While Catholic schools have been proven to serve the Latino population uncommonly well, simply attending a Catholic school is often not enough for Latino students to reach their full academic potential. The reality is that many Latino students are English language learners (ELLs) who have a unique set of needs that are often easily ignored.
The English as a New Language (ENL) program seeks to develop the expertise of Catholic school teachers who work with students whose primary language is not English. This one-year, 18-credit-hour licensure preparation program at the University of Notre Dame includes a summer session and online courses throughout the academic year. The curriculum of the ENL program is tailored specifically to the reality of Catholic schools, and credit can lead to ENL/ESL/ELL certification in most states.
Here are five reasons you should consider joining the English as a New Language (ENL) program:
Your nation needs you. English language learners (ELLs) are the fastest growing segment of K-12 students in the United States. In the next ten years, 1 out of every 4 students in the U.S. will be an English language learner (NCELA, 2007).
Your Church needs you. Approximately 55% of all U.S. Catholics under the age of 30 are Hispanic (Our Sunday Visitor, 2014). These children represent the future of the Catholic Church.
Your school needs you. Catholic schools need strong teacher-leaders. Every teacher in the school must see themselves as a language teacher, whether it’s creating word walls for gym class, frontloading vocabulary, teaching science, or inviting students to write in art class.
Your students need you. English language learners have unique academic needs that are often easily ignored. The ENL program helps teachers develop a deep understanding of the process of language acquisition, develop a rich repertoire of research-based instructional strategies, and create culturally responsive classrooms where ELLs and all students thrive.
Your school families need you. Catholic schools were created to serve immigrants and continue to be uniquely positioned to serve today’s immigrant populations and welcome them into a community where their home language and culture will be celebrated, not erased.