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Summary of New Title III Grant Awarded to the Lynch School of Education

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Funding Source: US Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students

Funding Program: National Professional Development Program (CFDA# 195N)

Amount of grant: $300,000 for the period July 2, 2007 through July 1, 2008

Anticipated length: Five years

Anticipated total: $1.49 million

Title of Project at the Lynch School: Teaching Academic Language in the Content Areas: Enhancing Achievement for English Language Learners (TALCA)

Project Personnel:
Senior Project Advisor: Prof. Maria Estela Brisk
Co-Principal Investigators: Prof. Mariela Páez and Dr. Anne Homza,
Language and Literacy Specialist – Prof. Patrick Proctor

Summary:

The Lynch School of Education (LSOE) at Boston College (BC), in collaboration with the Massachusetts Department of Education (MADOE) and in consortium with Boston Public Schools (BPS), proposes to improve the education of pre- and in-service teachers to work effectively with Limited English Proficient (LEP) students. In response to invitational priorities established by the US Department of Education Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement, and Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students, we propose the following two goals:

1.- Improve the BC LSOE teacher education program in order to better prepare all teachers to provide effective instruction to LEP students.

Activities will include professional development (PD) with faculty, clinical faculty and cooperating teachers that focuses on academic language and literacy development for ELLs in the content areas of English and Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Other activities include curriculum development that builds long-term institutional capacity at BC LSOE such as collaborating with the Office of Practicum Experiences and Induction to ensure that all our pre-service teachers work directly with LEPs in their field placements. Approximate numbers of participants served each year and by the end of the project include 5 faculty per year for 4 years, totaling 20 faculty members; 35 clinical faculty total; 20 cooperating teachers per year for a total of 100; 400 undergraduate and graduate students per year totaling 2000 students over the life of the grant.

2. - Support high-quality professional development for elementary and secondary content teachers to help these teacher support the language and literacy development of LEP students and improve their academic achievement by providing coordinated, high-quality professional development to the trainers of these teachers that is needs-based and highly targeted in addition to being aligned with State English language standards and State content standards and assessments.

There are two levels of PD work within this goal. At the statewide level we will coordinate with MADOE in the creation and dissemination of curriculum and materials for trainers and participant teachers. These activities will focus on effective literacy instruction for LEP students and are based on the state guidelines for skills and knowledge for qualified teachers. At the local level, in collaboration with BPS OLLSS, we will develop materials and implement PD for system-wide trainers (including content coaches, literacy coaches, language acquisition coaches and directors of instruction) that focuses on academic language and literacy development within the content areas of English and Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies. Forty teams of coaches will be trained per year at the state level and each team will provide training to 50 teachers each year, thus serving a total of 400 trainers and 8,000 Massachusetts teachers during the life of the grant. At the local level we anticipate training 10 coaches per year, with each coach training about 10 teachers per year for a total of 50 coaches and 500 teachers within BPS.