College of Education

Augusta County TESOL Partnership


 

SUMMARY: Several faculty from JMU's College of Education have have been working with Augusta County Public Schools since the fall of 2018 to help meet the needs of teaching English Language Learners.


English Language Learners are a large part of today's classrooms. And reaching those students to help them learn effectively is important to teachers. Several faculty from JMU's College of Education have have been working with Augusta County Public Schools since the fall of 2018 to help meet those needs.

Dr. Katya Koubek (Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities) has been instrumental in making this program work:

"We offered their in-service teachers an opportunity to acquire skills and knowledge of working with culturally and linguistically diverse students in the form of a set of four courses that would also prepare them to pass the Praxis in ESOL test and receive a PK-12 ESL endorsement. They take one class per semester, and over the two years, they complete four courses. [Dr. Wasta](Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities) and I have worked on the curriculum and developed an additional course to complete the other three we already had."

The first cohort of teachers sat for the Praxis exam in the summer of 2019, and all passed well above the minimum required score.

“Hi [Dr. Koubek],

I just wanted to let you know that I did take the Praxis on the 11th.  I got a 199, so I guess I was prepared!

Thanks again for your instruction over the last two years.  I don't have any immediate plans to abandon teaching Spanish, but it feels good to know I have an option (and I feel like the classes have also helped me become a better Spanish teacher).”

Dr. Koubek taught two courses for the first cohort, which took place in Fort Defiance High School, using a hybrid model. The students would meet every other week in person while the other weeks were taught asynchronously.  

In the spring of 2020, the EFEX department offered the same opportunity to a second cohort of teachers. Currently, this cohort is taking a second course with the remaining two courses offered next spring and fall. The teachers have been surveyed to see how engaged they are and what connections they see between the course they are taking (Language Acquisition) and their jobs. Here are a couple of anonymous responses:

“I think it is a subject that will help me to become an ESL teacher. That is my career goal.”

“This course connects with my job because I work with ELLs often and it has given me more insight into their world and it has given me ideas on how to assist them in their language development”

 

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Published: Monday, October 26, 2020

Last Updated: Friday, October 23, 2020

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