This chapter examines recent effective approaches and programs to train teachers how to teach English language learners (ELLs). In doing so, it draws from experiences of recent and ongoing collaborations with four university training programs at pre-service and in-service levels and with teachers of ELLs in several urban school districts enrolled in graduate teacher training programs. It illustrates both the approach and its usefulness in the professional development of all teachers of ELLs. The approach involves selected training courses designed to meet both the Spanish language proficiency needs of mainstream, bilingual and English as a second language teachers, and their common professional development needs to teach ELLs English, their second language, reading and the standardsbased curriculum. The overarching goal of the training programs is to encourage teachers of ELLs to analyze the constraints and opportunities they perceive in teaching ELLs. Real-life experience takes the place of simulation, since teachers experience firsthand the difficulties and challenges faced by their own students when having to attend to new language and content at the same time. For most program students the language of instruction in selected courses is Spanish, their second language and the weekly or biweekly course meetings are conducted almost exclusively in this language guided by the theoretical framework for learning both language and content through sheltered instruction (SI) and the Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol (SIOP). Students benefit from the courses and demonstrate command of the second language to the extent that they can
Liliana Minaya-Rowe University of Connecticut
function in relatively fixed linguistic exchanges (e.g., at school, with their students and their students’ parents), awareness of the teaching and learning process, and apply SI and the SIOP strategies to promote linguistic literacy and academic success for their students. The chapter also discusses the role of programs with courses of this nature as a useful addition in professional development efforts and how teacher training institutions can use them to prepare all teachers of the increasing multilingual and multicultural American school population.