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Home   Communities   Publications   Education   Issues   Convention   Join TESOL   Oct. 5, 2011

TESOL staff member Sarah Sahr trains teachers and scholarship students in Malaysia
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
English language specialist and TESOL Education Programs Manager Sarah Sahr recently spent a week in Johor, Malaysia, where she trained 120 primary and secondary education public school teachers. Sponsored by the U.S. Embassy, Kuala Lumpur, the 6-day workshop introduced teachers to innovations in presenting English language lessons and activities as well as helping them fine-tune their student assessment and teacher feedback skills. While in Malaysia, Sarah also taught a lesson on climate change to 60 English Access Microscholarship students. The 90-minute lesson allowed students to interact using games and videos to discuss the effects of climate change worldwide. Sarah has been working at the TESOL central office for 14 months. Before coming to TESOL, Sarah trained teachers in South Korea, managed an English school in Viet Nam, developed curriculum in Qatar, and managed an eco-lodge in Ecuador.

Oct. 5 — World Teachers' Day
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If you can read this, thank a teacher! Begun in 1994 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), World Teachers' Day celebrates the role of teachers in providing quality education at all levels. It also commemorates the ILO/UNESCO Recommendation Concerning the Status of Teachers, which was adopted at a conference in Paris on Oct. 5, 1966. World Teachers' Day is currently sponsored by UNESCO and Education International. The theme for this year's celebration is "Teachers for gender equality." For more information, including downloads and a list of activities, go to the World Teachers' Day website. And if you're a teacher, thank you for all that you do.

Register today for TESOL Virtual Seminars in October and November
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TESOL is offering two virtual seminars this fall. These seminars are free for TESOL members and $45 for nonmembers. On Oct. 13, Walt Wolfram will present "Integrating Language Variation Into TESOL: Challenges From English Globalization." The seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., U.S. ET, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. GMT. The registration deadline is Oct. 9. On Nov. 16, Jeremy Harmer will present "The Fluency Paradox Revisited." The seminar will be held from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., U.S. ET, 2 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. GMT. The registration deadline is Nov. 10. For more information about these and other TESOL seminars, please visit TESOL's Virtual Seminars Web page. Space is limited, so register now.

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WIDA seeks your comments on its 2012 English Language Development Standards
TESOL    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
World Class Instructional Design and Assessment has released a draft of their 2012 English Language Development Standards. Before finalizing the draft, they want feedback from stakeholders in the field. The website has the standards by grade, frequently asked questions, a topic map, a glossary, surveys, and suggestions for how you might write your review. Please take this opportunity to share your insights and expertise.

Obama's NCLB waivers: Do flaws outweigh benefits?
The Washington Post    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Obama administration's new No Child Left Behind "flexibility" plan offers our struggling public schools a leap from the frying pan to the fire. President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan provide no relief from No Child Left Behind's massive over-use of testing — more testing than in any other advanced nation. In fact, they are demanding more, not less, testing. They provide no relief from NCLB's mandated misuse of test scores for school accountability. And their plan will push states into adopting highly flawed and inaccurate uses of student test results to judge teachers and principals. More

Momentum builds for teacher education overhaul
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Momentum appears to be gathering behind a U.S. Department of Education plan to hold teacher education programs accountable for the achievement of students taught by their graduates. At a recent event hosted in Washington, D.C., by the think tank Education Sector, a diverse group of stakeholders, including Dennis Van Roekel, the president of the National Education Association, and Wendy Kopp, the founder of Teach For America, spoke in favor of the initiative, which was first outlined in the Obama administration's fiscal 2012 budget request. More

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Hispanic students vanish from Alabama schools
The Associated Press via    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Hispanic students have started vanishing from Alabama public schools in the wake of a court ruling that upheld the state's tough new law cracking down on illegal immigration. Education officials say scores of immigrant families have withdrawn their children from classes or kept them home, afraid that sending the kids to school would draw attention from authorities. There are no precise statewide numbers. More

Common Core ELL assessment to be built by Wisconsin consortium
Education Week    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction was awarded a $10.5 million, four-year grant by the U.S. Department of Education to create an online English language proficiency assessment pegged to the Common Core standards. Wisconsin is leading a 28-state consortium that will work with the World-Class Instructional Design and Assessment consortium, or WIDA, and several other partners to create an online tool to assess English language learners' skills in reading, writing, listening and speaking English. More

In battle to save Chinese, it's test vs. test
The Wall Street Journal    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China: Chinese students' obsession with learning English is apparent. Chinese cities are littered with billboards and fliers for teaching institutes, and the demand for native-speaking teachers and tutors seems endless. For many, the TOEFL, or Test of English as a Foreign Language, ranks second only to the infamous gaokao college entrance exam as a driver of candle-burning study habits. More

