September 27, 2005

State board approves bilingual initiative

by Paula Davenport

new cert

Caption follows story

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Aspiring and current school teachers may now earn a new certification at Southern Illinois University Carbondale to teach English as a second language and bilingual education.

"SIUC is the first and only university in the State of Illinois to offer this new teacher certification," says a beaming Joan E. Friedenberg, a linguistics professor instrumental in the initiative's September approval by the Illinois State Board of Education.

Formally, the certification is in English as a new language. It will be available to those who wish to teach grades K-12.

The SIUC linguistics department, in the College of Liberal Arts, and the teacher education program, in the College of Education and Human Services, are partnering up to administer the program.

For more information, email or call Joan E. Friedenberg at or 618/453-6531.

Friedenberg heads a federally funded project based at SIUC aimed at improving bilingual education in Southern Illinois.

The U.S. Department of Education project, Bilingual Education Training for All Teachers, provides scholarship money for bilingual students who wish to become certified bilingual teachers, stipends for University faculty who attend workshops aimed at retooling teacher certification classes and small grants for teachers who learn techniques for teaching children lacking in English skills.

Leading in scholarly activities and serving others are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the long-range plan the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.

(Caption: Something to sing about — Faculty and students of bilingual education — at Southern Illinois University Carbondale — serenade Gilberto Negron on his birthday.

They’re among core supporters of bilingual education in public schools.

Shown, from left to right, back row: Joan E. Friedenberg and, Mary V. Montavan, both SIUC linguistics professors; front row: Colleen E. Springer, Laura C. Silva and Negron.

SIUC is the only institution in Illinois where teachers may earn a special certification to teach bilingual education and English as a second language, thanks to a recent decision by the Illinois State Board of Education.)

Photo by: Russell Bailey