The U.S. Department of Education has awarded a total of $3.8 million in grants to two professors at Purdue University’s College of Education. The five-year grants aim to help address the shortage of quality English language learning and bilingual educators in Indiana.
Purdue says the grants will serve more than 400 English as a Second Language educators, including teachers, administrators, family liaisons and ESL families. Trish Morita-Mullaney, assistant professor of literacy and language, and Wayne Wright, the Barbara I. Cook Chair of Literacy and Language, will license and train elementary school teachers in literacy and English language learning. They will also train K-12 teachers in bilingual education programs.
"English learners are the fastest growing student community in Indiana, but preparation in pre- and in-service education for teachers falls short," said Morita-Mullaney. “With our school and community partners, we intend to stretch our definition of a language teacher to include bilingual parents, community agencies and educators.”
Purdue says both projects will be a collaboration with community organization La Plaza and the Center for Intercultural and International Education at Goshen College. They will identify the needs of English learning families in five highly-populated ESL school districts in Lafayette, Frankfort, Goshen, Logansport and Lawrence Township.