Syracuse University

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RLA to launch new master's program to train teachers of English language learners

July 22, 2008

Patrick Farrell

Patrick Farrell

The Department of Reading and Language Arts in Syracuse University's School of Education this fall will launch a new master's degree teacher preparation program in Teaching English Language Learners (TELL). The program is a 30-credit course of study designed to prepare candidates for working with English language learners in pre-K-12 institutions. The program will be offered for the first time this fall to full- and part-time students.

The program will prepare degree candidates to provide integrated and free-standing services for English language learners to suit current school programs that address the needs of all students. In accordance with New York State guidelines, students seeking admission to the program must first meet the requirements for a NYS provisional/initial teaching certificate in early childhood education, childhood education, middle childhood education, adolescent education, students with disabilities, speech and language disabilities, or another relevant area.

"The program is grounded in the philosophy that the linguistic and cultural backgrounds that English language learners (ELLs) bring to the classroom are resources and that ELL students acquire and develop English language literacy--speaking, listening, reading and writing--best in rich language contexts," says Zaline Roy-Campbell, associate professor of reading and language arts and TELL program coordinator. "The master's degree in Teaching English Language Learners prepares teachers for service in a linguistically diverse society, with the goal of helping students develop proficiency in English for academic as well as social purposes."

Roy-Campbell adds that degree candidates will gain knowledge of the theories, strategies and methodologies regarding teaching English to speakers of other languages as well as the socio-cultural and sociolinguistic issues that impact English language learners' acquisition of English.

Students in the program will actively engage with area public schools and collaborate with teachers of English language learners in planning, instruction and assessment. The classes and practical experiences will prepare teachers as specialists in educating English language learners by teaching them how theory is connected to effective practices for promoting second language acquisition and developing literacy for social and academic purposes.

For a more information about the program and the course listing, visit or contact Zaline Roy-Campbell at (315) 443-8194 or

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