*** English lessons for primary school teachers on cards ***
Gandhinagar: The Gujarat government is planning a major campaign to improve the quality of education in primary and middle schools of the state, with special focus on improving teaching in mathematics, science and English. Sources in the government said that one aim of the drive will be to improve teachers’ proficiency in English so that they can teach the language well to students.
An announcement about the campaign (likely to be called ‘Gunotsav’) is expected soon after the Lok Sabha elections are over and it will be formally launched around Diwali this year.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.dnaindia.com
***Essay: Giving English language learners the classroom support they need***
In the 1990s, I was a science teacher at Central East Middle School, now the Feltonville School of Arts & Science. I usually taught five sections of students – more than 150 young adults per week. My classes were built around weekly lab experiments, and I worked hard to make concepts about science concrete through these hands-on and minds-on activities.
On any given Saturday, I could be found with other teachers taking classes or workshops in search of ways to improve my teaching. But I never took a class to help me teach students for whom English was a second language, even though half my students came from homes where English was not spoken by all the adults.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.thenotebook.org
***Schools face teacher shortage, language barriers with computer program***
The sound of little voices broke the silence in the classroom.
“Los niÃ±os escriben,” said the voice in the headphones
“Los niÃ±os escriben,” repeated 7-year-old Alanna Lewis.
For about 300 kindergarten and first grade students at Sam Houston Elementary School in Port Arthur, there’s a new language teacher in town. And it’s not a certified educator.
The Port Arthur school district recently purchased the Rosetta Stone language -learning program to use at three of their campuses, Dowling and Houston elementary schools and Woodrow Wilson Technology Theme School.
The software, which uses pictures, sound and feedback to offer students a self-paced learning program, allows the district to expand its language instruction even when it does not have the teaching staff to do so, said Morcease Beasley, Port Arthur’s deputy superintendent for curriculum, instruction and school leadership.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.beaumontenterprise.com
***English hurts Arabic schools warn***
DUBAI // A state school programme that uses English to teach maths and science is threatening to undermine pupils’ Arabic skills, school principals have warned.
One said the Arabic vocabulary of younger children is so poor, some cannot name their body parts.
Principals from the Madares Al Ghad (Schools of Tomorrow) programme, commonly known as MAG, took their concerns to the Federal National Council (FNC) yesterday. They want the Ministry of Education to take action.
The MAG programme was introduced into 50 schools in the UAE in autumn 2007 by the ministries of Education and of Higher Education and Scientific Research as a pilot programme. One of the main goals is to create bilingual graduates by teaching maths and science in English, as well as the English language.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.thenational.ae
***Teaching: No ‘Fallback’ Career***
As private sector professionals lose their jobs or suffer cutbacks in pay and benefits, more and more of them are thinking about second careers. Public service is suddenly popular with all generations. Teaching may not pay a lot, but it comes with relatively good benefits and, in public schools, job security in the form of tenure after three years.
Read the complete news item here: http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com
***Teaching assistants and English skills***
In response to the editorial of April 13, we agree that teaching assistants need to communicate well in English in order to teach effectively. That’s why the University of Minnesota sponsors a program of assessment for prospective international teaching assistants and sets a higher spoken language score than many of our peer institutions. It’s also why we offer two-credit classroom communication courses for students with lower scores.
These teaching and communication courses address the practicalities of pronunciation, word stress, clarity, fluency and the rhythm and intonation of U.S. English. The courses engage TAs in practice teaching and discussions of cultural topics. Does this training result in “perfect” English? No. Our goal is that international TAs develops the skills required for clearly organized, fluent and comprehensible communication.
Read the complete news item here: http://www.mndaily.com