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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Dec. 28, 2011

As 2011 comes to a close, TESOL International Association would like to wish its members, partners, and all English language teaching professionals worldwide a safe and happy holiday season. As we reflect on the past year, we would like to provide you with a look at the most accessed articles from 2011. They are listed below, beginning with the most accessed article of the year. Our regular publication will resume next Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2012.

Just a reminder: Early registration for the TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo ends Feb. 1, 2012. For the best rate, register now.

Slow down — Why some languages sound so fast
Time    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sept. 21, 2011 issue: Here's one of the least interesting paragraphs you've ever read: "Last night I opened the front door to let the cat out. It was such a beautiful night that I wandered down to the garden to get a breath of fresh air. Then I heard a click as the door closed behind me." Okay, it becomes a little less eye-glazing after that, with the speaker getting arrested while trying to force the door back open. This perfectly ordinary passage and a few others like it are part of an intriguing study published in the journal Language — a study that answers one of the longest-standing questions about human speech. More

Study: Children learn language in moments of insight, not gradually through repeated exposure
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
May 25, 2011 issue: New research by a team of University of Pennsylvania psychologists is helping to overturn the dominant theory of how children learn their first words, suggesting that it occurs more in moments of insight than gradually through repeated exposure. More

Report: 'Academic vocabulary' lessons boost reading skills
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Aug. 24, 2011 issue: The meanings behind academic vocabulary words can take longer to understand than common nouns and adjectives for many young students, particularly non-native English speakers. Often complex and intangible concepts, these words are generally not used in everyday conversation but they may be scattered throughout textbooks and scholarly articles, making those readings that much more difficult for students to grasp. More

MATESOL degree in One Year!

Commonly cited as one of the top programs in the country for preparing language educators, the Monterey Institute offers an Advanced Entry MATESOL degree.

China rush to US colleges reveals predatory fees for recruits
Bloomberg    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
June 1, 2011 issue: Leon Lin was ecstatic when he found out he'd be leaving home in southern China to study at the University of Connecticut. As the Chinese agent whom his parents paid $5,000 to help him get into the school told him, the university's flagship campus at Storrs was a highly ranked institution, with 25,000 students and ready access to Boston and New York City. And eventually Lin would return home with the status and career advantage of a United States degree. More

Exciting Career Opportunities at ELS

ESL teaching and administration career opportunities available at many of ELS Educational Services’ 55+ centers throughout the USA and Canada (50 located on university campuses). MORE

Rote memorization: Overrated, or underrated?
HechingerEd (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Feb. 9, 2011 issue: Among the countless catchphrases educators generally despise are "drill-'n-kill" and "rote memorization." In keeping with their meanings, both sound terrifically unpleasant. To learn something "by rote," according to the Random House dictionary, is to learn it "from memory, without thought of the meaning; in a mechanical way." More

What teachers can learn from English language learners
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Nov. 9, 2011 issue: While blogging from the Education Trust conference in Arlington, Va., where one of the few presentations focused on English language learners featured student voices. Dr. Betty Smallwood from the Center on Applied Linguistics presented a fascinating video of students from Arlington County, Va., talking about what teachers can do better to teach them English. More

Arizona's English immersion program could be unlawful
Cronkite News via Arizona Capitol Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
March 2, 2011 issue: At a time when 1 in 8 students in Arizona qualify for English language services, the state has made controversial and — according to the federal government — possibly unlawful changes to its language education program. Researchers and educators fear Arizona's program will have a detrimental impact on the growing population of English Language Learner students in Arizona schools. More

A film on education that gets it right
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Oct. 12, 2011 issue: Every policymaker should be required to see the new film "American Teacher," which powerfully reveals the huge challenge that the country faces in attracting and keeping the best teachers to help improve public education. Director Vanessa Roth's new film, co-produced by Dave Eggers and Nínive Calegari and narrated by Matt Damon, notes that while "most people agree that a teacher is the most important in-school factor to school success," you'd never guess this from what many teachers experience in our public schools. More

Reading Level Gains Guaranteed!