Chinese children 'need to know English'
The Straits Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
China: One minute Brenda Sun, 24, is crouching in fear, another minute she is baring her teeth menacingly. It's all part of an English class being held at Lily English, a private school in Beijing, where the pupils are just four years old and have names like Tom, Jerry and Cindy. As Sun flashes drawings of animals on an overhead projector, she asks her charges: "Is this a frog? Is this a shark?" "Yes!" they chorus. These English learners are among a growing number of children of preschool to primary school age being enrolled in supplementary English classes in China — a multibillion-dollar business that is expected to grow by about 30 percent to 40 percent every year. More

English language teaching in Pakistan
DAWN Newspaper    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Pakistan: The practicality of the English language opens innumerable prospects in the social and financial world. Regrettably, the way English language is taught leaves barely any ground for learners to properly incorporate this language in their daily communication. The major source of learning English in Pakistan is our school classrooms where, ironically, teaching amounts to nothing more than boring English spelling drills, some formal grammatical constructions and precise definitions for an endless array of words which make the subject appear desolate. More

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Report: Latinos need more support to raise lagging graduation rates
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail
The college graduation rate for Latinos is less than half of the national average and will not improve until they are offered more help as they come up through the education pipeline, according to a report released. The study, conducted in 2009, found that only 19.2 percent of Latinos between the ages of 25 and 34 had earned a two- or four-year degree, compared with 41 percent nationally. To increase Latino college completion, policy makers and educators must, among other steps, improve middle- and high-school counseling, make preschool more available to low-income families, provide additional need-based grant money and simplify the financial-aid system, the report says. More

Report: Sharing race with principals makes teachers happier
The Washington Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Sharing skin color with their principal makes life better for many American teachers, according to a major new study from the University of Missouri. The report, which surveyed more than 37,000 teachers and principals from 7,200 schools across the country, found that black teachers who work for a black principal are generally happier with their jobs, are less likely to leave and say they receive more support, encouragement and recognition from their superiors. More

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Study: Student test scores should be used to rate teachers in teams
The Huffington Post    Share    Share on
FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Standardized tests should rank students by percentile and rate teachers in teams, according to a new policy brief by Derek Neal, an economics professor at the University of Chicago. "I'm very opposed to ever using this [data] to give individual scores for teachers," said Neal. Educational research like Neal's is appearing as standardized tests have become more important to school funding decisions and play a larger role in the evaluation, hiring and firing of teachers. At least 26 states now mandate teacher reviews that take standardized testing into account. More

Classroom 'crisis': Many teachers have little or no experience    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
As children around the country settle in for the new school year, millions of them are sharing more than desks, sandwiches and sniffles. Chances are good that they are being taught by teachers with little or no experience. The odds that a child will be taught by a new teacher have increased dramatically over the past two decades. In 1987-1988, the most common level of experience among the nation's 3 million K-12 public school teachers was 14 years in the classroom. By 2007-2008, students were most likely to encounter a teacher with just one or two years of experience. Experts attribute the experiential decline to numerous factors, including the widespread retirement of Baby Boomer teachers, added demands due to programs like "No Child Left Behind" and teachers leaving to pursue better-paying opportunities in other fields. More

Spanish-speaking K-2 Reading Assessment

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Q-and-A on 'Edchats': Teachers teaching teachers, on Twitter
The New York Times    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Like other groups with shared interests, from epidemiologists to James Joyce fans to locked-out N.F.L. players, teachers are turning to Twitter to collaborate, share resources and offer each other support. Many, in fact, are using it to take professional development into their own hands, 140 characters at a time. More

Department of Education reform plan for teacher training gets mixed reviews
The Chronicle of Higher Education    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Arne Duncan, the U.S. secretary of education, laid out measures that would change how teachers' colleges are evaluated and supported, but the plan has some sticking points for teachers' colleges and teachers' unions. At a forum here hosted by Education Sector, a nonpartisan research group, Duncan said that the American teacher-preparation system was a mixed bag of high- and low-quality colleges, and that 62 percent of new teachers said they were unprepared to begin teaching after graduating from those programs. More

How do you find good educational apps?
KQED    Share    Share on FacebookTwitterShare on LinkedinE-mail article
Looking for educational applications for your mobile phone, tablet or laptop? There are plenty of apps out there, and a number of stores where you can find and download them. But even if a store has an education category, that doesn't necessarily make it easier to locate quality apps — apps for teaching pre-schoolers the alphabet end up grouped alongside those for studying calculus. So, how do you find the best ones? KQED readers weigh in. More

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TESOL English Language Bulletin is a digest of the most important news selected for TESOLInternational 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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