Obama's Merit Pay Proposal May Force ELL Teachers to Seek More Training

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According to Anne Swigard, president of Educational Training Specialists, teachers of English Language Learners (ELLs) may have to seek additional training to more effectively enhance their students' academic progress in order to keep pace with other teachers under President Obama's proposed merit pay system.

Anne Swigard, President, Educational Training Specialists, LLC

Many teachers leave their teacher preparation programs underprepared for the realities of teaching second language learners. However, through our professional development and teacher in-service programs, teachers receive the tools they need to help ELLs succeed.

Under President Obama's proposed education plan, teachers' pay may be tied to student performance, which could negatively impact teachers who have English Language Learners (ELLs) in their classrooms. Historically there has been a disconnect between strategies learned in teacher preparation programs and the real world techniques proven to effectively teach students who are learning a second language. Teachers are often unprepared to face the rigors of helping English Learners succeed.

According to Anne Swigard, president of Educational Training Specialists (http://www.elltraining.com), additional training may be critical for teachers to help enhance the academic progress of ELLs, and help ELL teachers meet the benchmarks to be outlined in the proposed merit pay system.

English Language Learners are the fastest-growing population of public school students in the U.S. Having to learn a new language and adapt to a new culture presents a wide range of academic challenges; therefore, in many states, ELLs consistently lag behind other students in achievement, contributing to higher dropout rates. These facts could make it difficult for teachers of English Learners to compete with general education teachers under an educational plan that rewards teachers based on student performance.

"Working with English Language Learners is both rewarding and challenging. Without a specific skill set geared precisely toward teaching children who are acquiring a new language, students typically don't succeed as readily, and a teacher would have little chance of receiving merit pay," said Anne Swigard, president of Educational Training Specialists, a company that has instructed thousands of educators nationwide in techniques needed to successfully work with ELLs. "Many teachers leave their teacher preparation programs underprepared for the realities of teaching second language learners. However, through our professional development and teacher in-service programs, teachers receive the tools they need to help ELLs succeed."

Educational Training Specialists is a leading teacher training company founded by Anne Swigard that provides personalized English Language Learning consulting and workshops to schools and districts across the nation. Swigard's thematically-based, copyrighted training programs, 'From Many Nations to One' and 'Around the World in 15 Hours' include critical components essential to fulfilling the requirements necessary to address state standards, along with proven methods to reach the ELL student population. Program components include:

  • Best practices for English Learners
  • Theoretical principles related to language acquisition
  • Brain research
  • Gold-standard research, like 'Classroom Instruction that Works' (Robert Marzano, et al)
  • Cooperative learning
  • Elements of effective instruction
  • High levels of participant (and thus, student) engagement
  • High-interest literacy instruction and activities for struggling readers and writers
  • A method for immediate reflection and application in the classroom environment

"Most experts agree that if our schools are going to produce a competitive labor force, something indeed has to change," said Swigard. "However, if that something is pay for performance, teachers of English Language Learners will need to be extremely well-trained to increase student achievement, going forward, or risk job loss."

For more information about Educational Training Specialists and training for teachers of English Language Learners, visit http://www.elltraining.com.

About Educational Training Specialists:
Educational Training Specialists, LLC is a nationally recognized educational consulting company that provides personalized English Language Learning consulting to schools and districts across the U.S. Backed by more than a decade of research and development, the company's unique programs address the pressing needs of today's ELL teachers and administrators, helping participants improve their classroom strategies while earning valuable continuing education hours. For more information, visit http://www.elltraining.com or call 1-800-279-7135.

For more information, contact:
Anne Swigard, President
Educational Training Specialists, LLC
800-279-7135
anne(at)edtrainingspecialists.com

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