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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   December 12, 2014


Which language should bilingual parents teach their children? Research says both
Parents face a variety of choices when choosing how to rear their child, and for bilingual parents choosing a language can be a daunting but worthwhile task with myriad benefits. While in the 1960s skeptics believed that learning a second language was unhealthy for the human brain, now researchers at York University in Toronto claim bilingual ability will strengthen the brain and improve focus, reported Allie Gross on the Education Dive website.
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Steps to proficiency-oriented classrooms
By: Douglas Magrath
When making steps toward proficiency-oriented classrooms, authentic material is used as much as possible, and students are encouraged to interact with each other and express their own ideas beyond the book lesson. In addition, students need to transfer their ESL skills to their academic subjects or careers. A study done in 2012 at Arizona State University indicates that this process may not always occur.
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Learning languages modifies brain network
Language Magazine
According to a Sino-American study published recently in the Journal of Neurolinguistics, learning a new language changes your brain network both structurally and functionally. "Learning and practicing something, for instance a second language, strengthens the brain," said Ping Li, professor of psychology, linguistics, and information sciences and technology at Pennsylvania State University. "Like physical exercise, the more you use specific areas of your brain, the more it grows and gets stronger."
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Call for Proposals: Singapore 2015
TESOL invites you to submit a proposal for Excellence in Language Instruction: Supporting Classroom Teaching & Learning, a TESOL conference in Singapore. Organized in partnership with the National Institute of Education, this 2½ day event will feature leading experts in teacher education, classroom instruction, and international assessment. Submit your proposal today!

TESOL Online Course: Grammar 1. Phrasal Structures
2 February – 1 March 2015
Learn how to define basic grammatical terms, identify grammatical structures within sentences, and explain the structure of noun and verb phrases and the functions of the English verb tenses. Explore ways to incorporate communicative practice into your teaching plans and write teaching plans for grammar points. Hurry — limited space is available. Thank you to TESOL's Grammar Partner, Oxford University Press.

Principles and Practices of Online Teaching Certificate Program
PP100: Foundation Course
19 January 2015
Develop the skills you need to effectively teach English language courses online or blend online segments with your traditional face-to-face courses. The foundation course (PP100) introduces participants to the major design parameters of online courses. PP100 reflects the communicative nature of the online environment and is based on asynchronous discussion and collaboration. Registration closes 14 January.

TESOL Virtual Seminar: Closing the Achievement Gap for Long-Term English Learners
28 January 2015; FREE for TESOL members, US$45 for nonmembers

For more TESOL education programs, please visit the TESOL website.

Lecturer, Cornell University, USA

ESL Instructor, Confidential Employer, China

English Language Acquisition Adjunct Instructor, Kirkwood Community College, USA

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.

Spending bill would fund preschool grants, but not Race to the Top
Education Week
Congress unveiled its long-awaited spending bill, which would fund most of the government, including the U.S. Department of Education and federally funded education programs, through September 2015. The measure, if adopted by both chambers and signed by President Barack Obama, would avert a government shutdown that could take place Dec. 11, when the current stopgap funding bill is set to expire.
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Common sense for the Common Core
Scholastic Administrator
Regie Routman, an author for Scholastic Administrator, writes: "As a mentor teacher, leader and coach who has been working in diverse classrooms and schools for more than four decades, I've learned that no matter what reforms, standards, or new programs come along, literacy achievement gains tend to be fleeting. Here's what I've observed over and over: Without administrators who have a solid knowledge of effective literacy instruction, schools wind up focusing on implementation of isolated skills and/or standards with the hope that all the parts will add up to something meaningful."
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San Lorenzo kindergartners make big strides in mastering language
"We are learning collaboration," a group of Colonial Acres Elementary School kindergartners read out loud as their teacher pointed to the words. The San Lorenzo, California, kindergartners have explored their community, taking a field trip to the library, walking around the neighborhood and being visited by firefighters. Using what they had learned, the 5-year-olds built miniature towns, giving "tours" of their works to parents and staff. "I'm surprised and amazed at how much they have learned," said Veronica Ruiz, mother of Ricardo Lieba, who proudly pointed out the Ashland Community Center replica he had constructed. "We read a Dr. Seuss book last night, and Ricardo could read every word. He loves to read and go to the library now," Ruiz said.
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Looking for similar articles? Search here, keywords LANGUAGE.

Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Language in Action program helps English learners move forward (Los Angeles Times)
A valuable lesson on bullying (Observer-Reporter)
Education Department moves to regulate teacher preparation programs (The Washington Post)
What we talk about when we talk about best practices: Methods and approaches (By: Debra Josephson Abrams)
Some people may be pre-wired to be bilingual (HealthDay News)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.

Adult ESL and academic upgrading courses will no longer be free in British Columbia
The Vancouver Sun
British Columbia: English language and academic upgrading courses will no longer be free for adults in B.C. The province announced late last week that as of May 1, it will no longer provide funding to school districts for the upgrading courses for adults who already hold a diploma. Instead, low-income students will be able to apply for grants to cover their education expenses and the schools offering these courses will be able to charge tuition, the ministries of advanced education and education said. But the tuition fees are capped at approximately $320 per course or $1,600 for a full-time semester, an amount that may not be enough to cover costs.
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Personalized learning: Is it?
THE Journal
We all remember one of our teachers who took a special interest in us. That teacher who watched over us during the school day and even found out about what sort of person we were outside of school. And based on what that teacher learned about us, he/she tailored his/her instruction to take advantage of our talents or our interests or accommodate our personal challenges, e.g., he/she suggested that we read a particular book or do these specific exercises or think about this particular idea. That teacher nurtured us. That is personalized learning.
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Connecting SEL and the Common Core
Maurice Elias, a contributor for Edutopia, writes: "In the November 2014 issue of Phi Delta Kappan, I wrote an article on how social-emotional skills can boost implementation of the Common Core. I want to share two key points from that article in this blog post and also in my next one. In this post, I focus on how the Common Core has an implicit dependence on SEL-related pedagogy. In the next blog post, I will focus on the key area of emotion vocabulary and its role in academic and interpersonal success."
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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 or contact us at

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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