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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Aug. 29, 2012






The 7 most surprising findings of the 2012 PDK/Gallup Poll on Public Schools
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As co-director of the PDK/Gallup Poll of the Public's Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, I anxiously await the results each year. It never fails. I am always surprised by what Americans think about their public schools — and this year is no different. So here you are — the seven most surprising findings of the 2012 PDK/Gallup poll. More
Related story: New national poll reveals public's thoughts on education (eSchool News)




Obama, Romney spar over private-sector's role in education
Reuters    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On the campaign trail during the past week, President Barack Obama talked a lot about education. Making a bid for young voters and their parents, Obama accused Republican rival Mitt Romney of planning to slash aid to college students. Romney hit back by noting that Obama, a Democrat, has not been able to rein in the soaring cost of tuition. But the differences between the two candidates on education policy extend far deeper than a war of sound bites over college costs. In an echo of their broader philosophical divide, Romney and Obama split sharply over what role the private sector should play in the U.S. education system. More
Related story: Obama vs. Romney 101: 5 differences on education (The Christian Science Monitor)


Republican immigration platform backs 'self-deportation'
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Republicans have adopted a party platform on immigration that would require employers nationwide to verify workers' legal status and deny federal financing to universities that allow illegal immigrant students to enroll at lower in-state tuition rates. In their debates in Tampa, Fla., over the party platform, Republican delegates hammered out an immigration plank calling for tough border enforcement and opposing "any forms of amnesty" for illegal immigrants, instead endorsing "humane procedures to encourage illegal aliens to return home voluntarily," a policy of self-deportation. More
Related story: Court: Ala schools can't check student immigration status; police can ask for suspects' papers(The Associated Press via The Washington Post)


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Are you starting or revitalizing an English language program?
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Then the TESOL: Training of Trainers, Strengthening English Language Programs online course can help. This course allows you to reflect on your current (or would-be) program, learn how to boost your program's capacity, and, most importantly, bring your program into the 21st century. Participants will receive several free online resources. Deadline for registration is 28 September. To register, please visit the TESOL website. Please send questions to edprograms@tesol.org and put "Training of Trainers" in the subject line.

Graduate and Doctoral Student Forums seek proposals
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Every year, TESOL graduate students plan conferences held in conjunction with the TESOL convention: the Graduate Student Forum for students in master's degree programs and the Doctoral Forum for students in doctoral programs. These forums allow graduate students to gain experience in planning a conference, adjudicating proposals, and other professional activities and to participate in the annual convention without having to compete with experienced professionals. This year's forums will be held on 20 March, the day before the 2013 TESOL International Convention & English Language Expo, in Dallas, Texas. Both forums are seeking proposals. For more information, please read the Graduate Student Forum 2013 Call for Proposals and the 2013 Doctoral Forum Call for Proposals.

ALAS/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt offer scholarship
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The ALAS/Houghton Mifflin Harcourt scholarship recognizes Latino administrators and principals for their leadership by providing support for advanced education. Two awards will be given: a one-time $10,000 scholarship and a one-time $2,000 scholarship. Awards will be given to a member of ALAS in good standing who is an aspiring school leader pursuing an advanced degree in education with the goal of becoming a superintendent. The scholarship must be used toward an advanced degree in education. For additional information, go to Honoring Aspiring Latino Superintendents. To download the scholarship application go to 2012 Scholarship Application. The application deadline is 1 September.

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Commonly cited as one of the top programs in the country for preparing language educators, the Monterey Institute offers an Advanced Entry MATESOL degree.
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Apply to the Fulbright US Scholar Program
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Fulbright Scholar program offers teaching, research or combined teaching/research opportunities in many areas of the world. Although the deadline has passed to apply for many Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program Core awards for 2013-2014, a small number of awards are open to new applicants until 17 September. Specific opportunities in TEFL/Applied Linguistics are available in Russia, Egypt, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Chile and Guatemala. You can search for the open awards by visiting the online Catalog of Awards. In addition, helpful resources are available at the Fulbright Scholar Program website.



