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Contact: Peter Peretzman
For Release: September 20, 2001

Agreement Reached to Provide Training for Teachers Who Work with Students Whose First Language is Not English

The Department of Education is teaming up with Rutgers University and Rowan University to provide a special training program for prospective teachers who work with students whose first language is not English. The program will focus on training novice teachers in Abbott districts to work with limited English Proficient students. The Department of Education will provide both Rutgers and Rowan a grant of $26,350 to administer this program and to conduct a follow-up study to assess the impact of the training.

The courses to be offered by Rutgers and Rowan are designed to assist novice teachers in fostering cross-cultural sensitivity and understanding of the special needs of limited English proficient students, promoting the development of the student’s proficiency in English, providing students with access to subject matter and the same challenging content standards as their English-speaking peers and assisting students in becoming part of the fabric of the school and effective citizens of a pluralistic, democratic society. In addition, the Department of Education will collaborate with Rutgers and Rowan in developing objectives and procedures for the pilot training program.

"I am extremely pleased that the department was able to reach an agreement with both Rutgers and Rowan to spearhead this important pilot project that will benefit both new teachers and students who are not proficient in English," said Commissioner of Education Vito A. Gagliardi, Sr. "Teachers, especially new teachers, need support and guidance in meeting the special needs of students whose native language is not English. This training should benefit those students, the teachers and the overall educational community."

"This program provides a unique opportunity for new classroom teachers to receive training in areas that are often overlooked," said Dr. Raphael Caprio, Vice President for Continuous Education at Rutgers. "I believe that this type of environment can be challenging for new teachers."

"Rowan University is very pleased that the department asked us to work on this pilot project and that the Commissioner personally supports this effort," said Dr. J. Harold Sahm of the Education Institute at Rowan. "In many school districts across New Jersey, there are more and more students whose primary language is not English. All teachers should have a cross cultural understanding and have instructional techniques that will help these students learn."

The program will take place on September 22, 29 and October 6, 2001 in the Robinson Educational Building on the Rowan University campus in Glassboro. The program will take place at Rutgers this fall, with the schedule to be announced at a later date.