Grant Opportunity!

Something our friends at TESOL asked us to share from The International Research Foundation for English Education:

TIRF is pleased to announce its 2015 Doctoral Dissertation Grants (DDG) competition. Grants of up to US $5,000 will be made to successful applicants investigating any of the following topics:

  • Bilingualism or Plurilingualism in Business, Industry, and the Professions
  • Language Assessment
  • Optimal Uses of Technology in the Delivery of English Language Instruction
  • Language Teacher Education
  • Students’ Age and Effective English Language Education in Schools
  • Language Policy and Planning

Applicants must be enrolled in legitimate doctoral programs and must have been advanced to candidacy. That is, they must have completed any required coursework and/or examinations, and must have had their research plan officially approved by the university.

TIRF is pleased to note that half of available funding for the 2015 DDG competition will be used to fund doctoral candidates’ research at universities in the countries on the OECD DAC list of countries: These monies will also be used to fund candidates’ research whose work has the potential for positive impact in countries on the list of nations on the OECD DAC list.

TIRF is particularly interested in research proposals that have clear implications for policy makers and others in positions to make decisions about English language education practices. Thus doctoral students from countries on theOEDC DAC list are eligible, as are candidates whose work has the potential to directly and positively influence English language education in those countries.

The application deadline is April 22, 2015. For further information, please visit

TIRF and its Trustees are grateful to be working in partnership with Cambridge English Language Assessment and the British Council, as well as individual donors, in making possible the 2015 DDG competition.

You are welcome to write to if you have any questions about this announcement.

Best wishes,

Kathi Bailey, President of TIRF

Ryan Damerow, Executive Assistant of TIRF


White House looking for ideas

Dear Colleagues,


As you all know, in November 2014, the President created a White House Task Force on New Americans.  The goal of the Task Force is to develop a federal immigrant and refugee integration strategy that allows new Americans to contribute to society to their fullest potential and bring new Americans together with their receiving communities to strengthen communities.

Yesterday, the White House issued a Blog post highlighting the creation of the Task Force.  Additionally, the blog is intended to serve as a CALL FOR IDEAS to help shape the focus of the federal immigration and refugee integration strategy.  The White House created a specific email account for gathering stakeholder ideas; Please send your ideas, big or small, to by February 9th, 2014. 

Office of the Press Secretary

7 Essential Practices in new MOOC

New MOOC: “Seven Essential Practices for Developing Academic Oral Language and Literacy in Every Subject”

JAN 14, 2015 / 12:00 AM PST TO JAN 31, 2015 / 12:00 PM PST
We are pleased to announce that our new MOOC “Seven Essential Practices for Developing Academic Oral Language and Literacy in Every Subject” is now open for registration. Please share this with teachers and coaches in your networks. FREE ENROLLMENT is available at:
“Seven Essential Practices for Developing Academic Oral Language and Literacy in Every Subject” is a collaborative course offered by the Academic Language Development Network (ALDN). It will be co-taught by Susan O’Hara (REEd), Jeff Zwiers (Stanford University) and Robert Pritchard (Sacramento State University).
This course facilitates the practical exploration and expertise-building of seven essential ALD (academic language development) practices that have been identified as being powerful for developing school language and literacy across grade levels and content areas and for supporting the implementation of new standards. The course focuses on three “high-impact” practices: Using complex texts; Fortifying complex output (written and oral); and Fostering academic interactions. These are supported by four essential practices: Clarifying; Modeling; Guiding; and Designing instruction. This course looks closely at the development of “language for content and content for language.” It organizes a massive collaboration of educators who wish to support students, particularly English Language Learners, in developing their abilities to use complex language.
The overall goal is for participating educators to better understand and develop the academic uses of language in school-based learning and apply what they learn in the future. The MOOC will begin on January 14 and end on June 14, and is open to educators in all states.
If you have questions about the course, please feel free to contact Hsiaolin Hsieh at We look forward to working with you in the course, and wish you a wonderful holiday season!

EVO starts on Monday!

If you’re looking at improving your practice in teaching ELLs, the Electronic Village Online might be just the place for you. It’s five weeks of free professional development. Who could say no to that?

Screen Shot 2015-01-10 at 12.12.34 PMThis link will take you to the EVO.

Last year I tried making an ebook in the Creating eTextooks class. It was so fascinating, listening to experts in our field and expanding my own horizons. Here is the book I made.

And here is the welcoming message from the site:

For five weeks in January and February, TESOL experts and participants from around the world engage in collaborative online discussions or hands-on virtual workshops of professional and scholarly benefit. These sessions bring together participants for a longer period of time than is permitted by land-based professional development conventions and allow a fuller development of ideas than is otherwise possible.

