Ross Thorburn rejects the illogical insistence upon banning mother tongues in the second-language classroom The War on Drugs In 1998, the United Nations decided that it was going to eradicate drugs from planet Earth by 2008. The project was doomed to failure from the start. Human beings have been getting high since prehistoric times. How could the UN hope to eradicate...

Ann Abbott sees tensions in Spanish programs that cannot hold In one of my roles as a director of Undergraduate Studies at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), I work closely with our advisor, I speak directly with potential students and their parents, and I am on our department’s curriculum committee. On the one hand, I am passionate about Spanish and...

M. Elhess, E. Elturki, and J. Egbert offer strategies to support creativity in the language classroom “Our students aren’t creative,” claimed one of the language teachers in the professional development workshop. The other participating teachers nodded in agreement. “How do you know?” asked the workshop facilitator. The teacher hesitated. “Well,” she said, “I guess I don’t. We don’t ask them to do anything creative, mostly...

Stephen Noonoo shares best practices for blended learning programs that work During the past few years, blended learning has been hailed by schools worldwide as everything from the future of education to the conduit that will finally make true differentiated instruction a reality. And it is not all hype: the best blended-learning programs truly can move away from the lecture-based...

Dr. Kate Kinsella offers evidence-based instructional practices to advance students’ verbal and written command of critical words Vocabulary Knowledge and Overall Academic Achievement Vocabulary plays a crucial role in all aspects of academic competence in K–12 schooling. Certainly, one of the most consistent findings in reading research is the extent to which students’ vocabulary knowledge directly supports their reading comprehension (Baumann and...

Denise Murray examines the future of the TESOL profession in preparation for next month’s international summit What are the megatrends (political, economic, social, intercultural, legal, and digital) that are impacting English and English language education? How can we overcome the native speaker as the standard and address the changing realities of English language use around the world? How can practice shape...

Margarita Calderón and Shawn Slakk believe that the whole school is responsible for the success of English learners English learners (ELs) are no longer solely the responsibility of the ESL teacher. The entire school’s staff of educators—counselors, secretaries, and of course administrators included—should embrace the success of ELs along with all their peers. Leadership teams are deliberately deciding to focus...

Despite a passionate appeal by Senator Elizabeth Warren, the U.S. Senate has voted in favor of rolling back critical regulations of the ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) by a narrow margin of 50 to 49. This is the same bill that passed with the bipartisan support of 85 senators less than 18 months ago. “Today’s repeal undermines important civil rights...

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With a collection of award-winning e-books, Fable Learning’s digital content is specially designed to engage Pre-K–8 students in learning and discovery. Educators rely on Fable Learning for enhanced support to inspire reading and meet learning objectives in the classroom, in the library, and at home. Curated by educators for educators, the Fable Learning Collection offers over 600 handpicked fiction and...

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Studies indicate that background noise hinders learning for all kids especially English language learners impact-on-ell_kn0153us01-2-1-1 According to a new study, toddlers who spend a lot of time in noisy environments may have a harder time learning to speak, because background noise—especially the kind that comes from voices on the television or radio—can make it tough for young children to learn new...