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Wednesday, October 14, 1998

Bilingual Education Career Ladder Program Established at SSU

SALISBURY, MD--The United States Department of Education recently awarded the Charles R. and Martha N. Fulton School of Liberal Arts at Salisbury State University $1,130,946 under the Bilingual Education Career Ladder Program.

The program is a collaborative effort between SSU, Chesapeake College, Eastern Shore Community Colleges, Wor-Wic Community College and the Boards of Education of the Eastern Shore counties of Maryland and Virginia. The program s objective is to improve training opportunities for prospective English as a Second Language (ESOL) and K-12 bilingual teachers and secure the future teaching force to meet the needs of Limited English Proficient (LEP) students on Maryland s and Virginia s Eastern Shore.

Dr. Lorrie Verplaetse, SSU English professor, will direct the five-year Bilingual Education Teacher Training Program. Loni Moyer, a native of Annapolis and newcomer to Salisbury will coordinate the project.

The program comprises three major goal components. The Career Ladder component seeks to upgrade the qualifications and skills of non-certified ESOL teachers and to increase and recruit bilingual education personnel. The Mentorship component carries out a program that assists participants throughout the project and increases the number of ESOL certified supervising teachers for practicum placement on the Eastern Shore. The Leadership component aims to engage all school personnel in the discussion of how to best meet the needs of LEP students.

The benefits of the project will extend beyond the period of federal assistance by increasing the number of ESOL certified and bilingual teachers and increasing prestige for bilingual careers. The project will distribute its findings to other school districts in other geographic regions facing similar challenges.


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