Lawrence
ETS - Aug 2011

The Wizardry of Oz

Clever schemes, vibrant cities, and stunning landscapes make Australia a great bet for students

Australia has been a preferred study-abroad destination for students from the U.S. and Asia for decades because of the excellent quality of the universities, unique flora and fauna, charming culture, jaw-dropping coastlines, hip cities, and, of course, English language. In recent years, international students have been flocking to the Land Down Under for all of the same reasons. Unlike the Americans, however, many international students see English in Australia as an opportunity to learn the language; some go to Australia just for the English language education, while others transfer into Australian universities for college or graduate school.

To read the full story, click here.

May 24th, 2015 | Leave your comments

All the School’s a Stage

Pilar Alvarez, education director at the Young Storytellers Foundation, explains how the organization boosts literary confidence

Language Magazine: What is the history and overall goal of the Young Storytellers Foundation?

Pilar Alvarez: The Young Storytellers Foundation was started in 1997 by a group of film students in response to budget cuts in LA public schools. The founders wanted to bring in a program that was absolutely free, something that any public school could have regardless of its funding, which is why they created our volunteer-based Script to Stage program, where we bring in ten adult mentors who work with ten fifth-grade students. Over ten weeks, each of those students will create their own screenplay. Screenwriting is the vehicle we use for building the soft skills that we think are important for literacy.

To read the full story, click here.

May 20th, 2015 | 1 Comment

Cutting to the Common Core: Mathematically Speaking

Judit Moschkovich offers teachers recommendations for supporting English learners in mathematics classrooms

Developing mathematics instruction for English Language Learners (ELLs) that is aligned with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) can be achieved through research-based teaching practices that often run counter to commonsense notions of language and mathematics.

This article outlines recommendations that are motivated by a commitment to improving mathematics learning through language for all students and especially for students who are learning English; they are not intended as recipes or quick fixes, but rather as principles to help guide teachers, curriculum developers, and teacher educators in developing their own approaches to supporting mathematical reasoning and sense-making for students who are learning English.

To read the full story, click here.

May 18th, 2015 | Leave your comments

‘The Single Greatest Educational Effort in Human History’

Judy Heflin charts the success of Mao’s Chinese literacy program

Although China boasts a history of over 5,000 years, the modern nation-state we know today is only about 65 years old. Communist Party chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the People’s Republic of China on October 1, 1949, after the Chinese Civil War. Subsequently, the illiteracy rate of China, which stood at roughly 85-90% when it was first calculated at the turn of the 20th century, began to decrease significantly from the 1950s onward. By 1959, illiteracy rates among youth and adults (ages twelve to 40) had fallen from 80% to 43%, and they have been steadily decreasing since. China is now expected to reach near-universal youth literacy in 2015. China’s literacy success has been described as “perhaps the single greatest educational effort in human history” (Peterson, 1997).

To read the full story, click here.

May 9th, 2015 | Leave your comments

Audio Dissection

Seventeen-year-old Akshay Swaminathan shares his technique to improve world-language comprehension

Language is as much a skill as it is a subject. Therefore, language learning must involve not only vocabulary and grammar study, but also practice and training of the skills necessary to communicate in a foreign language: speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

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May 6th, 2015 | Leave your comments

May 2015

May 2015 Cover

All the School’s a Stage
Pilar Alvarez, education director at the Young Storytellers Foundation, explains how the organization boosts literary confidence

Boosting Brain Power
Erin Bell documents reading improvement through the implementation of research-based programs

Cutting to the Common Core: Mathematically Speaking
Judit Moschkovich offers teachers recommendations for supporting English learners in mathematics classrooms

Formulae for Math Success
A selection of products designed to help English learners master the nuances of the new math standards

Action Replay
Michael Moody explains how video can give educators insight into their performance

Spanish in the 21st Century
Daniel Ward predicts a successful future for the language of Cervantes

The Wizardry of Oz
Clever schemes, vibrant cities, and stunning landscapes make Australia a great bet for students

Last Writes On Mother’s Day, monster moms share their wisdom with Richard Lederer

Reviews Jobshop Source and more.

May 2nd, 2015 | Leave your comments

Closing English Language Learner Gaps Early

Benjamin Heuston and Haya Shamir of the Waterford Institute examine how adaptive learning software makes the curriculum effective for English language learners worldwide

Literacy is the keystone to success, first in school and then in life; a common saying is that first we learn to read, but then we read to learn. Children who learn to read early and often seem to have the world at their fingertips, while those who struggle with reading quickly find themselves falling further and further behind across all academic subjects.

This makes the early years disproportionately important for a child’s academic career. Children who taste early success continue to build momentum, while those who stumble out of the gate often find they are unable to catch up.

To read the full story, click here.

April 17th, 2015 | 2 Comments

Harnessing the Power of a Teacher’s Pen

Kelly Boswell argues that teachers should share their creative writing processes to benefit their students

I recently asked a group of teachers to reflect on their own experiences as student writers. I asked them to cast their minds back to the time when they were students and recall the kinds of feedback they received about their writing.

Here are a few of their comments:
• “I would say throughout middle and high school, I only received negative feedback. It was usually in summative form, as the final grade was already recorded, and I had no chance to go back and revise anything.”
• “In middle school, I had to write reports, and I remember being so terrified because I was afraid of doing them wrong. I didn’t know how to write a report and wasn’t taught how.”

To read the full story, click here.

