With the number of English learners (ELs) growing to over 5 million in the United States, there is a critical shortage of qualified English language teachers to meet this increased demand. Currently, 1 in 10 public school students across the United States are English learners. Additionally, only 65% of ELs graduate high school, compared to the national graduation rate of 83%.
The Reaching English Learners Act addresses this shortage by creating a grant program under Title II Part B of the Higher Education Act to fund the development of teacher preparation programs that train future teachers to instruct ELs. Specifically, institutions of higher education would be required to partner with local educational agencies to build or strengthen teaching programs that provide teacher candidates with skills related to: helping ELs in PK-12 achieve at high academic levels and attain English proficiency; recognizing and addressing the social and emotional needs of ELs; identifying and instructing ELs with disabilities, and promoting parental, family, and community engagement in EL educational programs.
To learn more about the Reaching English Learners Act, please review this fact sheet.
TESOL International Association is asking you to take action today! Tell Congress to support English language teacher preparation by sending e-mails, Tweets, and sharing this call-to-action with your friends and colleagues!