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Monday, January 3, 2000

SSU Receives $1.3 Million TESOL Grant

SALISBURY, MD--A $1.3 million federal grant, the largest in Salisbury State University's history, will fund the training and certification of more "Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages" (TESOL) and bilingual personnel to serve Eastern Shore communities.

The goal is to prevent "sweeping students under the carpet just because they're hard to teach," said Loni Moyer, newly-appointed director of the program.

The U.S. Department of Education (DOE) Office of Bilingual Education and Minority Language Affairs awarded the grant to enable SSU to address the shortage of TESOL personnel on the Delmarva Peninsula. According to Moyer, only eight are certified to provide bi-lingual instruction for more than 800 students in 10 Delmarva counties.

"The demographics of the whole U.S. are changing," she said. However immigrant groups are "invisible" despite statistics that show these native Spanish speakers alone account for 10 percent of Delmarva's population." There are also growing numbers of Haitian-, Korean-, Russian-speakers, etc.

The program awards 56 scholarships to bilingual teachers, adults and high school students across the peninsula. The program offers three different types of scholarships allowing students to take courses at SSU or Wor-Wic Community College, as well as University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Chesapeake College in Queenstown or Eastern Shore Community College in Melfa, VA.

People currently employed full- or part-time in a school system on Delmarva may apply for scholarship money to help finance their post-graduate study toward a master's in English, TESOL specialty. Adult members of the region's bi-lingual community may also qualify for scholarship money to improve their skills. For this program, preference is accorded to those pursuing education or a related field, but even persons who just want to assist non-English speakers in their community as tutors or interpreters are eligible. Bi-lingual high school seniors or recent graduates may apply for an undergraduate scholarship of $5,000/year to study full time if they wish to major in education.

For more information or to apply for scholarship funding, call Moyer at 410-677-5008.


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