Education college inspires two-way, dual-language program

Harold F. Schiffman haroldfs at
Tue May 16 14:18:31 UTC 2006

>>From UTSA Today
The University of Texas at San Antonio

Education college inspires two-way, dual-language program
By Marianne McBride Lewis
Director of Public Affairs

(May 15, 2006)--When Sarah Moten got off the plane in San Antonio a couple
of weeks ago, she knew her timing couldn't be better. Her work would
include meetings with Misty Sailors, assistant professor of
interdisciplinary learning, regarding a $2.5 million grant funded by her
agency. The visit also would include a field trip to an SAISD elementary
school to observe a two-way, dual language program that is up and running
with great success. And after work, Moten would save a little time for
fun, particularly since her first visit to San Antonio was during the
city's much heralded spring celebration, Fiesta. What she learned quickly
is that during Fiesta, even work is fun.

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development hosted the April 22-26
visit from Moten, education division chief of the Africa Bureau Office of
Sustainable Development for the U.S. Agency for International Development
(USAID), and her colleague Joe Kitts, the agency's senior education
adviser. For four days, they attended meetings, briefings and visits --
with some Fiesta medal collecting and a river parade thrown in for good
measure. The Fiesta spirit permeated everything, including the mood at
Storm Elementary School on Wednesday morning. On her last day in festive
San Antonio, Moten was welcomed in song by the colorfully attired Storm
Lightnin' Choir, with dancing by the kindergarten folkloric dance troupe
and with a gift -- a beautiful gold and red rebozo (shawl).

She was at Storm to meet with teachers of the two-way dual language
program, observe teaching methods and talk with parents from the West Side
school. UTSA education professionals have worked with Storm Elementary
since 1996 to help develop and monitor the results of their dual-language
program that offers students bilingual proficiency within seven years. In
fall 2005, Sailors was awarded funding from the Textbook and Learning
Materials Program (TLMP) through President Bush's Africa Education
Initiative. The initiative funds African education programs for teacher
training, working with marginalized populations and developing textbooks
and other learning materials.

Under TLMP, UTSA and the South African Department of Education will
collaborate to create at least 600,000 learning resources for children in
South Africa -- a country with 11 official languages and an education
policy calling for children to be proficient in at least two. UTSA's
expertise in bilingual-bicultural studies is demonstrated by the success
of the dual-language program at Storm Elementary. As a result, Moten's
impression of San Antonio included much more than Fiesta fun. More than
once Moten was heard telling youngsters, "I want to take all of you back
with me."

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