In the Spotlight: Bethany Berg
It didn't take long for this first year teacher in Washington, DC, to discover the importance of English language development and its impact on student learning. By springtime, Bethany Berg says, "I already knew I needed more to support my students," many of whom were English language learners.
But where to find it? Through a colleague, Bethany discovered ACE's English as a New Language (ENL) program. She enrolled, spending two summer weeks of intensive study on Notre Dame's campus, then taking a year of on-line courses. Of the summer, she says, "In only two weeks, I walked away with not only a better understanding of what culturally and linguistically diverse students need in the classroom to find success, but also an overwhelming sense of support from the faculty and the entire cohort."
In addition, she continues, "My eyes were opened to an overwhelming need growing in schools across the country, which is the need to adequately educate the diverse student populations that fill our classrooms."
According to Bethany, the ENL program is well designed to do just that, calling the model perfect for Catholic schools. At a time when resources are scarce, when teachers, as Bethany says, "do more with less," ACE's ENL program trains them to use strategies that support the diverse learners in their classrooms. What's more, Bethany says, "It helps teachers understand that...answers will not come quickly and the work will not be easy."
Since her time in the ENL program, Bethany has begun a master's program in bilingual special education at George Washington University. She teaches at a Catholic school in Silver Spring, Maryland.