Sessions are free and open to anyone around the globe. It is not necessary to attend the TESOL Convention in order to participate. All you need is access to the Internet. Choose a session from this year’s offerings, listed below.  And please inform your colleagues about this unparalleled professional development opportunity!

 Nina Liakos, on behalf of the EVO Coordination Team

So make a new year’s resolution to try something new! I’m thinking I might enroll in Flipped Learning this time around… What have you got to lose?


Beth Evans is the NNETESOL webmaster and teaches English language learners in Vermont.

Deadline extended for CAEP Reviewers

The CAEP Reviewer applications deadline has been extended to Monday 12 January 2015.

TESOL International Association is seeking experienced ELL teachers, administrators, researchers, and/or program evaluators in the United States to serve as CAEP reviewers. If you are interested in ways to increase your professional expertise and help advance the field, this is a great way to get involved!

Reviewers will contribute their expertise to the adjudication of TESOL program reports submitted by institutions seeking recognition in the United States by the Commission for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP, formerly NCATE).

For more information about what reviewing entails, benefits of participation, and reviewer qualifications, please visit TESOL/CAEP Reviewers homepage.

WIDA Call for Proposals

Call for Proposals Now Open Through February 1

The call for proposals is now open for the 2015 WIDA National Conference, which will take place October 15-17 in Las Vegas. All educators, regardless of Consortium member status, are encouraged to submit proposals. For more information, including instructions, guiding questions, and timelines, please visit theWIDA Conference website.


A note from the CALL Interest Section

If you are planning on attending TESOL Convention this year, please consider joining our team of volunteers in the Electronic Village.  You can volunteer as much time as you want and will be part of the dynamic and engaging world of computer-assisted language learning.
TESOL will provide $50 reimbursement off a regular conference registration for 4 or more volunteer hours.
Attached is a CALL for Volunteer letter that provides more details regarding volunteering.  To sign up to volunteer, please compete the Google form at
We look forward to seeing you in the EV in Toronto.
Sandy Wagner
Electronic Village Volunteer Co-Coordinator
Luke Coffelt
Electronic Village Volunteer Co-Coordinator

Dear Colleague…

U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the U.S. Department of Justice Release Joint Guidance on English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents
On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, the U.S. Department of Education’s (the Department’s) Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) released a joint guidance entitled “Dear Colleague Letter: English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents,” which outlines the legal obligations of state and local education agencies (SEAs and LEAs) to English learner (EL) students under civil rights laws and other federal requirements. The guidance can be found on OCR’s resource page on the Department‘s website.

U.S. Department of Education Releases First Chapter of “English Learner Tool Kit” for State and Local Education Agencies
The first chapter of a new English Learner Tool Kit—intended to help SEAs and LEAs in meeting their obligations to ELs—has been published on the web by the U.S. Department of Education (the Department). The tool kit is meant to be read in conjunction with the Department’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) newly-released joint guidance, “Dear Colleague Letter: English Learner Students and Limited English Proficient Parents,” which outlines SEAs’ and LEAs’ legal obligations to EL students under civil rights laws and other federal requirements. The first chapter of the Tool Kit, “Tools and Resources for Identifying All English Learners,” can be found on the website of the Department’s Office of English Language Acquisition (OELA). More tool kit chapters will be posted there (and will be announced here in Nexus and on the NCELA website) as they are published. The joint guidance and other relevant resources can be found on OCR’s resources page.

Miss the conference?

Did you miss our conference at SIT?

It was fantastic! And a few of our presenters are willing to share. You can check out some of the presentations at this link while you’re thinking about coming next year when we do it all over again…

Care to help out ETS?

From our mailbox…

My name is Alexis Lopez and I am a Research Scientist at Educational Testing Service (ETS) in Princeton, New Jersey.  My colleagues and I are conducting a research study to examine how teachers use their students’ home language in instruction and assessment.

To collect this information, we are inviting ESL teachers in middle and high school to complete a 15 minute on-line survey about how they use or facilitate the use of the students’ home language in the classroom and in assessment.  The survey results are completely confidential.

We are requesting that you send this email invitation to ESL teachers in your organization, which contains a link to the online survey.  If you yourself are a(n) ESL teacher in middle or high school, please feel free to complete a survey.

Our research team thanks you in advance for your time and consideration.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Thank you for your assistance.


Alexis A. Lopez, Ph.D.
Research Scientist
English Language Learning and Assessment
Educational Testing Service
660 Rosedale Road, MS 04-R
Princeton, NJ 08541
Tel: 609-734-1985

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