Mathematics Sheltered English Project (MSEP)
Title III - Improving Mathematics Instruction For English Language Learners
Mathematic literacy and economic access are how we are going to give hope to the young generation…the ideas of citizenship now requires not only literacy in reading and writing, but literacy in math and science.
~ Robert P. Moses (Civil Rights leader, Founder of the Algebra Project)
As English Language Learners (ELL) increase their ability to understand and communicate in English, they face the significant dual challenges of constructing mathematics as well as reading for understanding.
In Massachusetts, Limited English Proficient (LEP) students represent the lowest scoring category on the MCAS mathematics exams. And, sadly, LEP students also the have the highest dropout rates. The increased demands placed on teachers of ELL students highlight the necessity of possessing a high level of mathematics understanding as well as knowledge for teaching mathematics to ELL students in addition to teaching English. UMass Boston’s Department of Applied Linguistics and COSMIC have been awarded a federal grant to provide professional development to assist teachers in addressing the needs of ELL students in Boston, Brockton and Malden Public Schools.
The project provides teachers with opportunities to focus on strategies for improving educational outcomes for ELL students by increasing students’ academic English and mathematics achievement. The project includes courses in applied linguistics and mathematics, together with the teaching of Sheltered English Immersion (SEI) instruction in math. Topics will relate math instruction and learning to evaluation and assessment, cross cultural education, second language teaching methodology, first language maintenance and applied linguistics.
A cohort of 25 pre- and in-service teachers will be selected to participate in the project each year for a total of 125 teachers over five years.
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