Two professors in the Graduate School of Education (GSE) are training teachers to work effectively with students in regular classroom settings who speak little or no English. Funded by a five-year, $749,270 U. S. Department of Education (DOE) grant, Angela Carrasquillo, Ph.D., associate dean of GSE and director of the Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages Program (TESOL), and Chun Zhang, Ph.D., associate professor in the Division of Curriculum and Teaching and coordinator for the Early Childhood and Early Childhood Special Education Programs, will train 125 regular-education teachers who work in high-need New York City districts.

“In reality, the lack of understanding of many regular-education teachers about English-language learners makes teachers uncomfortable in working with [these students],” said Zhang.  “It is important to train these teachers so they can design and provide rich language and instructional opportunities throughout the day for English-language learners in regular-education classrooms.”

Teachers selected for the project will learn more about the cultural and academic needs of their English-learning students, in addition to becoming familiar with state standards related to teaching students who speak little or no English. Teachers will also learn second-language learning theories and instructional strategies to meet the needs of English-language learners in regular-education settings.

This is the second DOE teacher-training grant Carrasquillo and Zhang have received. In 2002, the pair was awarded a five-year, nearly $1.5 million grant to train 60 teachers to work effectively with limited-English proficient and English-language learning students. Participating teachers obtained a Master of Science in Teaching in TESOL, which will prepare them to teach students at the early-childhood level.