Agencies | Governor
Virginia Regulatory Town Hall
Department of Education
State Board of Education
Licensure Regulations for School Personnel [8 VAC 20 ‑ 22]
Action Comprehensive Revision of the Licensure Regulations for School Personnel
Stage Proposed
Comment Period Ends 11/6/2015
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11/5/15  4:25 pm
Commenter: Cathy Smeltzer Erb, Ph.D., Eastern Mennonite University

Dual Language Endorsement

Consider Dual Language endorsement:

I support previous comments pertaining to the consideration of a dual language endorsement, specifically drawing from the comments by Jeremy Aldrich of Harrisonburg City Public Schools.

I ask the Board to consider a new endorsement area for the growing and popular Dual Language programs around our state in which students learn for a large part of the day in a language other than English (in our programs, for example, they learn for about half of the day in the Spanish language). The growth in these programs nationwide means that teacher openings are very hard to fill, and the current path to an Elementary Education endorsement is too steep in time and cost for our state to be an attractive destination for Dual Language teachers. I suggest the addition of a new Immersion Education endorsement, with a requirement for advanced proficiency in a foreign language and targeted coursework to ensure quality immersion education. An Immersion Education endorsement would give a teacher highly qualified status to serve as a classroom teacher and would enable us to provide a more direct path to teaching for more candidates, especially those who are career switchers or who move here from Puerto Rico or other states. Utah, Rhode Island, and Illinois are among the states that have created a specific endorsement for bilingual or Dual Language education to respond to the growing demand for these effective programs.

In recent years, our university has been in conversation with personnel from the Harrisonburg City Public Schools regarding the increasing need for dual language teachers. We simply cannot prepare the quantity of teachers they need to fill classroom positions. A dual language endorsement would help attract and prepare teachers for the needs of dual language classrooms.