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UTA Program Prepares Teachers For Bilingual Education

ARLINGTON (CBS 11 NEWS) - The "help wanted" sign is out for educators who want to teach children that have limited English skills.

The University of Texas at Arlington specializes in preparing teachers for bilingual education.

UTA has $2 million dedicated to mold teachers for North Texas classrooms.

When you look inside you see a classroom for future classroom teachers.

For now, they're the students and the lesson they must learn is how to prepare for the students they'll soon teach. Those students are Texas' growing population of English language learners.

Thousands of English as a second language students will either be depending on bilingual educators, or English speaking teachers trained to work with children who don't speak English.

Now, UTA's Center for Bilingual Education has more than a million dollars in federal grants at its disposal, to prepare even more teachers of tomorrow, for the students in schools today. They'll have to be ready to educate students who don't speak English, and those who do.

"Our goal is to get students to become fluent in two languages, and maintain the languages through the program," explained Luis Rosado, director of the UTA Bilingual Education Program.

On campuses throughout North Texas children speak Mandarin, Farsi, Spanish, and up to two-dozen other languages.

The primary mission for UTA's enhanced teaching program is to get the current college students/future teachers on the path of preparation, for the children they'll have to educate; something they'll have to be able to do regardless of the student's ability to communicate with them.

"We want to make sure we're creating teachers who are experts at what they do, and are experts at serving children who are different than they are," said UTA Bilingual Education Professor Carla Amaro.

On the first day of class it was a lesson learned and even easier for some future teachers, since a number of them learned English as a second language.


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