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For information on Hispanic culture
The curriculum modification projects created by PRCP
The following links will take you to a variety of useful sites.
The Professional Development resource materials
The ELL Resource Center at UNK has a long list of ELL-related materials available for checkout by participating schools. Click on the appropriate link below to browse the Center's inventory! To borrow an item, please contact Glenn Tracy at 308.865.8821 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spanish Language for Educators
Interested in Spanish pronunciation rules and a comparison of English and Spanish phonetics? It might help you understand difficuties Spanish-speakers are having with phonics in your literacy program. Download the PDF file below. You must have Adobe Reader installed on your machine to
The SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) Model
Platte River Corridor Project
In fall 2001 the University of Nebraska at Kearney received a four-year, $784,178 grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of English Language Acquisition, Language Enhancement & Academic Achievement for Limited English Proficient Students (OELA). The purpose of the grant-funded Platte River Corridor Project was to partner with public schools in the central Platte River region of Nebraska to increase capacity for educating ELL (English language learner) students. Eight area school districts participated in the project: Cozad, Lexington, Kearney, Gibbon, Shelton, Grand Island, Hastings, and Harvard.
High levels of immigration to the area have dramatically increased the number of new students whose first language is not English. According to a report issued by Educational Service Unit 10, which serves several of the schools in this project, the number of students receiving ELL services rose by 960 percent in the five-year period between 1995 and 2000. At least ten different languages are represented in this area, with the most prominent being Spanish. Providing appropriate services to these students helped them reach their potential as students and ultimately as members of the community.
The Platte River Corridor Project provided training to nearly 200 teachers, increased bilingual resources in school systems, and establish an information network across the region. By supporting teachers in mainstream classrooms, the project benefited the education of all students.
The largest component of the project was a three-year, workshop-based training cycle for non-ESL-endorsed classroom teachers from the eight participating districts. The five-day Level One workshops, first conducted in summer 2002, included the following topics:
Cultural awareness and value orientations
First and second language acquisition
Legal issues for schools related to ELL students
Instruction and content modification strategies for ELL students
Resources available to teachers of ELL students
The three-day Level Two workshops, which were held in summer 2003, trained teachers in the SIOP (Sheltered Instruction Observation Protocol) Model, a research-based form of sheltered instruction that makes content area classes more accessible for ELL students and at the same time develops their English language skills. Each Level Two workshop also had a content-area focus. Teachers participating in the project served as co-facilitators for those workshops.
The Level Three workshops of summer 2004 provided a more in-depth look at the SIOP Model, an overview of differentiated instruction, and an introduction to the Nebraska K-12 English Language Proficiency Guidelines. Participants also prepared assessments of their districts' future training needs related to the continued enhancement of services to ELL students.
Teacher Education Students Serving as Paras
The Platte River Corridor Project has funded tuition and fees scholarships for bilingual students from the participating districts who want to become teachers. The first group of students began their studies at UNK in fall 2002, the second group in fall 2003, the third group in fall 2004, and the final group in fall 2005.
During their first year at UNK, these students served as paraeducators in one of the project districts ten hours a week and provided tutoring and bilingual communication services to non-English-speaking families and students.
The third major component of the project was the establishment of an information network that supports the development of a virtual community of project participants and other interested parties. The project website, with its resources and instructional information, and the discussion forum conducted via UNK's Blackboard academic portal, provided a means by which participants could communicate across districts and share experiences.
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