Education: US education system slipping behind China, India
United Press International    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney focused on the U.S. education system last week as a report by the Center for the Next Generation and Center for American Progress warned American children are not being adequately prepared to compete in the global workforce. And a second report, this one from Harvard, found school vouchers, touted as a solution to urban school failures, had no overall impact on college enrollment although they did help black students more than Hispanic students. More

Districts vying for $400 million in new Race to Top grants
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The U.S. Department of Education is kicking off the $400 million Race to the Top competition for districts after making significant changes to the contest rules to assuage school board members and prod more large districts to apply. Federal officials threw out a proposal to require competing districts to implement performance evaluations of school board members, and raised the maximum grant amount for the largest districts to $40 million, from $25 million, according to final rules. More



No Child Left Behind worsened education, 48 percent of Americans 'very familiar' with the law say in Gallup poll
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
More Americans think No Child Left Behind has made education in the U.S. worse rather than better, according to results from a Gallup poll. Of those surveyed, 29 percent believe the Bush-era education law has worsened education in America, compared with just 16 percent who said it has improved the system. Another 38 percent said NCLB hasn't made much of a difference, while 17 percent are not familiar enough with the policy to rate its effectiveness. Of those who say they are "very familiar" with the law, 28 percent say it has made education better and 48 percent worse. More
Related story: Study: No Child law loophole can mean fewer dollars for poor schools (McClatchy Newspapers)


The Common Core's digital-literacy gap
Education Week (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Just the other day, I perused my district's proposed curriculum map for sophomore English. Nothing too surprising, with plenty of mentions of textual analysis, thesis writing, and literary elements. If it were 1990, it'd look okay. Unfortunately, the Common Core State Standards and the related ACT Quality Core standards — on which our curriculum is based — come up way short with regards to digital literacy. This leaves many educators without enough direction, and too many district curriculum maps failing to embrace essential components of literacy today. Combine these new standards with schools' continued emphasis — for the time being, at least — on traditional pen-and-paper end-of-course assessments, and teachers are hardly in a great collective position to promote, create and implement lesson ideas that are appropriate for 2012. More

Complaint: Louisiana district falling short on services to ELL families
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Southern Poverty Law Center has filed a complaint against the Jefferson Parish Public School System in Louisiana, alleging that the schools are not providing adequate translation and other services to Spanish-speaking students and families. In announcing the complaint, the SPLC also released a fact sheet, developed with the Equal Rights Center, a Washington-based research group, that details a number of situations in which documents and school conferences were not adequately translated for families or in which employees seemed unable or unwilling to interact with Spanish speakers. More

Connecticut schools outline plan to improve English skills
Hartford Courant    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Improving the academic performance of students who speak little or no English will require extensive lessons focusing on grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure, according to the school administration. The plan to overhaul how New Britain, Conn., educates non-English speakers will concentrate on language study for two to three years in a row, taking half the school day or more if that's what is necessary to produce significant progress. More

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Immigration officials advise educators on deferred action
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Editor's note: For a summary of the deferred action program, please download TESOL's policy brief, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals: A Program for Undocumented Youth in the United States.
School records will be among the key documents that young undocumented immigrants must submit in their requests for deferred action, the new immigration policy that allows individuals who arrived in the United States as children to seek relief from deportation and gain work permits. Applicants have to demonstrate, among other criteria, that they are currently enrolled in school, have graduated from high school or have obtained a GED. But school records will also help many potential beneficiaries prove another key qualification: continuous presence in the U.S. for the last five years. A high school transcript documenting four years of schooling would be "fantastic evidence in a single document."
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Kids learning language
National Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The country's demographics are slowly changing such that ethnic "minorities" — Hispanics, blacks, Asians, etc. — will eventually make up a majority of United States residents. The shift is glaringly apparent in schools that are catering to more diverse populations, which poses challenges for teachers who must cope with language and cultural differences in their classrooms. But it also presents unique opportunities for young kids to grow, particularly as they hone their language skills. More

Making English part of the fabric
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For years, students with poor English language skills have lagged behind their fluent classmates. Now, this outer suburb of San Francisco with a large Mexican immigrant population is one of many school districts nationwide overhauling their approach to try to close the language gap. Of the Tracy Unified School District's 17,530 students, a quarter struggle with English on literacy tests, according to the state Department of Education. In the past, language instruction for those students was crammed into one period, in which instructors taught everyday language skills through rote methods like grammar work sheets. More

Educator turns rough start into bilingual mission
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Francesca Lopez vividly remembers starting school in El Paso, Texas, in the third grade. She hated it. Though she and her family lived in El Paso, she and her mom, like many others at the time, crossed the border to Juarez, Mexico, back and forth every day for school. Her mother taught high school, and she attended grade school. Then in the third grade her Mexican-born mother and American-born father decided she should go to public school. It's an experience vividly etched in her memory. More


Reader's Theater Helps Increase Achievement


ESL test scores improved with a curriculum including multi-leveled Reader's Theater. K-8 scripts have roles at the right level for each student. Free sampler.


