New ENL program offers Education students opportunities

Thu, 2008-03-06 19:41 -- univcomm
March 6, 2008

The English as a New Language (ENL) program is now able to provide students with an ENL license, training educators to assist English language learners in the classroom.

Through the federal National Professional Development grant, the ENL program at AU is able to offer ENL licensing and professional development to education students and practitioners.

The ENL program helps educators serve the needs of English language learners, gain cross-cultural understanding and experience hybrid classes with face-to-face and online work.

The program offers courses at Masters Level which can be used towards M.A. in Curriculum and Instruction available through the School of Education, courses at undergraduate level for teacher candidates wishing to add ENL certification, and certification opportunities for licensed Indiana teachers who wish to add ENL.

Program director Donna Albrecht said, "It's unique to have an undergraduate program with a dual license."

Courses include Principles of Language Acquisition, Instructional and Material Design for Teaching English as a New Language, and Differentiating Instruction for the LEP (Limited English Proficiency) Student in the Content Classroom.

"New teachers often face a challenge in teaching LEP students," said Assistant to the Director Ryan Weiss. "We give teachers the tools and instruments to overcome these obstacles."

In addition to licensing, the ENL program at AU also offers professional development to content/classroom teachers, ENL teachers, paraprofessionals, volunteers and service organizations working with English language learners.

The ENL Professional Development Academy offers training in Sheltered Instruction approaches, often referring to SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol).

"This method bridges the gap between lower level English proficiency and grade level content standards," said Albrecht. "We help educators bring content standards to students' language levels. We help them adapt lesson plans, material and assessments to meet their needs."

According to a Department of Education report, the ESL population in Anderson has increased from 7 students in 1991-1992 to 171 at the end of the 2006-2007 year. Indiana has one of the fastest growth rates of ESL students in the country.

The ENL Professional Development Academy services schools in Anderson, Alexandria, Elwood and St. Mary's and the International School of Indianapolis.

David Hynds is the Web Content Specialist for Anderson University.

Anderson University is a private Christian university of 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students in central Indiana. Anderson continues to be recognized as a top Christian college: in 2008, U.S. News and World Report ranked Anderson University among the best colleges and universities in the Midwest for the fourth consecutive year. Established in 1917 by the Church of God, Anderson University offers more than 60 undergraduate majors and graduate programs in business, education, music, nursing and theology.