Lawrence
ETS - Aug 2011

Lessons from the Ukrainian Conflict

Angelika Putintseva’s firsthand experience leads her to believe that language intolerance is the root cause of conflict on the shores of the Black Sea

Crimea is my motherland; I was born there. My roots and extended family are deeply connected to Crimea, the Ukrainian territory that recently voted to join Russia. Moscow is my second home, and I spent nearly a decade living, studying, and working in the Russian capital before immigrating to the U.S. This August, I spent a week in Moscow and a week in Crimea to see and decide for myself what has been happening there this year. What follow are my personal notes and conclusions as a Crimean-born, Russian-raised language teacher.

To read the full story, click here.

October 20th, 2014 | Leave your comments

Cutting to the Common Core: Sticking to the Script

Timothy Shanahan reassesses the role of handwriting in literacy development

My father, who had no more than an eighth-grade education, wrote in a beautiful Palmer hand. His one-room schoolhouse education did not promise to take him far, but it did allow him to place words on paper in an elegant and readable manner. And this skill had practical utility beyond its aesthetic beauty, since he worked for many years as a bookkeeper.

But the public value of handwriting has diminished during the ensuing century. In fact, the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) don’t even mention handwriting, cursive, or manuscript printing.

To read the full story, click here.

October 9th, 2014 | Leave your comments

October 2014

October 2014 Cover

Cutting to the Common Core
What Does CCSS Mean for Early Learning?

Benjamin Heuston explains why a publisher has adapted its early learning materials to complement the new standards

Cutting to the Common Core
Sticking to the Script

Timothy Shanahan reassesses the role of handwriting in literacy development

Lessons from the Ukrainian Conflict
Angelika Putintseva’s firsthand experience leads her to believe that language intolerance is the root cause of conflict on the shores of the Black Sea

Breaking Barriers to German
Alexander Voll celebrates the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall

Customizing Videos for School
Claire Miller explains how TED-Ed enables teachers to turn almost any video into an engaging learning experience

Last Writes Richard Lederer has a ball with monsters of all kinds

Reviews Jobshop Source and more.

October 7th, 2014 | Leave your comments

Animating All Students

Gregory van Zuyen reports on the way Terry Thoren and Rudy Verbeeck are using cartoons to help teach language skills and learning habits in class

One of the many challenges facing educators at this time of year is getting students back into the right behavioral mode for learning. It’s natural for students to slip out of “school habits” during the summer, but reinstating good learning practices can be time-consuming and frustrating. Unfortunately, there’s now so much pressure on teachers to stick to the curriculum on a day-by-day basis that there’s little time to ease students back into the educational rhythm.

Terry Thoren, the former CEO of Klasky Csupo, Inc. — the animation studio behind Nickelodeon’s world-famous Rugrats and The Wild Thornberrys — is working with business partner Rudy Verbeeck to produce WonderGrove Learn an education website intended to be used in the classroom by educators to teach social skills, functional life skills and bilingualism.

To read the full story, click here.

October 7th, 2014 | Leave your comments

September 2014

September 2014 Cover

Testing Reformed
Lance Knowles explains how advances in technology and cognitive neuroscience allow us to assess and modify the quality of learning and practice

Animating All Kids
Gregory van Zuyen reports on the way Terry Thoren and Rudy Verbeeck are using cartoons to help teach language skills and learning habits in class

Arabic for America
Carine Allaf outlines the benefits and challenges of learning Arabic at K–12

Arabic at Large
They may be at opposite ends of the Arab world, but both Morocco and Oman offer international students the cultural experience of a lifetime within safe environments

Grading in a Perfect World
Myron Dueck, Paul Thomas, and Melissa Tomlinson offer their ideas of testing utopia

Testing Form and Function
Tests come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, so here’s a reference guide to help supervisors, administrators, and teachers choose Common Core–aligned assessments

Last Writes Richard Lederer and Caroline McCullagh on a star-spangled bicentennial

Reviews Jobshop Source and more.

August 31st, 2014 | Leave your comments

Operation Accent

Justyna Kozyra-Bober asks if later learners are on an impossible mission to sound like natives

After you get over the idea of sweet Felicity spying on the American government, the Cold War intrigues, complicated marriages, and fashion staples of the ‘80s make The Americans a dramatic and entertaining watch. But is it believable? With another season of FX’s political drama just around the corner, let’s look at the question from a linguistic point of view.

The Americans tells the story of two Soviet KGB spies living undercover, as an all-American couple. In flashbacks to their late adolescent years in the USSR, we can hear them speak English with heavy Russian accents. Yet the Jenningses, the perfect couple, are somehow able…

To read the full story, click here.

August 26th, 2014 | 3 Comments

We Are Family

Mary Catherine Thomson enthuses about the long-term success of a sister school program

For a small school community rooted in Sandy Springs, Georgia, Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School has a surprisingly large family, one that stretches far past the Atlanta city limits. Over the past decade, there has been a conscious effort to promote a school community that is increasingly connected with the surrounding world, and a big part of this global outreach has come through strong foreign exchange programs. These programs have become a part of the school’s culture and have grown to include sister schools in Japan, France, Argentina, and South Africa.

To read the full story, click here.

August 14th, 2014 | Leave your comments

Tools for Achieving Oral Fluency

Marsha Appling-Nunez finds help for the multilevel ELL classroom

Many new English language learner (ELL) instructors first begin teaching with the idea that their students will be terrified to speak English. Like many other teachers, these instructors may have even imagined that each of their students would have the same level of reading, writing, speaking, and listening skills; that the students would never ask, while the instructor is explaining a task, if they can go to the bathroom (code for using their cell phones); that they would be eager to participate, never arrive late nor leave class early. For these perfect students, these same teachers would create a safe learning environment, offering creative, engaging, and most importantly meaningful classroom activities. Then the miracle would occur: suddenly…

To read the full story, click here.

August 11th, 2014 | Leave your comments

Cutting to the Common Core: My Students Can’t Read So How Will They Write?

Hillary Wolfe recommends building strategic scaffolds to assist adolescent writing

One of the biggest instructional shifts resulting from the Common Core State Standards is the increased emphasis on writing. Students will be expected to write in all content areas, for various purposes, and over varying lengths of time (Writing Anchor Standard 10). Argument writing has been elevated to a high priority (indicated by its placement as Writing Anchor Standard 1). And writing must include textual evidence, in-depth analysis, and structures appropriate to task, purpose, and audience (Writing Anchor Standard 4) (CCSS, 2010). For a seventh-grade student who is reading at a fourth-grade level, how will this happen?

To read the full story, click here.

August 7th, 2014 | Leave your comments

Keeping It Real

Pat Guiney advocates the use of authentic content in the language classroom

For years, theorists and cutting-edge language educators alike have been advocating a move away from rote learning and grammar-centered instruction. Many believe that facilitating content-driven, learner-centered acquisition is a better approach. However, until recently, there were few resources available to achieve this.

To read the full story, click here.

August 5th, 2014 | 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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