Teaching Las Vegas' non-English-speaking students is crucial — but it's not easy
Las Vegas CityLife    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Liliana Trejo Vanegas is excited about her future. Having completed a well-balanced arts and academic program at a prestigious high school, Las Vegas Academy, she's prepared for a college career she says she'll start in a couple years. In the meantime, she's getting U.S. citizenship and planning a trip to Mexico, where she'll reconnect with family while working on a photographic project about her home country. Vanegas represents an ideal in English language learning (commonly referred to as ELL), but experts fear that success stories like hers may become rarer if the Clark County School District doesn't up its investment in ELL. More

Encourage great teachers to stay in the classroom
The Commercial Appeal (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
I have been teaching for nine years with Memphis City Schools. I love what I do, and I'm good at it. That may sound egotistical, but I have the data to back it up. It is not only my students' test scores that are strong; they are also writing on a college level, completing deep, inquiry-based research and tracking their own growth throughout the school year. For the last three years my value-added data has proven that my students have gained significantly above average growth (more than one year's worth) on state-mandated tests. My student feedback surveys and administrators' observations reinforce these facts. More



Why is Iran curtailing female education?
The Chronicle of Higher Education (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Why are 36 Iranian universities now barring women from 77 academic fields, including engineering, accounting, education, counseling and chemistry? Rather than announcing across the board restrictions on women in higher education, the government has cleverly left it to individual universities to implement these new policies. Universities are acting individually to adopt quota systems favoring men. The goal is to limit the number of women in certain disciplines or to bar them altogether from certain fields of study. Some universities are enforcing single-sex classes and are requiring professors to teach the same course twice. More
Related story: Iranian universities shut female students out of dozens of fields (los Angeles Times)


Hispanics set school, college enrollment records
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hispanic population growth and improved high school completion rates helped Latino young people become the largest minority group on college campuses and a fourth of the public school population last year, according to a Pew Hispanic report. The center's analysis of Census data shows more than 2 million Hispanics ages 18 to 24 were enrolled in college last year, making up a record 16.5 percent share of enrollments in that age group at two-year and four-year universities. More


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ELS supports its teachers. Learn about the joint ELS/Adelphi University Masters of TESOL program, providing opportunities for teachers to earn advanced teaching degrees. MORE


GOP would deny funds to colleges allowing illegal immigrants to pay in-state tuition
The Chronicle of Higher Educaiton    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Just days before Republicans gather for their national convention in Tampa, Fla., party leaders have adopted a platform that would cut off federal financing to colleges and universities that permit illegal immigrants to pay tuition at the same lower rates as state residents, according to The New York Times. The proposal is part of a broad package of platform policies that take a tough stance on immigration issues. More

A cheat sheet to what makes today's college freshmen click
USA Today    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
For this year's crop of college freshmen, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis and Kurt Cobain have always been dead, women have always piloted warplanes and space shuttles, and M&Ms have never been tan. The class of 2016 grew up in cyberspace, a factor that has increasingly influenced how today's undergraduates approach the world, authors of two recent works say. More



In New York, with 6 weeks to adapt to America
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Refugee Youth Summer Academy, as the program is called, was created for recently arrived refugees and asylum recipients. The academy, started in 1999 by the International Rescue Committee, a refugee resettlement agency based in New York City, tries to help its students find a footing in their new country and prepare them for school. One of the main goals of the academy is to acculturate the students to the American school system. All intend to enroll at schools in New York City next month; but the administrators and teachers tried to set realistic goals. More
Related video: Calling all refugee kids (The New York Times)


In 22 states, GED exam now computerized
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Ahead of the debut of the 2014 GED Test, which will be available only on computer, 22 states are already offering a computerized version of the GED exam, according to a news release issued by the GED Testing Service. More



