Ill. Teachers Lack Bilingual Training

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Few Illinois teachers are trained to educate English-language learners and only a small number are interested in obtaining the credentials to work with these children, a study has found.

An estimated 6 percent of the early education teachers have either bilingual or English as a Second Language training. The ratio of ESL students to credentialed ESL teachers in predominantly Latino schools was 50 to 1, a figure significantly higher than the state's education board's recommended 10-to-1 ratio for optimal learning for limited-English youngsters.

Latino children often start kindergarten six months behind other children academically and with limited English-language skills, making it challenging for them to close the achievement gap.

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