UNT offers first-of-its-kind bilingual education camp

Thursday, June 5, 2003

DENTON (UNT), Texas -- According to a 2002 report of the Texas State Data Center Office of the State Demographer, changes in the racial/ethnic and age compositions of the state's population will be substantial. Using the current percentages of Anglos, African Americans, Hispanics and other ethnic races to project 2035, the population of Texas will become more than one-half Hispanic by 2025."Currently, there is not a sufficient amount of qualified bilingual teachers to match the rapid continued growth of Spanish-speaking parents and school-aged children," said Dr. Ed Fuller, co-director of research at the State Board of Educator Certification, the agency that certifies public school teachers.The University of North Texas is addressing this issue by offering programs that encourage high school students to pursue bilingual teaching careers."We are intent in supporting school districts in their efforts to educate children whose first language is not English," said Dr. Rudy Rodriguez, professor of teacher education and administration and director of UNT's bilingual education program.To accomplish this goal, UNT's program will offer a first-of-its-kind bilingual education camp for area high school students. "Counselors and teachers in area public school districts were asked to select students who are graduating and have a B-plus average," said Gus Cedillo, coordinator of bilingual program activities. "More than 18 students have been chosen to participate."Participating students were also selected for their answers to essay questions. The questions asked prospective students about their interest in the camp and importance of bilingual education to children and the future of Texas.Students were chosen from the following schools:· Billy Ryan High School in Denton· Sunset High School in Dallas· West Mesquite High School in Mesquite· R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton· Mary Grimes Education Center in Carrollton· John Jay High School in San Antonio· Denton High School in Denton· S. H. Rider High School in Wichita Falls· Adamson High School in Dallas· North Dallas High SchoolThe camp will take place from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 10 (Tuesday), 8 a.m. to 8:15 p.m. on June 11 (Wednesday) and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. on June 12 (Thursday). Students will be housed in a residence hall on the Denton campus. Camp activities will take place in Matthew Hall, located at the northwest corner of Avenue A and Highland Street.Participants and their parents will be honored at activities occurring from 10:45 a.m. to 8:15 p.m., June 13 (Friday) at the UNT System Center in Dallas. The center is located at.8915 S. Hampton Road.Rodriguez said some of the activities of the camp include exercises to help students understand some of the basic principles of lesson planning. "Participants will be asked to develop a plan based on what they've learned in the camp." Rodriguez said.Rodriguez says students will be introduced to basic techniques to help immigrant children who are learning English as a second language to succeed in school."Our ultimate goal is too encourage the high school students to consider teaching in bilingual education is a viable career option," said Rodriguez. "Our efforts should help Texas prepare for the future population explosion, educational needs of this new demographic group and future economic outlook."For more information about the camp or the bilingual program, contact Rodriguez at (940) 565-2688.

UNT News Service Phone Number: (940) 565-2108