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January 16, 2014

Business | US

ILSC set to open New York school in April

ilsc-logo.gifThe PIE (Professionals in International Education) News reports that Canada-based language school chain ILSC Education Group is soon to open a new school in downtown Manhattan.

Global language school chain, ILSC Education Group is set to open its second US location in New York in April 2014, and will be fully accredited by CEA to offer I-20s to international students after acquiring a smaller school in September last year.

The company is currently building the school centre in downtown Manhattan with capacity to hold 300 students. The school’s director David Hughes said it will aim to be a “cultural experience” for students.

“New York is a unique kind of place so we’re looking to attract students who want to be in here but we also want to bring in creative, artistic and musical types to really make the school a cultural experience not just a language learning experience,” he told The PIE News.

Located in the heart of the financial district, Hughes says there will be a large appeal for business and executive students as well once the new building opens.

“Students learn quickly when they are able to really express their personalities and passions inside the classroom,” said Hughes. “I think New York’s rich culture and its significant place in the global financial world will offer students an exciting learning experience both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Read the full article from The PIE News.

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November 24, 2013

US | Business

TEFL Institute probed over "deceptive advertising"

tefl-institute-logo.jpg Only a month after protests by employees over "stolen wages", Chicago-based TEFL Institute is under investigation again.

The consumer watchdog Truth in is probing into the Chicago-based TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) Institute over alleged "deceptive advertising claims."

TEFL Institute offers an international 150-hour certification program that can cost more than $1,000,'s investigation shows.

TEFL Institute, located in Chicago's North Center neighborhood, wrote on its website that it is accredited by NATEFLAC, which is supposedly a “leading TEFL accrediting organization based in the U.S." The researchers at, however, found that the hyperlink provided for NATEFLAC doesn't work.

In response to questions about NATEFLAC's legitimacy, TEFL Institute president Ti Ron Gibbs's wrote in an email on November 21 to that "TEFL is undergoing accreditation. The information on our final accreditation will be made public once it is done. Please check back within two months."

When followed-up by phone with Gibbs the next day, Gibbs said the institute is now getting accredited through another agency, but would not provide specifics.

Read the full article from Progress Illinois.

Related story: Teachers Rally For Stolen Wages Outside TEFL Institute (October 24, 2013)

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August 29, 2013

US | Education

Why the alarm is going off about ESL students

ESOL-in-US.jpgAn article on the WRLN website looks at the growing sense of crisis in Florida's ESOL program, which caters to a tenth of the US state’s public school students.

Full disclosure: My wife is a bilingual teacher and my children grew up speaking English and Spanish. But you don’t need those factors in your life to have a vested interest in how well the school program commonly known as ESOL – English for Speakers of Other Languages – is faring in this country, state and community.

Latinos are now the largest minority in the US. Florida’s population growth today is driven largely by Latinos. And Latinos make up almost two-thirds of Miami-Dade County’s residents.

A quarter million Florida youths, a tenth of the state’s public school students, are enrolled in ESOL. The program accounts for a fifth of Miami-Dade’s public school pupils – and more than 25 percent when you include the system’s ESOL adults.

There are certainly Florida schools, like Miami’s Coral Way K-8 Bilingual Center, where ESOL is exemplary. But as a new academic year gets underway – and as classrooms face the more rigorous Common Core standards – there are nagging signs that too many Florida ESOL students are slipping behind. Or as El Nuevo Herald education writer Daniel Shoer Roth recently put it, an “alarm has sounded” among educators across the peninsula.

Read the full article from WLRN.

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July 16, 2013

Online | Publishing | US

Death of the textbook—and the 50-pound bookbag

digital-evolution.jpgiPads and other devices are already in many classrooms, though they tend to supplement rather than replace the printed textbooks that weigh down the bags and backpacks of students the world over. But according to this USA Today article, not for much longer, at least in the US.

The Department of Justice and Apple are battling in court over e-book pricing, but that's not the only high-stakes brawl that's brewing in the publishing industry.

The multi-billion dollar textbook industry is also being shaken up by a slew of forces, from the publishers to tech startups, education non-profits, the government, university professors and, of course, Apple.

Textbook sales, for both higher education and K-12, will reach an estimated $13.7 billion in the U.S. this year, according to Outsell, a research firm. The overall market is expected to increase over the next few years as the student population is growing, according to Kate Worlock, an analyst at Outsell.

Just as with e-books, the shift comes as students turn to their tablets and smartphones for digital textbooks. Just take college student Clayton Brown, who carries an iPad to his biology class at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Read the full article from USA Today.

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June 20, 2013


Silicon Valley’s immigrant janitors learning English at work

Teaching-English-in-USEmployees at the likes of Google and Facebook in California are increasingly taking on the role of English teacher to immigrant workers.

If the immigration bill being debated by the Senate this week becomes law, millions of immigrants eager to become legal residents will need to learn English. It's also currently a requirement for passing the citizenship exam.

But studying is a daunting task for people working multiple jobs, and budget cuts to adult education make finding a class difficult.

Consider the case of Daniel Montes. When he was 18, Montes moved to the Bay Area from Mexico. Everything was an adjustment, but nothing was more difficult than the new language.

“It would be equal to losing your voice and not being able to speak from one day to the next,” he said.

Montes found work as a janitor. He said he remained virtually silent at work for two years until he found an ESL class in a church in San Jose.

Read the full post from New America Media.

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June 10, 2013

US | Linguistics

U.S. a country divided by a common language

us-language-map.jpgHere's what happens when tech geeks and language geeks get together: they produce fascinating visualizations of how "American English" is actually a series of dialects distributed across the continental US.

