Minister plans ban on shaky visa deals

October 22, 2008

CANBERRA, AUSTRALIA–The Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, wants tougher laws to combat the rise of shonky education agents promising Australian visas to overseas students when they can deliver no such thing. Increasingly, unscrupulous dealers in Australia and overseas are selling dubious study packages offering tuition, work experience and an Australian visa, a full story


Teacher arrested for possession of crack

October 22, 2008

NEW LONDON, CT–A New London middle school teacher is learning a tough lesson after being arrested in Westerly, Rhode Island for possession of crack cocaine. Possession of crack is a charge which concerns many at the Bennie Dover Jackson Middle school. “It’s disturbing because you trust the teachers when you send your kids to school.  And to find out something like full story


District defends ELL decision

October 22, 2008

VERONA, WI–After backing a controversial change last week to the way Spanish-speaking students are educated in local schools, Verona Area School District officials are refuting charges that the move was a “step backward.” The changes represent the “deliberative hard work” of a 12-person ad hoc committee that spent six months studying the issue before picking the best solution, said superintendent Dean Gorrell. full story  original story


What CAN Title III Funds Be Spent On?

October 22, 2008

LEARNING THE LANGAUGE–At the LEP Partnership meeting last week, several U.S. Department of Education officials spelled out for state education officials what federal Title III funds cannot be spent on. But I came away wondering what the funds CAN be spent on. Title III is the part of the No Child Left Behind Act that authorizes funds for English-language-acquisition programs. full story


D65 subgroups fail to meet federal mandates

October 22, 2008

EVANSTON, IL–Administrators at Evanston/Skokie School District 65 have filed an appeal after failing to meet standards for the No Child Left Behind Act for the first time in three years. The appeal alleges the district was unfairly hurt by a change in the test given to “limited English proficient” students. In past years, these students were able to take a less complex test. full story


Menand on linguistic morality

October 22, 2008

LANGUAGE LOG–Louis Menand (“Thumbspeak“, The New Yorker, 10/20/2008) aims a gibe at my profession: [P]rofessional linguists, almost universally, do not believe that any naturally occurring changes in the language can be bad. As a representative of the species, I can testify that this is false. Rather, we believe that moral and aesthetic judgments about language should be based full story


‘Salad Bowl’ of English Teaching

October 22, 2008

SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA–Diversity has been the chief buzzword in education across the globe over the past 30 years. Few would challenge the benefits of a broader perspective, of social inclusion, of representative sampling. On the other hand, aspects have been hotly contested, such as affirmative action and desegregation. full story


No judgements: Global Language Monitor tracks political buzzwords, filters through Obamarama and surges out of the quagmire

October 22, 2008

BABBEL BLOG–After posting last week about the CNN story proclaiming that Sarah Palin spoke at a higher grade level than Joe Biden, I was curious about the organization that made this assessment, and what they thought it meant. Now that curiosity has brought Babbel Blog together with Paul JJ Payack of Global Language Monitor to speak about political buzzwords — full story


ESL population growing

October 22, 2008

AMARILLO, TX–Schools in Amarillo are serving an increasing number of students who speak little or no English. Although Spanish-speakers make up the largest portion of those students, the Amarillo Independent School District serves 3,500 students from 24 foreign countries who speak any one of 30 languages. And the number of students needing special instruction to learn English has full story


Governor’s deficit mitigation plan includes cuts to medical interpreters

October 22, 2008

HARTFORD, CT–Today the Governor announced her plan to address CT’s looming $268 million state budget deficit. Her plan cuts $1.175 million in previously approved funding for medical interpretation services in the Medicaid program. The CT Health Foundation reports that 22,000 people with limited English proficiency were enrolled in CT’s Medicaid program in 2003 and that full story