Federal immigration program can help young workers
The Associated Press via ABC News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In an animal laboratory in central California's dairy country, Juan Carlos Martin cleaned and fed dozens of cows. Smuggled through a U.S. border checkpoint in a car at age 13, the Mexico native had hoped for an education and career, but started working full time at the end of high school after an accident incapacitated his father. Now 23, Martin was surprised to learn this week that he may be eligible for the new federal program that temporarily defers deportation and grants work permits to young illegal immigrants. More

50 apps for lifelong learners
Technapex    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Edudemic and their content partner Online College Courses published a list of the 50 best educational iOS apps for lifelong learners to download. For those of you who are finished with school and but aren’t ready to stop learning, these apps quench the eternal student’s thirst for knowledge. More

Goal to bridge cultures isn't lost in translation
Houston Chronicle    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
On the surface, there's nothing extraordinary about this scene. A dozen or so leaders of this pine-locked colonia in Montgomery County, Texas, are seated in an arc of folding chairs on a Saturday morning to talk drainage. The lady with the county and some engineers, one Spanish-speaking, are explaining how a grant will help clean out and regrade their roads and ditches damaged after Hurricane Ike. More



Speaking 2 languages also benefits low-income children
Medical Xpress    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Living in poverty is often accompanied by conditions that can negatively influence cognitive development. Is it possible that being bilingual might counteract these effects? Although previous research has shown that being bilingual enhances executive functioning in middle-class children, less is known about how it affects lower income populations. More

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Report: Teachers spend own money on necessity items for their students
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Many teachers routinely spend money out of their own pockets on necessity items for their students, according to a nationwide survey. AdoptAClassroom.org surveyed 1,188 K-12 teachers from public, private and charter schools throughout the country, and found that the vast majority of teachers — 91 percent — reported purchasing things for their students that ranged from food and snacks, to personal care items like toothbrushes and soap. More

Polling group: Student success linked to positive outlook
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Roughly half of American students today are hopeful about their futures, according to data collected by Gallup Inc., while two-thirds of students are engaged in their learning and two-thirds have high well-being. Those three positive traits are closely linked to academic success and should be focal points for educators, the polling group contends. Gallup's data on student hope, engagement and well-being, based on polling of nearly one million students in grades 5 through 12 from 2009 to 2011, was the focus of a policy meeting convened by the group in Washington. More

Language, emotion and well-being explored
ScienceDaily    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
We use language every day to express our emotions, but can this language actually affect what and how we feel? Two new studies from Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science, explore the ways in which the interaction between language and emotion influences our well-being. Putting feelings into words can help us cope with scary situations. More



What to do — and not do — for growing number of English language learners
The Washington Post (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
It's hard to find a school or district in this country that doesn't have an English learner population. For teachers in states like California, Texas, Florida and New York it is sometimes hard to find a classroom without any English language learners. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education estimates that approximately 4.5 million English Learners are enrolled in public schools across the country, roughly 10 percent of all students enrolled in K-12 schools in the United States. More



The tech-driven classroom is here, but grades are mixed
Forbes    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
In a typical K-12 U.S. classroom, one teacher instructs about 15 to 25 students per class, but cannot possibly divide his or her time evenly among all learners. Some excel, some pass, some are left behind. Enter education technology, the much-touted panacea for all that befalls the American teacher. Hailed as the "great equalizer" for its ability to provide universal access to information via the Internet, ed tech has been, in practice, more hype than reality. More

Experienced teachers reflect on their 1st year
Edutopia (commentary)    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
This year I had the opportunity to work with many educators in national and global workshops. On two of these occasions, I asked the teachers to share their wisdom by answering the question, "What I know now that I wish I had known as a first year teacher is ... " A recurring theme among their answers was the awareness of &mdash and responsiveness to — the needs and interests their students. As one educator remarked, "Each moment presents us with opportunities and challenges. We succeed when we know our students as individuals, know our subjects well, and trust ourselves to respond creatively and learn from our mistakes." More



Developing Smart Listeners: Teaching Students How to Listen, 27 September

Doing "Principled ESP" — Best Practices and Case Studies, 3 October

Top 10 Ideas for Teaching L2 Reading, 11 October

Separating Difference From Disability With Students Learning English as an Additional Language, 22 October-19 November

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






ESL Specialist, American Language Institute, Toledo, Ohio, USA

ESL Jobs, Confidential, Beijing, China

Specializing in CALL, e-learning, or closely related field, Otaru University of Commerce, Otaru, Japan

For more jobs, please visit the TESOL Career Center.
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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