April 6th, 2015 | Leave your comments

April 2015

April 2015 Cover

Cutting to the Common Core
Constructive Conversations

Constance Dziombak finds that quality academic conversations help ELLs to clarify and express their arguments

Audio Dissection
Seventeen-year-old Akshay Swaminathan shares his technique to improve world-language comprehension

Harnessing the Power of a Teacher’s Pen
Kelly Boswell argues that teachers should share their creative writing processes to benefit their students

Using Hands-On Manipulatives
Jennifer Nash recommends the tactile approach to motivating students to read and write

Closing English Language Learner Gaps Early
Benjamin Heuston and Haya Shamir of the Waterford Institute examine how adaptive learning software makes the curriculum effective for English language learners worldwide

‘The Single Greatest Educational Effort in Human History’
Judy Heflin charts the success of Mao’s Chinese literacy program

Mandarin More Than Ever
There’s never been a better time to study in China

Last Writes Richard Lederer celebrates Dr. Johnson’s path-breaking dictionary

Reviews Jobshop Source and more.

March 31st, 2015 | Leave your comments

Cutting to the Common Core: Fostering Academic Interaction

Kate Kinsella offers an action plan to encourage second language learners to participate in constructive classroom discussion

A primary goal of English language development and world-language coursework is to ensure that students develop the verbal and written language skills to communicate effectively in social and academic settings. To develop communicative competence, students at all grade levels and proficiency levels need daily supported opportunities using their second languages for diverse purposes. Simply providing provocative questions and exhortations to “share with a neighbor” will not yield impressive linguistic results. In this frequent classroom scenario, students are likely to respond inefficiently and inaudibly, using brief phrases punctuated by everyday vocabulary, without being able to recall their lesson partners’ contributions.

To read the full story, click here.

March 26th, 2015 | Leave your comments

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Quick Links

The World As We Speak

Texas Introduces House Bill to adopt Seal of Bilingualism and Biliteracy
If approved, seal could appear on diplomas as early as the 2013-2014 school year

Brazilian Literature Goes Global
Reading Brazil Digitally and in Translation.

NY Becomes 2nd State to Recognize Biliterate Grads

Feds Face Foreign Language Crisis
Senate hearing discussed how the lack of adequately trained language specialists compromises national security.

State Dept Chooses Kindle for Worldwide English
In an effort to promote English literacy around the world, the U.S. Department of State is planning to purchase up to 35,000 Kindle e-readers as well as selected content. The Kindles would be distributed to U.S.-friendly educational centers around the world so as to be available to those looking to study English and learn about America.

Need for Bilingual Preschools
A new report from the Center for American Progress that urges policymakers to maximize on the investments being made in public preschool programs to serve disadvantaged children. Specifically, the report calls for "more federal, state, and local capacity to meet the increasing demand for culturally and linguistically appropriate services for children who are dual-language learners."

Tensions in Kyrgyzstan over Exams in Uzbek
Nationalists protest the availability of university entrance exams in the Uzbek language.

Linguistic Diversity Linked to Biodiversity
Linguistic and cultural preservation may be the key to protecting biodiversity.

English Proficiency Biggest Hurdle for Brazilian Scholars
At a time when Brazilians have more resources and opportunities to study abroad than ever, lacking language skills a hinderance.

Cajoling All Teachers to Consider ELLs
New report examines how to prepare teachers for the fastest growing student population in the U.S.

Language Education Cuts Compromise National Security
New Council on Foreign Relations report calls education a national security issue

Canada Instates Language Tests for Some Immigrants
Exams on proficiency in either English or French will be stated for certain immigrants in June

San Jose School Hosts Spanish Spelling Bee
First Spanish spelling bee in northern California held at a dual language academy

English is Number One Language Test in Georgia
Students in final year of school aim to take English instead of Russian in foreign language exam

Promotion of French Language is Hot Topic
The separatist opposition party in Quebec rallys for French

U.S. Demand for Portuguese Increasing
Universities scramble to keep up with influx of learners

Urdu Gets Official Status Around India
Urdu to become a language of instruction in Muslim communities

Norwegian Language Camp to be Launched
Camp will focus on Norwegian language and cultural immersion activities

National Center for Family Literacy Ruminates on Education Policy at Conference
Conference of educators, advocates, and policy makers highlights family literacy

New Arabic Center Symbolizes Chinese-Emirati Exchange
Beijing's University of Foreign Studies unveils remodeled center for Arabic language and Islamic studies.

Promoting French in Pakistan
After an exodus of native French teachers, France pushes its language and culture in Pakistan.

Columbia’s Teacher College Addresses International Education with TEDx
Inaugural TEDx conference on international education takes places

Irish Language on the Rise, but not in Ireland
Could heritage learners abroad save Irish?

Santorum: Puerto Ricans Should Learn English
While visiting Puerto Rico, Santorum turns off Boricua voters.

International Summit on Teaching Profession Takes Place in New York
Delegations from 23 countries and regions discuss education issues at the second annual summit

Journey to Find Indigenous Languages in Trip of the Tongue
New book by Elizabeth Little covers indigenous languages throughout the United States


International Portuguese educators come together to teach Timorese teachers

Read Across America Kicks Off March 2
Students all over the U.S. will celebrate literacy on Dr. Seuss's birthday

Equatorial Guinea Strengthens Connection to Portuguese
Portuguese linguists to document archaic dialect from the Annobón province.

To read from The World As We Speak Archive, click here.

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