Joshua Katz, a Ph. D student in statistics at North Carolina State University, recently published a series of maps based on responses to a survey of more than 120 questions.

Based on the Cambridge Online Survey of World Englishes, a project carried out by Bert Vaux and Marius L. Jøhndal of Cambridge University that seeks to collect and analyse data on real-world English usage, the maps will tell you when it would be more appropriate to use "y'all" rather than "you guys" or whether you might could get away with using consecutive modals.

Click here to see the maps.

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June 03, 2013

Tests | US

Teacher Assessments Extending to Art and Gym (and ESL)

Teaching-English-in-US"The New York Times reports today that students and teachers in the state face new evaluations and assessments in a wide range of subjects, including English as a second language.

New York City students have grown accustomed to the restless routine of state tests in math and reading every year. But soon they will face assessments in subjects typically spared from standardized testing, including art, gym and foreign languages.

A new system for evaluating educators, announced by the state on Saturday, will reshape how teachers are hired and fired in the city. It will also have a profound effect on students, who will take part in a series of new exams designed to help administrators grade teachers in specialized subjects.

Read the full story from the New York Times.

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May 28, 2013

US | Education

Nevada eyes English language learner education

Teaching-English-in-US" reports on ELT in Nevada, home to 31% of English language learners in the US.

It’s early one Thursday morning at Jay W. Jeffers Elementary School in Las Vegas, and Lisa Cabrera-Terry’s voice is spilling from the first grade classroom where she’s reading about an illiterate grandma who surprises her family by learning to read.

Cabrera-Terry takes a fat marker to a sheet of poster paper and adds to a wheel-shaped diagram of words that describe feelings.

“If your face beams, you’re sooooo happy,” she said. “Why are they so happy about grandma reading?”

To the untrained eye, the lesson is nothing unusual. But Cabrera-Terry is at a school where 83 percent of incoming kindergartners don’t speak English, where you take every picture book page slow and where you tell students exactly what “astonished” means and explicitly that it’s a word to describe a feeling.

Read the full story from the Reno Gazette-Journal

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May 15, 2013


Mandatory ELT training for Colorado teachers?

Teaching-English-in-USA"A recent article in The Denver Post looks at the increasing need to address the needs of non English-speaking children in the Colorado public school system.

Three kindergartners waited gleefully as Heather Christman showed them a clear plastic bag filled with miniature cars and blocks. The children, all English-language learners, had just finished reading the book "My Car." They would use the blocks and the cars to give examples of words they learned: faster, slower, ramp, bridge, over and under.

Christman teaches at Denver's Goldrick Elementary School, where about 70 percent of the students are learning English. She had no experience working with English learners when she moved to Colorado from Alabama eight years ago to begin a teaching career.

But when she was hired by Denver Public Schools, Christman was required to take two years of training to work with English learners.

Read the full story from The Denver Post...

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April 30, 2013

China | US | France | Crime

English teachers in sex scandals

crimewatch-english-teacher.jpgWhen English teachers make the news, it's not always for good reasons. And when the students are underage, the stories range from borderline consensual to downright predatory. Just the last few days have seen several stories reported from around the world.

Foreign English teachers in China face tighter supervision in the wake of two child sex scandals in Beijing and Nanjing. The government has issued an "urgent notice" on regulating teachers' "daily activities" after two foreigners, one with a criminal record for child pornography and the other on the run from child-sex charges, were able to get jobs as English teachers.

One of the men, a 63-year-old American twice convicted of child pornography offenses in the US, is believed to have already left China. The other is 46-year-old Briton Neil Robinson (show on the BBC's "Crimewatch" website), who is wanted for questioning by British police in connection with child sex offenses. He has been detained by Chinese police for overstaying his visa. Both men worked as English teachers for several years without their past records being exposed. Sources cite poor enforcement of regulations restricting which schools could hire foreign teachers and rigorous background checks before registration as "a foreign expert" and receipt of a work permit.

Read the full story at the South China Morning Post.

In the US, a 27-year-old married English teacher in Virginia has been arrested after having an inappropriate relationship with her 17-year-old student. She has been charged with several offenses, including use of a mobile phone to send lewd photos, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and taking indecent liberties with a minor.

Read the full story at

Reports suggest a slightly more lenient approach in the case of an English teacher in the French city of Lille who had a "consensual" relationship with her 14-year-old female pupil. The girl's parents became suspicious of their daughter’s behaviour, and found hidden letters, emails and text messages of an erotic and romantic nature. They consulted medical and school authorities before the case was brought to the police. The teacher, who is 34 and unmarried, had already been transferred to a different school by the time the affair was revealed and is due to appear in court in June.

Read the full story at The Local.

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Students sue California for ESL support

Teaching-English-in-US"20,000 students sue the state of California and its eductators for failing to give adequate language instruction to non-native English speakers. According the the ACLU, the state education system's lack of English instruction could be holding the 20,000 students back in school.

Read the full story at Christian Science Monitor)

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About US

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to ELT News in the US category. They are listed from newest to oldes.

Mexico is the previous category.

Many more can be found by looking through the archives.

Recent Headlines


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Helene J Uchida
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Useful Links


  • ALTEThe Association of Language Testers in Europe
  • British CouncilInformation, resources, and links to other sites
  • Cambridge English Language AssessmentInformation on examination and qualifications for teachers and students
  • IALICInternational Association for Languages and Intercultural Communication
  • IALLTInternational Association for Language Learning Technology
  • IATEFL"Linking, developing and supporting" ELT professionals worldwide
  • TESOL IncPublishing, connecting, events and career development for teachers




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