Education

What Kind of Training Makes Sense for Teachers of ELLs?

By Mary Ann Zehr — November 25, 2008 1 min read

Most teachers in Indiana assigned to teach English as a second language don’t hold a certification in the subject, according to an article published in the Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne, Ind.

Under new guidelines in 2006, Indiana requires teachers who teach English as a second language to students in middle or high school to hold a certification in the subject. Elementary school teachers who teach ESL, however, aren’t required to have training to work with English-language learners. And many teachers assigned to teach ESL who were hired before 2006 don’t have a certification in the subject. The Nov. 23 article discusses how some teachers believe that experience is more important than certification and others believe that all teachers of ESL should be certified in that subject.

The article doesn’t raise the issue of whether mainstream teachers who work with ELLs should have had special training to work with them, such as is required in Arizona, California, and Florida. A number of school districts have chosen to require training for all teachers in strategies to work with ELLs, even if their state education officials and legislators haven’t recognized a need for it.

A version of this news article first appeared in the Learning the Language blog.