PBS TeacherLine has introduced a new collection of courses that focuses on the unique educational needs of English language learners (ELL). More than 5.5 million school-age children in the U.S. are English language learners, comprising 10 percent of the preK-12 student population. Projections indicate that the ELL student population will amount to 50 percent of all students by 2015. Through the Supporting English Language Learners series from PBS TeacherLine, teachers learn skills and techniques that accelerate students' mastery of English and enable students to keep pace with classroom instruction.
Enrollment of preK-12 English language learners is growing at almost 10 times the rate of total public school student enrollment. Yet, only 30 percent of public school teachers instructing ELL students have received appropriate training, according to the Education Commission of the States. The accountability mandates of the No Child Left Behind Act require that ELL students' test scores be factored into the determination of whether a school is making adequate yearly progress. Providing the means to train more teachers in this area would be a significant contribution to improving student achievement, the announcement states.
The new collection of PBS TeacherLine courses provides teachers with theoretical and practical information that they can apply immediately to the classroom to help ELL students develop language skills, meet learning standards and achieve academic success. The ELL courses cover language development, technology integration, and assessment in pre-Kindergarten through third grade.
The Supporting English Language Learners series comprises three 10-hour courses designed to provide a quick immersion into specific instructional strategies and pedagogy and to accommodate teachers' busy schedules. Rigorously trained facilitators guide teachers through the courses and provide timely, meaningful feedback. Teachers work within a collaborative online learning environment to share ideas and discuss educational practices and challenges.
Teachers can earn professional development points or continuing education units for these courses, depending on their district's requirements.
For more information about PBS TeacherLine and the ELL courses, visit www.pbs.org/teacherline.
Source: PBS TeacherLine, www.pbs.org/teacherline