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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Dec. 20, 2013

 



Why Chinese schools must push English more than ever
WorldCrunch
China: After months of public debate, China's Education Ministry has finally decided that the college entrance exam will no longer include the subject of English. Instead, students will take several English tests spread over the course of the school year. This recurring topic is once again heated, bitterly dividing those with starkly divergent viewpoints. People who wanted to eliminate English from the college entrance exam believe that teaching the language in China emphasizes only reading and writing while neglecting speaking and daily use. They argue that China's English instruction has become entirely exam-oriented.
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Leaving a leadership legacy
By Andy Curtis
Most the world's media carried the news of Nelson Mandela's death and his funeral on their front pages. For those of us in TESOL, one of Mandela's most relevant (and most famous) quotes is: "Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world." More specifically, in relation to first and second languages, he said that: "If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart."
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New York to seek federal waiver to test English learners in native languages
Education Week
New York state is a hotbed of debate and controversy over common-core standards and testing these days, and sharp disagreements are raging on among educators, parents, and policymakers over the state's rollout of the new learning standards and the assessments being designed to measure student performance. Responding in part to concerns over assessment, New York education officials are preparing to ask the U.S. Department of Education for a waiver that would allow the state's eligible English learners to take a language arts assessment in their native language rather than in English.
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Language Lecturer — Writing, NYU Shanghai, Shanghai, China

Assistant Director for Academics, Virginia Tech Language and Culture Institute, USA

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For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.


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Student group makes learning second language, culture easier
Penn State University
When Penn State sophomore Yanying Chen traveled to the United States to pursue an undergraduate degree in actuarial science, the experience wasn’t her first time moving to a new country, so she was prepared for the changes ahead. But that wasn’t always the case.

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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. Beyond the primary grades, developing readers must digest detailed concepts.

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Language teachers use visual cues to engage students
The Columbus Dispatch
The second-graders applauded, cheered and even screamed for Scott Koehler's language-arts lesson. The teacher at Hamilton Elementary in Ohio explained the differences between fiction and nonfiction as he clapped, gestured and pointed to his eyes.

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Are NCLB waiver states intervening in the right schools?
Education Week
In Nevada during the 2011-2012 school year, 86 schools were in "restructuring" under the No Child Left Behind Act — the most aggressive sanction under the federal school accountability law. But after the state got an NCLB waiver, by the 2012-2013 school year, 75 of those schools got relief from the toughest interventions. These are schools that hadn't made adequate yearly progress for six years in a row. For half of the worst NCLB-era schools in 15 states, waivers proved to be an escape hatch, according to a new paper released today from New America Foundation policy analyst Anne Hyslop, who has delivered some of the most comprehensive research yet on the implications of new NCLB waivers.
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What education lessons can US learn from overseas?
CNN
So what seemed to be the best practices that are applicable? Wendy Kopp, the CEO and co-founder of Teach for All and the founder of Teach for America, writes: "I mean just to go back to the Shanghai example, it was about teachers. It's also about school leaders. And it's about, you know, system leadership. We were blown away by the caliber of the folks who have, over a long time, driven the change. And if you get under the covers, some Shanghai schools are stronger than others."
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29 children complete English language training
AllAfrica
Cameroon: Twenty-nine young Cameroonians from economically disadvantaged families who successfully completed a two-year English instruction program at the Yaounde Pilot Linguistic Center, have been urged to use any available occasion to display their newly acquired English language abilities, leadership skills as well as the knowledge of the United States of America.
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English learners meet federal benchmarks
Jackson Hole News & Guide
For the first time ever, Teton County, Wyo., School District No. 1's English language learners met federal benchmarks in language proficiency. Students met ELL requirements outlined by 2001's No Child Left Behind Law for the 2012-2013 school year, Superintendent Pam Shea reported at a Dec. 11 school board meeting. "It is very exciting news for us to be able to meet these targets," Shea said.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Movies enhance language learning program (TribLive)
Ahead of games, Sochi tries to learn English (The Moscow Times)
A poverty, not education, crisis in U.S. (USA Today)
Israel, UK team up to improve English education (The Times of Israel)
11 foreign education policies that could transform American schools (The Huffington Post)

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New English language learner programs faring well for ICCSD
The Daily Iowan
The Iowa City School District has seen an increase in enrollment coupled with a rise in students needing English as a second language services. This year, the district added additional support for these students, which allowed nearly 500 more students to be served than last year. English Language Learners is a program which helps students in grades K-12 learn the English language and help gain cognitive and academic skills needed to succeed in school in the United States. The district serves 800 students out of the 950 identified English language learners enrolled in school. The four primary languages students speak from the district are Spanish, Arabic, Swahili and Chinese.
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Naplan: Non-English-language-background students in year 7 come out tops in NSW
The Sydney Morning Herald
Australia: High school students in New South Wales from non-English-speaking backgrounds have achieved higher test scores in all areas compared with those from English-speaking backgrounds, the latest results of the national literacy and numeracy testing regime show. Test scores in writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy were higher among year seven students who come from a language background other than English in 2013, with stronger results also found in some of those subjects in years three, five and nine.
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School district has multiple avenues for ESL students
ThisWeek Community News
Students whose first language is not English may require another journey when they enroll in Delaware schools, but district leaders say the process helps students and their families acclimate as quickly as possible. When a student enrolls in the district, the family fills out an informational sheet called the Home Language Survey at the administrative building. When the family lists a language other than English, the parents are given the option of requesting a language evaluation to see if their child qualifies for extra services, such as English as a second language courses.
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Student group makes learning second language, culture easier
Penn State University
When Penn State sophomore Yanying Chen traveled to the United States to pursue an undergraduate degree in actuarial science, the experience wasn't her first time moving to a new country, so she was prepared for the changes ahead. But that wasn't always the case. Originally from China, Chen moved with her family in 2005 to Botswana, where she spent much of her junior and high school years. "I had a tough time learning English, and I also had to learn French at the time," she said.
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Bilingual kids have better working memory
Times of India
India: Bilingual children develop a better working memory — which holds, processes and updates information over short periods of time — than monolingual children, a new study has revealed. The working memory plays a major role in the execution of a wide range of activities, such as mental calculation (since we have to remember numbers and operate with them) or reading comprehension (given that it requires associating the successive concepts in a text).
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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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