Teacher with students

Georgia State Education Faculty Get $2.6 Million To Support Bilingual Educators

ATLANTA—Four faculty in Georgia State University’s College of Education & Human Development have received a five-year, $2.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of English Language Acquisition to prepare educators who work with bilingual students.

Laura May, Cathy Amanti, Sue Kasun and Gary Bingham will head the Equipping Schools, Communities, and Universities for Excellence in Language Acquisition (ESCUELA) project, which will recruit, train and support teachers for dual language immersion classroom settings.

In dual language immersion classrooms, students spend half of their school day learning in a target language and the other half of the day in English, according to the Georgia Department of Education’s website. There are 38 Georgia schools with such programs teaching in Spanish, French, German and Chinese.

The five-year grant funding will allow May, Amanti, Kasun and Bingham to design family- and community-focused recruitment and professional development activities for dual language immersion teachers in collaboration with the following partners: The Georgia Department of Education, the Latin American Association, Smarties Academy, the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, Georgia State’s Office of Latino Student Services and Outreach, Atlanta Public Schools, Cobb County Schools, Douglas County Schools and Gwinnett County Schools.

The research team plans to offer career support for area high schoolers and their families, tuition support for college applicants interested in becoming dual language immersion teachers and a newly designed Master of Arts concentration in family and community engagement.

“We are excited about the opportunities this grant will provide to support the growth of dual immersion education in the state of Georgia through preparing appropriately credentialed and highly effective dual immersion teachers,” said May, principal investigator for ESCUELA. “We hope the number of dual language immersion programs continues to grow and strongly believe that all students should have the opportunity to become bilingual and biliterate.”