On July 10, Roosevelt University launched its new Dual Language Teacher Leadership (DLTL) Masters program in Chicago, Illinois. With a focus on preparing educators for teaching in and leading dual language (DL) programs, it is the first of its kind in the Midwest. Its alternative format of summer intensive face-to-face courses combined with fall and spring online courses has attracted educators from across the United States. After four semesters, candidates graduate with an MA in DLTL as well as qualify for the Illinois Bilingual/ESL Endorsement and the Illinois Teacher Leader Endorsement.
During the past 15 years, there has been an increase in DL programming across Illinois. In 2014, three Roosevelt faculty sought to further understand DL education in Illinois through surveying the beliefs and perceptions of administrators and leaders within 111 K-12 schools with DL programs. Twenty participants responded and reported benefits and challenges of their DL programs.
Professors Tammy Oberg De La Garza, Erin Machinery and Alyson Lavigne published their research in Mid-Western Educational Researcher as a refereed journal article (Oberg De La Garza, Mackinney, & Lavigne, 2015). A particular challenge identified by 68% of participants was the recruitment and professional development of highly qualified DL teachers. This finding provided further motivation for the creation of this program.
As part of Roosevelt’s 30-credit DLTL MA program, candidates engage in course topics such as academic language, biliteracy, family-school-community partnerships, DL curriculum and assessment, DL program evaluation and sustainability, and supervision and professional development of bilingual educators. In addition to rigorous coursework, candidates complete a clinical practicum where they teach and supervise a summer academic program for bilingual youth. In the final semester, candidates undergo an internship experience where they practice DL leadership activities in the context of their own schools and districts.
Through innovative graduate programming, Roosevelt University is addressing the shortage of qualified DL educators in the growing field of DL education. For more information on the program, or to apply, please visit our website, or contact DLTL Program Director Dr. Tammy Oberg De La Garza at firstname.lastname@example.org.