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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.
Flexibility with English language learners
The Denver Post
From May 6:
The question of how to teach immigrant students has provoked perhaps the most bitter, rancorous debates in American education over the past 40 years. During all that period, you could find experts who would say that rapid progress toward mastering English is essential and experts who would disagree and defend a lengthy transition period from the native language.
ELL students neglected in school turnaround efforts
From April 18:
A new evaluation of School Improvement Grant recipients shows that even in schools with high percentages of English language learners, ELL students were poorly represented in strategic reform efforts. The report — Study of School Turnaround: A Focused Look at Schools Receiving School Improvement Grants That Have Large Percentages of English Language Learner Students (issued by the United States Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences) — looked at 11 schools that participated in the SIG program over a three-year period (from 2010–2011 to 2012–2013) and evaluated the depth to which these schools addressed the needs of ELL students, using a point-based system.
For English learners, an effective teacher in any language is what matters
From Oct. 10:
Want to find a better teacher for English language learners? Start by looking for teachers who add the most value for any students, rather than limiting the search to those who may have had specialized training to work with ELLs.
As easy as ABC? English education in Japan
From Oct. 7:
Japan: To stay competitive in a global economy, countries often look to education. In Northeast Asia, an intense pursuit of education has made the region renowned for its numerous entrance-exams at every level of schooling and flourishing cram-school cultures. In recent years, Japan has planned to take it up a notch. In October 2013, the Japanese government attempted to introduce compulsory English language education at the third grade in the elementary school — two years earlier than the current fifth grade. The aim is to tackle its longstanding concern that, despite being one of the world’s most developed nations, Japan lacks English fluency
Are great teachers born or made?
From Aug. 12:
One of the best teachers in Elizabeth Green's new book, "Building a Better Teacher", uses an analogy to convey the intricacy and difficulty of her craft. "Every single time I get on a plane," she says, "I'm really glad that the plane is not being flown by someone who just always loved planes ... But that's what we do in this country. We take people who are committed to children, and we say ... work on it, figure it out." This is just one of many comparisons that teachers make in Green's book. They also liken their profession to surgery, general medicine, nursing, professional athletics and even chamber music.
Will classroom technology help English language learners?
From March 18:
Thanks to the adoption of Common Core, the push for more tech-centered classrooms is now getting a boost. Many states are already using Common Core curriculum. Now many districts are preparing to begin the related computer-based assessments — and for that they are buying new devices and increasing their online connectivity. Pilar Carmina Gonzalez is a researcher for the Education Development Center. A leading expert on children and technology and a former ESL teacher, she says technology will open new avenues of learning for English language learners.
5 maps that show the best states for teachers
The Washington Post
From Sept. 5:
As teachers across the country start a new school year, lawmakers in South Carolina are brainstorming ways to keep their teachers happy. The state's average starting teacher salary is in the bottom half among U.S. states, and every year, it has 4,000 openings for new teachers, but only 2,000 of its college graduates are going into teaching. Members of the state legislature have begun meeting in hopes of coming up with legislation to introduce in January to make the state more appealing for teachers to fill those positions. The National Education Association's latest ranking of states shows what South Carolina and other states are up against as they work to attract and retain teachers. The following maps look at five sets of data about teaching across the country.
Literacy through photography for English language learners
From Dec. 5:
Enter most schools and you will hear about literacy instruction or the "literacy block." However, literacy is not a subject — it is something much bigger. Paulo Freire encouraged a broader definition of literacy to include the ability to understand both "the word and the world." Literacy includes reading, writing, listening, speaking, and analyzing a wide range of texts that include both print and non-print texts.
Strategies to reach every student, regardless of language barrier
From March 21:
Helping every student experience meaningful, deep learning is a constant challenge, in no small part because no two learners are alike. To reach students who are particularly challenged — whether because of their ability to speak English or some other reason — educators can find a way in by tapping into students' interests and passion.
Common Core math standards put new focus on English learners
From Nov. 11:
When he began working the Common Core State Standards into his instruction three years ago, New York City middle school mathematics teacher Silvestre Arcos noticed that his English language learner students were showing less progress on unit assessments than his other students. "It wasn't necessarily because they didn't have the numeracy skills," recalled Mr. Arcos, who is now a math instructional coach and the seventh grade lead teacher at KIPP Washington Heights Middle School, a charter school in New York.
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.
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601 Download media kit
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Craig Triplett, TESOL Digital Content Manager, 703-518-2526
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