levels, which allows students to work with texts appropriate to their current skill level and to read more advanced versions of texts over time. More



K-12 education advocates lobby to avert fiscal cliff
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The coming fiscal cliff — the looming conversion of tax-break expirations and across-the-board budget cuts aimed at prodding a long-term federal deficit fix — has education advocates in Washington on overdrive. The number-one question keeping organizations that represent school districts and educators up at night is whether Congress will be able to reach an agreement to head off "sequestration," a series of trigger budget cuts that will hit just about every federally funded education program on Jan. 2, unless Congress averts them by crafting a long-term agreement to curb the deficit. A number of K-12 programs, including Title I grants for districts and special education would be cut by 8.2 percent, although most districts wouldn't feel the squeeze until next fall. More



Japanese highly unhappy with English education quality in the country
The Japan Daily Press    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Japan: It's already common knowledge that an English education is necessary to succeed in the global market and most Japanese parents believe that. However, a study by Rakuten Research shows that nearly 90 percent of respondents are not happy with Japan's English education. In a poll conducted with 1,000 parents with young children, 86.6 percent are dissatisfied with the way English is being taught in the country, and only 13.4 percent are quite happy with it. The survey's multiple-answer questions reveal that parents are unhappy mostly with the fact that most of the classes do not improve practical English skills and that there is a lack of opportunity for the students to actually speak the language. There is also discrepancy between entrance-exam English and practical English. More

English schooling rights stay under new Bill 101
The Montreal Gazette    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Canada: Nothing will change for anglophone Quebecers with entrenched rights to an English education in the province under revisions to the French Language Charter tabled this week, an Education Department spokesperson said. Children who have the right under Bill 101 to English schooling retain that right, said Mathieu Le Blanc, press attaché to Education Minister Marie Malavoy. "It is a permanent right," Le Blanc said. "It is not lost if a child chooses to go to French school instead." According to a government official who spoke on condition that their name not be published, the right to an English education can be passed from generation to generation — as long as parents apply for an English-education eligibility certificate. 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




Graduation data shows states struggle with English learners
Governing    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For the first time, the U.S. Department of Education released standardized, state-by-state four-year graduation rate data. And while half of states graduated at least 80 percent of their students, an encouraging figure, the numbers also demonstrated that states are struggling with English language learners. Twenty-four of the 47 reporting states had a graduation rate for students with limited English proficiency that was 60 percent or lower for the 2010-2011 school year. More

ESL students teach their language to others
Dedham Patch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Once a month since September Alison Reilly's High School English language learners and Karen Maregni's fourth-grade students have come together to share both language and culture during a shared block of time. During these sessions, the high school group came into the fourth-grade classroom to practice reading and speaking in both English and Spanish. Presentations ranged from children's stories read in Spanish and translated into English, to a PowerPoint show of Costa Rica with flags, pictures and researched information. All stories were introduced with vocabulary posters explaining key words in both languages. More


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For young Latino readers, an image is missing
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Like many of his third-grade classmates, Mario Cortez-Pacheco likes reading the "Magic Tree House" series, about a brother and a sister who take adventurous trips back in time. He also loves the popular "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" graphic novels. But Mario, 8, has noticed something about these and many of the other books he encounters in his classroom: most of the main characters are white. "I see a lot of people that don't have a lot of color," he said. More

Brushing 'Up' your English
Bangkok Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Thailand: Lots of good English language learners have used movies and videos to improve their language. This can be difficult at first because the language is spoken so quickly, but with practice — a lot of practice — it gets easier and easier. In this example, they have made it very easy for the learner because they have made a text copy of what was said. It comes from the animated movie "Up" by Pixar. More

English language attracting students
Republica    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nepal: All the students are seated on clean mats, as placards depicting the English alphabet are neatly hung on the wall. The classroom has two teachers, who are taking turns to entertain the students. Sometimes it is with a joke, sometimes a song or a poem. This is a scene from Nawalparasi District, Kumarbasti's Saraswati Higher Secondary School's class Nursery. The number of students attending government schools in many villages in Nepal is declining. With private schools in villages offering English language and many other facilities to the students, the attraction of government schools is diminishing. More



Keeping English in Indonesian schools
The Jakarta Globe    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Indonesia: After weeks of review, Indonesia's Education Ministry eventually succumbed to societal pressure that English lessons be retained in elementary schools. This about-face should be good news for parents. But it is not unexpected given the national swing towards English as an important foreign language in recent years, which the government has acknowledged. Deputy Education Minister Musliar Kasim announced in late September that English would be scrapped for lower elementary pupils in the next school year beginning July as part of a curriculum revamp. More



Eleutian turns to Oxford content for English language courses
THE Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Oxford University Press, a department of the university, will be releasing a new English language teaching service for delivering daily lessons through videoconferencing. The department is using the delivery platform developed by Eleutian Technology, a company that already teaches English as a second language to students around the world. More

Spike in UK student numbers prompts fears of visa abuse
The Guardian    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
United Kingdom: A sharp increase in student visas popular with English language learners coming to the U.K. to study has raised concern that bogus applicants could be abusing the visa system to enter the country. The latest official statistics on migration to the U.K. show a sharp rise in the number of student visitor visas, which allow entry for up to 11 months but which are easier to obtain than the long-term student visa, known as Tier 4. 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


