DEKALB — English as a second language (ESL) programs are becoming increasingly popular in teaching programs across the country. And no wonder. ESL credentials are increasingly necessary for teachers to land jobs.
The reason: an exploding number of English language learners in public schools. In this state alone, according to a 2011 Illinois State Board of Education report, almost 200,000 English language learners were enrolled in the K-12 system.
“That number is only growing,” said James Cohen, an assistant professor of bilingual education in Northern Illinois University’s College of Education. “Most of these students are in Chicago and the suburbs; however, districts in the surrounding counties are also growing and are always looking for ESL and bilingual teachers. Every single teacher in Illinois will eventually have an English language learner in his or her classroom.”
Cohen administers an innovative ESL program called Project DREAMS. The U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition provided a $1.8 million grant to fund the program.
For the complete article see the 12-02-2012 issue.
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