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Being bilingual: Beneficial workout for the brain
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
March 2, 2011 issue: Speaking two languages confers lifelong cognitive rewards that spread far beyond the improved ability to communicate, a series of scientific findings has shown. In the latest research, described at the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the onset of the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease was delayed by more than four years in elderly bilingual adults, even though they had identical brain damage compared with a group of adults in the study who spoke only one language. More

SCOLA: Developing Today's Language Students

Help your language students excel: use SCOLA’s current, authentic foreign language material to develop language skills, cultural awareness, and a love for languages. MORE

Study finds sudden insights key to learning words
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
June 8, 2011 issue: Parents and teachers often use flashcards and picture books to teach young children new words, but a new study suggests that understanding basic words may come from a flash of initial insight more than repetition. The study's findings suggest that children — and, in fact, all new language learners — can build up concrete vocabulary from interacting with a complex learning environment, not just repeated exposure to words in isolation. More

10 skills every student should learn
eSchool News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Aug. 17, 2011 issue: What students should learn in school is at the forefront of the education reform debates taking place across the U.S. and elsewhere. Education technology stakeholders for years have been touting the need for students to learn so-called "21st century skills" such as problem solving, critical thinking and media literacy to prepare for the new global, digital economy, while others are calling for students to have strong math and science skills. More

Education secretary tells Congress: Change No Child Left Behind — or I will
The Christian Science Monitor    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
June 22, 2011 issue: The Obama administration is raising the stakes for Congress to act on reforming No Child Left Behind. If Congress won't move to reauthorize and amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act — then the administration will start addressing some of the act's flaws itself, Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned. The law, which was up for reauthorization more than three years ago, expects all students to be proficient in reading and math by 2014, among other things. More

Learn any language by treating it as music
Patch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Aug. 11, 2011 issue: Want to learn a new language? Start by putting aside verb memorization charts and listening. That's the core advice of Cupertino polyglot Susanna Zaraysky, who speaks seven languages with little to no accent. As both a former student of, and now Spanish substitute teacher in, the Cupertino public school system, Zaraysky has too often seen children become frustrated with rote language learning. She penned both Language is Music in 2008 and its Spanish predecessor El Idioma es Música in 2010 to aid kids and adults in absorbing not just the structure, but also sounds and flow, of a new language. In effect, they can listen to language like they would music. More

Professional Development:
Prestigious Fellowships Abroad

With teacher and teacher development opportunities in over 80 countries, the EL Fellow Program is currently accepting applications from TESOL professionals for overseas positions worldwide.

Scandinavians best at English, South Americans lag
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
April 6, 2011 issue: Speaking English is increasingly a basic requirement for participating in international business, but a new study shows large gaps in English skills around the world. Scandinavian countries have the best command of English among countries where English is not the native language, while Russia, Turkey and South American countries lagged, according to a study released on by EF English First. The study compared test scores of more than 2.3 million adults in 44 countries from 2007 through 2009. More

ESL teacher makes English easier
Toronto Star    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Feb. 23, 2011 issue:
Canada: How do you square the spelling of English words with the way they're supposed to be pronounced — or, worse, the imperfect, lazy way we often say them in everyday conversation? Even native-born speakers have their hurdles to overcome, so imagine the cliffs that those new to the language must scale, especially if their first tongue is logical, phonetic or both.

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Fischler School: Cause An Effect
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Professional Development Opportunities with Fulbright

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Master's in Teaching TESOL
The MAT@USC TESOL is a Master’s in Teaching program delivered online by the USC Rossier School of Education. The program is the first of its kind to blend interactive online learning with field-based teaching experiences to prepare students to be English language teaching specialists in a variety of settings and educational levels.

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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.

Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2601   Download media kit
Hailey Sasser, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2630   Contribute news
Craig Triplett, Senior Editor, Web Content and Social Media Manager for TESOL, 703-518-2526
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