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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Dec. 14, 2011

New NCTE resolution on students using home languages in writing
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
At its 100th anniversary convention in November, the National Council of Teachers of English approved a resolution titled "Student's Right to Incorporate Heritage and Home Languages in Writing." This resolution draws on previous NCTE resolutions on students' right to their own language and underscores the educational value of instructional practices that allow students to draw from the varied resources of their home languages to enrich their writing. To read the resolution, please visit the NCTE website.

Practical workshops for English language teaching professionals
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
TESOL's Pre- and Postconvention Institutes offer in-depth, hands-on professional development at the TESOL convention. Selected by the Professional Development Committee, these workshops are designed and led by experts in the field. The topics address the professional development needs that convention planners and past PCI participants have identified. Topics this year include content-based instruction, computer-assisted language learning, pronunciation, writing, material development and much more. The Preconvention Institutes will be held Tuesday, March 27, and Wednesday, March 28. The Postconvention Institutes will be held Saturday, March 31. For topics and registration information, please visit the TESOL Convention website.

A quick reminder: Register for the Annual TESOL Convention & English Language Expo by February 1 to get the best rate. For other ways to save, please visit the TESOL convention website.

Teacher evaluations key to state chances for NCLB waivers
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Where their teacher-quality proposals are concerned, the fates of the 11 states that have bid for waivers of core principles of the No Child Left Behind Act appear to depend largely on how the peer reviewers — and, ultimately, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan — interpret their applications. The U.S. Department of Education's criteria for teacher quality — 1 of 4 policy areas states must address in their applications — hinge on the ability of states and districts to ready new teacher-evaluation systems for statewide implementation by the end of the 2013-2014 school year. More

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How English learners figure in states' waiver proposals
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
So how are the waiver-applying states proposing to specifically address the needs of English language learners? Many of the applications would move away from focusing on English learners as a stand-alone subgroup, (along with the other traditional subgroups) by folding them into a "super" subgroup, or lowest performing 25 percent, for example. More

Will more Latino teachers solve the Latino achievement gap in US?
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Could bolstering the Latino teacher workforce have an impact on the widening achievement gap between Latino students and their white and black peers in America? According to the Washington Post, more than 21 percent of schoolchildren are Latino, compared to seven percent of teachers, a wider disparity than any other racial or ethnic minority in the U.S. The article cites research that suggests that having more Latino teachers would lead to better attendance, fewer behavioral problems and better test scores for Latino students. More

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Guidance on race-based factors gets polarized response
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Civil rights advocates and opponents of affirmative action are sharply divided on the wisdom — and legal soundness — of new Obama administration guidance to schools and colleges on how much flexibility they have in considering the race of students in areas such as attendance zones and admissions. The guidance was released after more than two years of lobbying by civil rights groups, which argued that a similar document issued by the U.S. Department of Education's office for civil rights in 2008, under President George W. Bush, did not faithfully advise schools and colleges on the permissible uses of race under the relevant U.S. Supreme Court decisions. More

Seoul, South Korea, to phase out native English teachers
The Chosunilbo    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
South Korea: Most native English-speaking teachers in about 300 high schools in Seoul could lose their jobs next year. In its budget for 2012, the Seoul Metropolitan Office of Education cut about W4 billion for 225 native speakers teaching at high schools. If the budget is approved by the city council, most of the high schools in Seoul except for 30 English "immersion" and international schools, can no longer afford a native speaker. More

Students with limited English skills pose challenge for high school
Las Vegas Sun    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Edgar Acosta faces a daunting task as a teacher charged with improving reading test scores among some of the most challenging students in Clark County. They're the ones who don't speak English at home. For the past two years, the remedial English teacher has worked day and night with immigrant children and their parents from mainly Latin American countries, helping them master a new language and adapt to a different country. More

Diversity of suburban schools grows as region changes
The Columbus Dispatch    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Almost 3 in 10 Dublin, Ohio, students last school year was a member of a racial minority. Its 29.3 percent rate would have qualified Dublin as most diverse among 17 suburban Columbus, Ohio, districts 10 years ago. Now, it ranks seventh. Whitehall topped the list a decade ago, when 29.7 percent of its students were not white. More

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Primary schools lack English teachers in Viet Nam
VietNam News    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Viet Nam: In its second year, English teaching primary schools in a pilot program face a severe lack of teachers. In HCM City's District 3, mother Le Quynh Thu says, "The school has changed English teachers many times within the first five weeks — I don't even know who the English teachers are." Another mother, in District 8, Tran Phu Nghia says, "My son was scheduled for English lessons, but hasn't yet had any because there are no teachers." This school year is the second of the English teaching pilot program in primary schools, but many schools cannot find qualified English teachers. More

Everyone speaks text message
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
When Ibrahima Traore takes his sons to a park in Montclair, N.J., he often sits on a bench and reads. He reads English, French and Arabic, but most of the time he reads N'Ko, a language few speakers of those languages would recognize. N'Ko is the standardized writing system for Mande languages, a family of closely related tongues — among them Traore's language of Mandinka, but also Jula, Bamana, Koyaga, Marka — spoken, for the most part, in eight West African countries, by some 35 million people. N'Ko looks like a cross between Arabic and ancient Norse runes, written from right to left in a blocky script with the letters connected underneath. More

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Exit exams less popular as states shift to college- and career-readiness tests
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Fewer states are requiring students to pass high school exit exams to graduate, but more states are increasing standardized testing in college- and career-readiness assessment efforts. A report by the Center on Education Policy reveals that in the 2010-2011 school year, 25 states have or plan to implement policies that require students to pass end-of-grade or end-of-course exams to earn a high school diploma — a figure down from 28 the year before. More

Neuroscience education winner finds cognitive training helps parents, students
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Helen J. Neville, the director of the Brain Development Lab and the Center for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Oregon in Eugene, believes training parents as well as children in cognitive techniques can help to close early achievement gaps. Neville has been named the winner of the 2011 Transforming Education Through Neuroscience award, sponsored by the International Mind Brain Education Society and the Learning and the Brain Foundation, for her studies of parent and child cognitive training to improve attention. More

Survey: Most teachers see the curriculum narrowing
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
You've heard it before, and now a new set of survey results drives the point home: Most teachers believe that in the era of high-stakes testing in math and English/language arts, other important subjects are getting pushed out of the classroom. At the same time, nearly half of those polled believe the extra focus on math and English is helping to boost students' "skills and knowledge" in one or both subjects. More

Teaching in a diverse America: It's the relationships that matter
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Our nation continues to grow more diverse. It's especially apparent in our nation's classrooms where one out of four students are the children of immigrants. Today, when the school bell rings, more teachers are finding themselves looking at a sea of young faces representing an array of racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds. Sadly, there are unacceptable gaps in the academic achievement of students from diverse backgrounds. More

Friendly advice for teachers: Beware of Facebook
National Public Radio    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
VideoBrief The new and ever-changing world of social networking has blurred the lines between private and public, work and personal, friend and stranger. It's becoming a particular challenge for teachers who can quickly rile students and parents by posting comments or photos online. In some cases, teachers have been fired for statements they've made on Facebook, which is raising free speech issues. More

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