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As 2014 comes to a close, TESOL would like to wish its members, partners and other industry professionals a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year for the industry, we would like to provide the readers of TESOL's English Language Bulletin, a look at the most accessed articles from the year. Our regular publication will resume Tuesday, Jan. 6.
Parents lie on survey to identify English learners
The Associated Press via Yahoo Mail
From Nov. 18:
Nieves Garcia came from Mexico at age 6 and spent most of her elementary school years in California classified as an "English learner" even after she had picked up the language. Now a 32-year-old mother, she didn't want her daughter labeled the same way and subjected to additional testing. And so she lied. When Garcia signed up her daughter for kindergarten, she answered a standard four-question survey by saying her family spoke only English at home, even though her husband doesn't speak the language.
Dyslexia and the English learner dilemma
From April 11:
The American educational system has a difficult time understanding dyslexia and an even harder time identifying children with dyslexia in order to provide the correct intervention for students who are native English speakers. When a school has the added challenge of identifying struggling English language learners, the task becomes an even more complicated process, and often, these kids are completely missed. But that does not have to be the case. Children who are learning English are just as likely to have dyslexia as their native-English-speaking counterparts, and there is a way to identify dyslexia in these children. The difference is that dyslexia might appear in the native language quite as vividly as it will when they attempt to learn English.
10 colleges with the highest percentage of students in ESL
U.S. News & World Report
From Jan. 7:
Colleges in the U.S. have offered English as a second language programs for years for students who aren't proficient enough to handle a U.S. curriculum, but lately, more undergrads are joining them. "The number of students in ESL programs increased from 10,224 in 2003-2004 to 29,603 in 2010-2011 and soared by 24 percent as compared to 2009-2010," states World Education Services, a nonprofit organization that collects data on international education, in a 2012 report.
Mandatory ELL training for all teachers
From March 25:
Teachers today have a lot to juggle with prep time, correcting homework and parent conferences, to name a few of their many responsibilities. So it's hard to blame any educators who felt stressed in 2011 when the federal government mandated English language learner training for all core academic teachers in the state. The state's Department of Elementary and Secondary Education had been offering teachers training on techniques ELL specialists utilize in the classroom in order to more effectively develop the English skills of non-native English speakers, but the training sessions were voluntary and often poorly attended.
Are musicians better language learners?
The Guardian (commentary)
From March 7:
Today's economic environment demands that our children become the very best they can be. A lot of demands are placed upon us as parents, and whether we like it or not, we need to help our children navigate their way in today's fast-paced world and build their skills for the future. But not all methods, from flashcards to baby signing, actually boost a child's intelligence, language skills or other abilities for success. Reading through many research papers from peer-reviewed scientific journals, I discovered that music training is the only proven method to boost the full intellectual, linguistic and emotional capacity of a child.
What language does soccer speak?
From June 24:
Late last year, the Public Broadcasting Services of the small Mediterranean island of Malta decided against transmitting the matches of the 2014 World Cup in the Maltese language. Instead, the tournament will be shown in English commentary beamed live from stadia in Brazil. Many of Malta's inhabitants are multilingual, fluent in English and Italian, so the broadcaster reasoned it could save the expense of offering commentary in the national language. It wasn't just penny-pinching that motivated the decision, but sheer embarrassment: Maltese commentators, PBS suggested, were just not up to the job.
7 instructional strategies for the Common Core
From Jan. 24:
As significant numbers of educators, parents and politicians push back on the Common Core Standards now that implementation has begun, many teachers are left to navigate the shift with little or no direction about how to change their teaching practice to accommodate the new standards. Implementation challenges range from a lack of professional development and curriculum materials aligned with the Common Core, to inadequate technology infrastructure and changing assessment practices.
Honing language skills
The Star Online
From July 8:
Malaysia: The progress made by government school teachers in an English language program to upskill their learning and teaching methods has been encouraging. It was an occasion to celebrate for more than 200 educators who attended a recent event showcasing the success of an English language training program, a collaboration between the Education Ministry and the British Council. The teachers from primary and secondary schools in the country together with the trainers from the British Council were from a previous and current cohort of teachers involved in the Professional Up-Skilling of English Language Teachers.
Those who can't do, shouldn't teach: learning English in Saudi schools
Al Arabiya News
From April 15:
Saudi Arabia: The government's education department in the Riyadh region has pointed out several deficiencies in the teaching of English language in Saudi Arabia's schools. To admit that there is a problem is a sign that solutions are possible; if there is a will to find and implement these solutions, there is a way. Among the negative aspects in the teaching of English outlined by the education department were poor and incorrect pronunciation, the use of Arabic in teaching English, no homework, carelessness in writing and no practical use of English writing skills.
Schools brace for up to 50,000 migrant kids
From Aug. 8:
Schools across the USA are bracing for as many as 50,000 immigrant children who would start school this fall, most of them unaccompanied by their families. "We haven't started school yet, so we are all just holding our breath to see what's going to come on the first day of school," says Caroline Woodason, assistant director of school support for Dalton Public Schools in Georgia. Under federal law, all children are entitled to a free public education, regardless of their immigration status.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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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