English-Language Learners Report Roundup

Wanted: Bilingual Staff

By Lesli A. Maxwell — October 02, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Illinois requires some of its publicly funded preschool programs to provide either bilingual or English-as-a-second-language instruction to students who are English-language-learners, a policy it adopted four years ago that is considered groundbreaking.

But a survey of more than 350 of the preschool programs in the state reveals a major shortage of early-childhood teachers who are trained to deliver such instruction to young ELL pupils. That finding—among others—comes as Illinois’ mandate to develop bilingual skills in the state’s 3- and 4-year-olds is just a little more than a year away from taking full effect. Beginning in 2014, teachers who work in state-funded, district-administered preschool classrooms with 20 or more English-learners must hold certification in either bilingual instruction or ESL, in addition to standard credentials in early-childhood education.

The survey found that less than 6 percent of the workforce in the early-childhood field actually has the training and skills necessary to work with Illinois’ large and growing population of young English-learners. And administrators who run such programs report that there is, at best, tepid interest among early-childhood teachers in becoming certified as either bilingual instructors or ESL teachers.

Those, and other key findings, were released last week by New Journalism on Latino Children, a project based at the University of California, Berkeley; the Illinois Early Learning Council; and the Chicago-based Latino Policy Forum.

Even in Latino-heavy communities, the ratios of ell preschoolers to teachers with bilingual training is 50-to-1, according to the survey. Overall, Latinos account for nearly 25 percent of Illinois’ public school enrollment.

A version of this article appeared in the October 03, 2012 edition of Education Week as Wanted: Bilingual Staff

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Budget & Finance Webinar
Innovative Funding Models: A Deep Dive into Public-Private Partnerships
Discover how innovative funding models drive educational projects forward. Join us for insights into effective PPP implementation.
Content provided by Follett Learning
Budget & Finance Webinar Staffing Schools After ESSER: What School and District Leaders Need to Know
Join our newsroom for insights on investing in critical student support positions as pandemic funds expire.
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Student Achievement Webinar
How can districts build sustainable tutoring models before the money runs out?
District leaders, low on funds, must decide: broad support for all or deep interventions for few? Let's discuss maximizing tutoring resources.
Content provided by Varsity Tutors for Schools

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

English-Language Learners ‘A Unique Challenge’: What English Learners With Disabilities Need
From language barriers to bilingual education program lockouts, dual-identified students face unique challenges researchers say.
7 min read
Student trying to navigate a landscape of a different language
Nicole Xu for Education Week
English-Language Learners The Complex Factors Affecting English-Learner Graduation Rates
A new study disaggregated New York City graduation rates to find how various factors impact English learners' graduation rates.
3 min read
Teeanage students doing a test in the classroom
Researchers at New York University and the University of Houston recommend educators break down English-learner data by various sociological factors.
E+ / Getty
English-Language Learners English Learners' Proficiency Scores Are Still in Decline, Data Find
The latest data from a national online English-language assessment found the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic continues.
5 min read
Elementary students in a computer lab
The national average scores on a popular online assessment show that impact from the COVID-19 pandemic remains among English learners' English-language proficiency.
E+ / Getty
English-Language Learners Explainer Title III Funding for English Learners, Explained
As the nation’s English-learner population continues to grow , researchers look to the Title III for how to best support these students.
7 min read
Second grade students raise their hands in Dalia Gerardo's classroom at West Elementary, in Russellville, Ala., on Dec. 9, 2022.
Second grade students raise their hands in Dalia Gerardo's classroom at West Elementary, in Russellville, Ala., on Dec. 9, 2022. Gerardo's classroom includes several English learners served by Title III federal funding.
Tamika Moore for Education Week