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Monday, April 21, 2008

FL Recognized as Leader in ELL Education

The state of Florida has long been recognized as a leader in requiring general education teachers to obtain training to develop skills in working with English-language learners (ELL). On Tuesday, Ed Daily reported on a bill currently making its way through the Florida legislature that would significantly reduce the number of training hours required for teachers. Currently, according to the Florida Department of Education, "In some districts with large Limited English Proficient (LEP) student populations, the expectation is that primary language providers will either have the English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Endorsement on their certificates at the time of initial employment or will be expected to immediately begin working toward the endorsement as a condition of hire." The endorsement requires 300 in-service hours of teaching strategies for the instruction of LEP students for elementary, pre-K and English teachers. Other teachers, such as math and science teachers, are required to have only 60 hours of in-service training. The legislation in the Florida Legislature would reduce the in-service hours required for general education teachers by 80 percent, reducing them to 60 hours from the original 300. A similar bill was vetoed by Florida Gov. Charlie Crist last year, and he is expected to veto it again if it is presented by the legislature. To view information from the Florida Department of Education visit: http://www.fldoe.org/profdev/pdf/final_esol.pdf

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