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English as a New Language program to be initiated

Author: Arts and Letters


The University of Notre Dame’s Alliance for Catholic Education (ACE) program and Institute for Educational Initiatives will launch a Teachers of English as a New Language (ENL) program beginning this month.

The program will be offered to licensed teachers serving in Catholic schools with at least 10 percent of students for whom English is a new language, and to bilingual teachers in the U.S. and abroad who teach at schools where the primary language is not English. Thirty-eight schools in which ACE teachers currently serve have a population of English language learners that is greater than 10 percent, and 16 of those schools have more than 25 percent.

This month, the ENL program will be offered as a pilot course to ACE graduates. Thirteen teachers will spend two weeks on campus taking the first two of six mandatory classes. The following two classes are to be completed online during the fall semester, and the final two will be taken next spring. Upon completion of the program, the teachers will receive ENL licenses from the state of Indiana, which are reciprocal with other states that offer the program. In 2007 the program will be offered to all Catholic school teachers nationwide.

“As the principal of an inner-city Catholic school with a large English language learner population, I have seen the benefit of having teachers who are trained as instructors of ENL students,” said Benny Morten of St. Anne’s Catholic School in Chicago, which is sending three of its teachers to campus this month. “This new initiative is a reminder of Notre Dame’s commitment to Catholic schools and the immigrant Church community.”

Founded in 1994 by Rev. Timothy R. Scully, C.S.C., and Rev. Sean McGraw, C.S.C., Notre Dame’s ACE program provides college graduates an opportunity to earn master of education degrees while serving as teachers in understaffed Catholic schools nationwide. The program expanded in 2002 to include a Catholic principal licensure program.

Established in 1997, the Institute for Educational Initiatives conducts research on schools and the educational process to help improve American educational policy and practice. A major focus of its research is the education of students from disadvantaged backgrounds. It offers graduate and undergraduate level courses in the sociology, economics and history of education, educational psychology and education policy.

Contact: _Joyce Johnstone, ACE educational outreach, 574-631-3165,

Originally published by Shannon Chapla & Aaron Wall at on July 05, 2006.