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Summer camp hopes to ease shortage of bilingual education teachers

Bilingual teachers summer camp

UNT and the Fort Worth Independent School District will jointly host a summer camp that will introduce bilingual high school students to the field of teaching and encourage them to consider a career in bilingual education.

Thirty students from Fort Worth high schools who are proficient in English and Spanish, are in good academic standing, and have shown an interest in teaching have been chosen to attend the Future Bilingual Teachers Academy, which will be at UNT and Fort Worth June 7-10.

Academy administrators hope to alleviate the bilingual teacher shortage by providing a pre-college experience designed to motivate and inspire high school students to become teachers of English language learners. An English language learner is someone whose first language is one other than English and is in the process of acquiring English.

The project is funded by the College of Education, Fort Worth ISD, and a $60,000 grant from the Sid W. Richardson Foundation. The grant, awarded in January, will provide funding for the academy through 2013 and for a total of 90 students to participate in the program. The College of Education first formed a partnership with Fort Worth ISD to host the academy in 2003.

“There is a shortage of teachers for the approximate 200,000 English language learners that attend public schools in the Dallas-Fort Worth region,” says Rossana Ramírez-Boyd, director of UNT’s Bilingual/ESL Teacher Certification Program. A kick-off reception for the students and their parents will be from noon to 2 p.m. March 10 at the Fort Worth ISD Professional Development Center, 3150 McCart Ave., Fort Worth. Speakers include Margaret Balandrán, executive director of the Fort Worth ISD Bilingual/English Second Language Program, and Nancy Nelson, chair of the Department of Teacher Education and Administration.

  • Learn more: e-mail Boyd or call 940-565-2933, or Balandrán, 817-814-2410.

Above, academy leaders and Fort Worth high school students tour the UNT campus during the 2007 Future Bilingual Teachers Academy. Photo courtesy College of Education.

Posted on: Thu 03 March 2011

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