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Loyola to offer new Teaching English Language Learners certificate

| By Nick Alexopulos

The teacher education department in Loyola University Maryland's School of Education has launched a Teaching English Language Learners (TELL) certificate program for certified teachers and other school-based professionals who are seeking additional coursework beyond a bachelor's degree in the areas of bilingual education or English as a second language education.

The part-time, 15-credit program will first be offered in summer 2013, and students will be able to complete the program in one year.

"Our rigorous focus of study will give talented teachers access to a challenging curriculum that prepares them to be effective educators in a society where linguistic and cultural diversity continues to grow," said Afra Hersi, Ph.D., assistant professor in Loyola’s teacher education department and director of the literacy program at the School of Education. "In accordance with Loyola’s Jesuit mission, we’re confident the TELL program will also encourage educators to take on leadership roles in their school communities."

School systems across the country are experiencing increased demand for educators with expertise in second-language teaching, learning, and assessment at all instructional levels. Between 1979 and 2007, the number of school-age children in the United States who spoke a language other than English at home increased from 3.8 to 10.8 million. In Maryland, this population has grown 28 percent between 2000 and 2007, much faster than the national average.

To better serve this population, students in the TELL program will learn to identify and effectively use research-based best practices in bilingual/ESOL instruction, design instruction reflecting effective assessment and learning strategies, and demonstrate sensitive and innovative instruction respecting cultural differences.

Courses will be offered at Loyola's Timonium and Columbia graduate campuses.

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