Iowa Board of Regents

UNI DOE grant helps address shortage of English as a Second Language teachers

Students in a classroom taking notes.As part of a grant of almost $1.5 million awarded to the University of Northern Iowa’s Department of Languages & Literatures, a new cohort of 15 graduate students have begun working toward their English as a Second Language (ESL) endorsement or master of arts in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL). Ultimately, this grant benefits Iowa’s burgeoning population of ESL students who are in desperate need of teachers who can meet their unique needs. 

UNI faculty, Carmen Durham and Aliza Fones, are the co-directors carrying out Project UNITED (University of Northern Iowa Teacher Education for Diverse Learners), a five-year plan to address a shortage of teachers prepared to teach ESL. Durham and Fones are collaborating with UNI faculty Elise DuBord and Elizabeth Zwanziger, Central Rivers Area Education Agency representative Lisa Wymore, University of Iowa’s Liz Hollingworth, and project staff Dawn Larsen and Shelby Miller

The initial cohort of scholarship recipients come from throughout Iowa, and many currently teach in underserved districts where there are a substantial number of English language learner students.

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