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Bilingual education professors win grant to improve teacher preparation

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

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Media Contact: Bridget Lewis, Office:817-272-3317, Cell:214-577-9094, blewis@uta.edu

ARLINGTON – The U.S. Department of Education and the Office of English Language Acquisition have awarded two University of Texas at Arlington bilingual education professors nearly $1.9 million to improve preparation for teachers who serve English learners.

Luis Rosado

Luis Rosado, director of the College of Education and Health Professions Center for Bilingual Education, along with Carla Amaro-Jiménez, assistant professor of bilingual/ESL education, worked to obtain the grant.

Jeanne Gerlach, dean of the UT Arlington College of Education and Health Professions, said the funds will strengthen the University’s expertise in a critical area of education research and instruction.

“Our bilingual program is recognized as one of the best in the state and in the nation,” Gerlach said. “This grant is significant as it helps support our efforts to engage teachers and students through language immersion programs.”

The faculty team will conduct a five-year study to identify the impact of programs they have developed in the areas of second language acquisition program and science, technology, engineering, and math initiatives.

Rosado said the study will help produce better-prepared teachers to serve the needs of the increasing number of linguistically diverse children and their families.

“The STEM initiatives will provide in-service teachers with the content area expertise and the Spanish academic vocabulary to deliver instruction at the same level of complexity in both Spanish and English,” he said.

Another component of the study will focus on college dropout prevention. To accomplish the goal, the program will hire 20 college mentors specializing in STEM disciplines to offer guidance and academic support to the younger students.

Rosado said the program will provide minority and high school students with opportunities to talk to young college students who faced the same challenges that they are currently facing. Moreover, college students can share their expertise and motivate them to degree completion and enrollment in higher education.

“With a program like this, we can minimize the graduation and college attendance gap that exists between minorities and non minority students,” Rosado added.


Carla Amaro-Jiménez

Amaro-Jiménez noted that the instruction will pose no financial burden on the teachers’ local school districts.

“The preparation will be held in academies or workshops that are free of charge over the course of the grant period,” she said. “The teachers will, in return, act as trainers in their schools and districts.”

The project includes partnerships with the Arlington, Fort Worth, Grand Prairie, and Mansfield public school districts, the Dallas County Community College District, and Tarrant County College.

For more information about the project, contact Dr. Luis Rosado at 817-272-7567 or email rosado@uta.edu.

Visit www.uta.edu/coehp/ for information about the College of Education and Health Professions.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of 33,439 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit www.uta.edu to learn more.

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The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.

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