URI educator’s course gets RIDE approval for professional development in multilingual learner education

KINGSTON, R.I. — Jan. 31, 2023 — Rhode Island school leaders will be able to add a Multilingual Learner (MLL) endorsement credential to their résumés, thanks to a new professional development program designed by Amy Correia, clinical assistant professor of TESOL/Bilingual and Dual Language Education at the University of Rhode Island, and a member of the MLL advisory council at the Rhode Island Department of Education (RIDE).

Correia designed the program in 2020 while serving as an MLL ambassador for RIDE, to provide school leaders with professional development in MLL education and received RIDE’s approval for MLL endorsement in November.

Earning the endorsement recognizes that school leaders and educators have expertise in multilingual education.

The three-credit, graduate level classes run in two sessions for a full academic year, beginning with Foundations in MLL Education for Administrators from September through December, which provides knowledge of issues related to education of multilingual learners, federal and state policies, research on language acquisition, and evaluation of school practices, followed by Advanced Study in MLL Education from January to May, which explores language assistance programs, assessment practices,  and the importance of multilingualism and retention of advancement of first language. All course content is directly aligned with the Rhode Island Standards for Educational Leaders.

“The real strength of this work is that it showcases the collaboration among URI, RIDE and the individual school districts,” Correia said.

Education leaders from the Providence, Cranston, Woonsocket and Johnston school districts are program participants, as well as Highlander Charter, Hope Academy, Davies Tech, and the Rhode Island School for the Deaf.

The program is offered through URI’s Office of Strategic Initiatives as professional development. For more information, go to  https://web.uri.edu/osi/multilingual-learner-mll/