UNT to offer summer academy for future bilingual teachers
High school students and community college freshmen thinking about a career in bilingual education will learn about teaching this summer while getting a taste of college life at the University of North Texas.
Addressing a need for more bilingual educators, the UNT Bilingual ESL/Teacher Education Program is offering the Future Bilingual Teachers Academy from July 9 through 12. High school students will learn from master teachers - who are experienced educators - and will develop lessons plans based on elementary school curriculum.
"The need for bilingual/ESL teachers is so severe in our state and especially our region," said Dr. Rudy Rodriguez, a UNT professor of teacher education and administration and director of Bilingual/ESL Teacher Education Program in the UNT College of Education. "We're making all kinds of special efforts to attract more personnel into teacher education programs, especially in the high-need area of bilingual education."
The academy, which is funded by the Sid W. Richardson Foundation of Fort Worth, is just part of the UNT College of Education's year-round efforts to increase the number of bilingual education teachers. Officials from the UNT bilingual/ESL program also visit high school campuses to talk with prospective students and their parents and monitor their progress as they leave high school.
While at the summer camp, students stay in a residence hall at UNT and eat in residence hall cafeterias. They learn about admission procedures for college, financial aid, and teaching opportunities in bilingual education. Students will also tour the Child Development Laboratory at UNT and hear from such speakers as Dr. Jean Keller, dean of the UNT College of Education, talking about the benefits of being a teacher.
"For a number of our high school kids, this is the first opportunity for them to visit the university or to be in a college setting, so we try to make the whole experience as realistic as possible," Rodriguez said.