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data & analysis

Not-so-easy listening?

Why is there so much variation in the performance of East Asian countries in the skills tested by Ielts?

And do the Chinese need to give up their attachment to traditional teaching in L1 in order to excel? Melanie Butler investigates

Jocelyn Wang, head of teacher development at China’s largest language school chain, New Oriental, recently gave a heartfelt defence of the Chinese system of English language training. At this year’s Iatefl conference, she showed video clips of expert Chinese teachers delivering lectures mostly in Mandarin while the students sat in rapt attention, occasionally taking notes.

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Do ELLs sink or swim in the mainstream?

New studies show that mainstreaming ELLs in the US does not have any one particular effect on their attainment at high school – outcomes can vary considerably.

Claudia Civinini looks at an important issue for educators and policy makers

To reclassify or not to reclassify? With more students than ever entering the US education system with limited English skills, this is the question keeping US policy makers and researchers busy.

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It’s The Relationship, Stupid!

Accent Main Photo
by Mark Waistell, Accent International

On the wall of my office is a faded quotation from the legendary drama teacher and academic Dorothy Heathcote which says: “….a race of teachers who are unafraid to make relationships with classes; who are unafraid to admit that they do not know; who never stop seeking to learn more about the dynamics of teaching…. and who work to suit the needs of their classes at any time in order to keep learning meaningful….”.

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How Safe Is Your School?

p22 Pic courtesy Martin Cooper

by Melanie Butler
One of the biggest concerns for the students and their families when choosing a language course is safety. Contrary to popular belief, the UK is actually an extremely safe country. For adult students, the main safety concern is crime. It is very difficult to compare violent crime across countries because the crimes are defined differently: in Sweden, for example, all prostitution is counted as rape. In England and Wales a crime against a person, rather than against their property, is a violent crime even if no physical violence was involved.

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Delving deeper into the data


HISTORICALLY, THE EL Gazette Rankings have been based on strengths awarded in the British Council Inspectors summary statements. These report strengths and needs for improvement in fourteen or fifteen different areas depending whether a centre enrols under 18s. In the full reports on these schools, rather than in the summary statements, sub-strengths are noted for over 100 different criteria. If we calculated the scores on each criteria, would that make any difference to the rankings?

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