IELTS to become more user-friendly
The Indian Express    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
India: The "New Road to IELTS" introduced at the Partners Meet 2012 aims to make the International English Language Test System more efficient and to initiate smoother communication with the candidates taking the test. "We would like to put quality material which people can trust through these changes we brought in. Roads to IELTS will have a 30-hour online preparation and practice resource for candidates taking the test. It provides candidates with preparation material that focuses on all the skills," says Devi Maghera, deputy country exams manager, India, British Council Division. The new "Take IELTS" is structured by the four skills tested — reading, writing, listening and speaking rather than the previous topic-based platform. More



School district offering English language classes for Spanish-speaking parents
Walworth County Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In efforts to improve relationships with parents, the Delavan-Darien School District in Delavan, Wis., is offering a Basic English language course for Spanish-speaking parents and guardians of district students. More

Ideas for English language learners — Celebrate the holidays
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
December's edition of Ideas for English Language Learner's celebrates the holidays — Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, New Year's, even winter break — but, of course, just as you can pick, choose and adapt ideas from previous posts in this series, much of what we suggest can be taught any time of year. For more holiday lesson ideas, multimedia, crosswords, student opinion questions and more, check out The Learning Network's full collection, The Spirit of the Season. More



Emotion in voices helps capture listener's attention, but in the long run the words are not remembered as accurately
Springer Science+Business Media via ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Does the emotion in our voice have a lasting effect? According to Annett Schirmer and colleagues from the National University of Singapore, emotion helps us recognize words quicker and more accurately straight away. In the longer term, however, we do not remember emotionally intoned speech as accurately as neutral speech. When we do remember the words, they have acquired an emotional value; for example, words spoken in a sad voice are remembered as more negative than words spoken in a neutral voice. More

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Social networking on the rise for educators
eClassroom News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Educators' use of social networking sites has seen a large jump since 2009, according to a new report that surveyed educators' membership, use, privacy practices and other social networking habits. The report, "A Survey of K-12 Educators on Social Networking, Online Communities, and Web 2.0 Tools 2012," was conducted by MMS Education and sponsored by edWeb.net and MCH Strategic Data. More



Language teaching — Bilingual v immersion programs
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When we think about learning a language, we generally think about language taught as an add-on — like an ESL class for non-native English speakers or a class that is separate from academic content instruction. You learn German, Spanish or French in your language class, and knowledge and skills are taught in the native language. For example, math and history are taught in English here in the U.S. or in the native language in other countries. But this approach, bilingual education, has been controversial since the 1960s and is all about effective strategies for teaching and learning language. More

Using technology to reach unreachable students
Edutopia    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The iPad made a transformation in John's learning demeanor. Where once his attitude blared, "I dare you to teach me!" now it screams, "Teach me more!" Wouldn't that be a great story to be able to tell? It would be solid proof that technology transforms learning and teaching (this is the motto of our school this year). Unfortunately, these types of examples are rare. What we have typically seen up to now with the computer revolution, is a temporary interest piqued by an engaging program or computer game, but then followed by a general disinterest. More

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Does the use of Twitter improve education?
Connected Principals    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
There has been post after post acknowledging how educators love Twitter while also encouraging others to use it themselves. With that though comes skeptics (as there should be), questioning whether the use of Twitter is beneficial to educators. More

Will school computers be able to handle new testing technology?
The Hechinger Report    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Schools in about 25 states set to roll out new online standardized tests in the next two years can now find out whether the computers they have on hand will be able to handle the new technology. The state-led Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium released guidelines with specific requirements for devices. More

Diversity tasking schools, teachers
Cleveland Daily Banner    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
An increasingly diverse American population is trickling into the nation's schools and creating new challenges that teachers and school officials are attempting to prepare for and meet head-on. Cleveland Board of Education members Richard Shaw and Murl Dirksen attended a leadership workshop during the recent annual Tennessee School Board Association conference. Discussion centered around what is being billed the "graying" and "browning" of America. More

Digital wake-up call
Scholastic    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Students who use computers for their writing assignments fared far better on the NAEP writing test, the first to be administered on computer, than students who do not. Those results may not come as a surprise, but with comprehensive digital testing on the horizon, the implications extend far beyond the realm of writing instruction. More



Classroom lessons for new teachers
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Averel Wilson earned a degree from an Ivy League school, raised three children and worked for years as a banker. But when she switched gears two years ago to become a schoolteacher, Wilson knew she wasn't equipped to handle a classroom alone. Rather than pursue a conventional master's degree in education, Wilson, now 57 years old, opted to enroll in San Francisco Teacher Residency. The program is one of several in the Bay Area that mesh the typical academic preparation for would-be teachers with months or longer of intensive mentoring or classroom time side-by-side with veteran teachers. More

Common Core for teachers
The National Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The American Federation of Teachers proposed a universal "bar exam" for teachers, arguing that the profession deserves to be associated with high standards and the rigorous training needed to meet them. "There's this one universal assessment that would be available for adaptation. ... It would be so aligned with what new teachers need to know and be able to do. Just like the Common Core, many, many states would adopt it," said AFT President Randi Weingarten. More

More teachers 'flipping' the school day upside down
NPR    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Welcome to the 21st century classroom: a world where students watch lectures at home — and do homework at school. It's called classroom flipping, and it's slowly catching on in schools around the country. More



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