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Source: Socorro Herrera, 785-532-3833, sococo@k-state.edu
Website: http://www.dce/k-state.edu/education/esl
News release prepared by: Rosanna Vail, 785-532-2720, bbohn@k-state.edu

Monday, Aug. 9, 2010

ONLINE COURSE FROM K-STATE HELPS TEACHERS ACROSS NATION SEEKING ENGLISH AS SECOND LANGUAGE ENDORSEMENT

MANHATTAN -- Beginning this fall Kansas State University distance education is offering its first online course in the English as a Second Language Endorsement program.

ESL/Dual Language Methods, EDCI 720, is a three-credit hour, online graduate course available to all eligible teachers in the U.S. The course covers contemporary approaches, methods and strategies for instructing second-language learners.

"We continually get calls from principals and teachers across the country who are seeking strategies for working with students in English as a second language courses," said Socorro Herrera, director of the Center for Intercultural and Multilingual Advocacy and professor of elementary education at K-State.

Distance education technologies used in the course include video streaming, live chats and podcasts. Skype will be used for teacher collaborations so they can test course strategies in their own classrooms and share their content-based application.

"For example, a math teacher in Kansas City can share her perspective with a math teacher in Garden City, Kan. Both are heavily Hispanic communities, and teachers have a lot to share about their experiences using the strategies for teaching culturally- and linguistically-diverse students," Herrera said.

Plans are in the works to offer all five required courses in the endorsement program in an online format.

"When a school has a staff that systematically goes through the courses together as a professional development initiative, academic achievement goes up, particularly in the English as a Second Language subgroup,” Herrera said. "In fact, in some of our partner districts students in that subgroup are outperforming the other disaggregated subgroups on state assessments."

K-State also offers a face-to-face endorsement program, but it is currently limited to Kansas teachers.

Contact the K-State Division of Continuing Education at 1-800-622-2578 or visit http://www.dce.k-state.edu/education/esl for more information about the English as a Second Language Endorsement program and the ESL/Dual Language Methods online course.