UK school aims to meet needs of refugees | Canadian school links students to Arabic heritage | Is there too much focus on students' grades?
14 December 2016
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Learning and Teaching
UK school aims to meet needs of refugees
How one UK school meets needs of refugees
Educators at Spires Academy in Oxford assess the needs of refugee students when they enrol and then place those with limited English-language abilities in a programme for beginners. After six weeks, students keep a regular schedule but continue to receive support to help them adjust to life in the UK.
The Guardian (London) (12 Dec.) 
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Canadian school links students to Arabic heritage
A Saskatoon, Canada, heritage school is teaching the Arabic language and culture to Syrian refugee students and those interested in learning about it. The students, ages 3 to 15, are learning how to write Arabic and other lessons in Sunday sessions. (Canada) (07 Dec.) 
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Other News
Maximize learning impact in your classroom
The How The Learning Brain Works Institute will provide you with an easily accessible look at the process for translating the research about how learning works into classroom practice that enhances and accelerates learning. Save $50 on registration when you register a team of 3 or more!
Professional Development
Teachers form PLGs for self-directed PD
Teachers at a high school in Australia have taken control of their professional development through self-directed peer learning groups. One PLG used research-based practices to introduce 10 to 15 minutes of free reading time before lessons for students.
Australian Teacher Magazine online (09 Dec.) 
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Taking a Multisensory Approach to K-5 Reading
Elementary school is a crucial time of growth in the educational journey of children, and strong literacy skills are a key facet of that journey. Using a multisensory approach to K-5 reading can lay a foundation for reading proficiency that lasts a lifetime. Learn how!
Leadership and Governance
Q&A: Why Finland is slipping on PISA
Finland has long been a model of education success, but in recent years its ranking on the Programme for International Student Assessment has been sliding. In this interview, Pasi Sahlberg, a Finnish educator and leading figure in education policy, helps shed light on why the country's PISA results have declined.
The Washington Post (tiered subscription model) (08 Dec.) 
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Other News
Creating Proficient Readers with Multisensory Literacy
Multisensory approaches to literacy have gained popularity in recent years as educators explore new ways to keep their students engaged. When combined with systematic and explicit instruction, multisensory literacy begins to move learners towards being proficient readers.
Read the SmartFocus
Is Snapchat a teaching tool?
Some educators in Ireland are using Snapchat as part of their lessons, where about 85% of 15- to 18-year-old students have an account. Natasha Lynch, a French tutor, has used the mobile app to share educational videos with her students and says the videos have been effective resources.
The Irish Times (Dublin) (12 Dec.) 
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Interest Area Spotlight
Skype expands language-translation capabilities
Skype is expanding the capabilities of its real-time language-translator programme, allowing users to call mobile phones and landlines -- besides Skype accounts -- that are in their contact lists. Experts say the technology, while new, has the potential to be "transformative."
The Christian Science Monitor (12 Dec.) 
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ECIS ESL & Mother Tongue Conference, 3-5 March 2017 (Pre-conference: 2 March 2017)
Tivoli Hotel & Congress Center Copenhagen. Providing a forum to explore, share and construct a common professional understanding of best practices in the four domains of assessment and accountability, approaches, leadership and professional development and culture and identity. Keynote speakers: Jim Cummins, Paul Kei Matsuda, Pauline Gibbons and Stephen Krashen. For further information and bookings please visit (Early Bird registration discount available).
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ECIS Early Childhood Conference, 24-25 March 2017
St. John's International School, Waterloo, Belgium. This conference will offer four key strands focusing on Pedagogy, Creativity, Diversity and Environment. Sessions will focus on practical strategies, insightful tips and building our resource connections. Keynote speakers: Dr. Monica Neagoy & Stuart Stotts. For further information and bookings please visit (Early Bird registration discount available).
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About ECIS
Founded in 1965, ECIS is a global membership organisation that provides professional development opportunities to its members who are comprised of international schools, individuals and educational organisations.
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