Public School Teachers Head Back to School to Polish Their Skills for Teaching Non-English Speaking Students

Date: March 31, 2008
Media Contact:

Barbara Franklin
Director of Communications
212-463-0400 x5530

Touro College Education Research Center Plans Summer Semester of Language Development Program.

New York, N.Y. - Public school teachers in New York City who teach students whose first language is not English, are going back to school themselves to polish their skills and make their classes more exciting.

Since fall of last year, they have had this opportunity through classes offered at the Touro College Lander Center for Educational Research. The classes were launched with the support of a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which was developed with the cooperation of the New York City Board of Education.

This summer, the school will offer "Trends and Current Issues in Second Language Acquisition," the first in a series of three courses in a program offered free of charge to middle and high school teachers of students with limited proficiency in English.

"I am thrilled that I am acquiring strategies to make my class more meaningful and exciting," said Maria Elena Nieves, who teaches high school at the Heritage School in Manhattan and took the Touro courses in the fall.

Timothy Poole-Di Salvo, a 10th grade gym and literacy teacher at International High School in Prospect Heights, agreed: "I highly recommend the course as an opportunity for teachers to gain skills to educate the students more effectively."

The summer classes will be held twice weekly during the semester, which runs from July 7 through August 14. Classes will be conducted at 50 West 23rd Street, in Manhattan.

The series of three courses, which are three credits each, are offered at no cost to up to 40 teachers who are accepted into the program. Enrollees must complete all three courses. The credits may be applied towards 35 hours of professional development, which can be applied to the New York State-mandated 175 hours over five years. Additionally, the courses can be applied towards a TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) certification and/or a master’s degree from Touro in TESOL.

In addition to the course being offered on trends and current issues, the other two in the program are Basic Reading and Writing Instruction: Reading and Writing for Second Language Learners, and Second Language Learners and Content-Areas.

"Our program is unique because it places fully-trained NYC content area teachers into instructional settings serving ELL (English Language Learners) students," said Dr. Lamar P. Miller, distinguished professor of Education and director of the Lander Center for Educational Research.

To be considered for entry, students must be NYC middle or secondary school content-area teachers of ELL students in grades six through 12. All applicants must submit a record of immunization, two letters of recommendation from a principal/assistant principal and other professor or colleague, and a personal statement.

There is a registration fee of $100 (paid to Touro College) by check or credit card for each semester) and a $50 application fee. Applications should be sent to Ms. Kate Manafeeva, Touro College, School of Education and Psychology, Graduate Division, Lander Center for Educational Research 43 West 23rd St., 8th Floor, New York, N.Y. 10010.

To obtain an application, and for more information, please contact Ms. Kate Manafeva at (212) 463-0400, x547 (, or Dr. Carol Bearse (212) 463-0400 x282 (