As Iowa towns and cities have become more diverse, David Cassels Johnson, an associate professor of Foreign Languages and ESL Education in the University of Iowa College of Education, discusses the growing needs of English Language Learner (ELL) students in Iowa - a population that has grown by 250 percent over the past 20 years. He also shares what is being done to empower and train more teachers to help English
Language Learners be successful in the classroom.
Johnson was one of three guests on a recent Iowa Public Radio "Talk of Iowa" program discussing the critical need for more ELL-trained teachers in the state of Iowa. Iowa is not unique in this regard since this is a nationwide challenge, Johnson says.
Johnson discusses the challenges of ensuring that ELL students' needs are being met with ELL-qualified teachers and the value of dual-language learning programs, among other related topics.
"These students have specific linguistic needs that are not easily accommodated with your typical teaching techniques....It can't just be about being a good teacher," Johnson says. "You can be the best teacher in the world and still not be accommodating your English language learners. It's about providing equal educational opportunities."
To listen to the entire program, visit the Iowa Public Radio website.