Department of International and Transcultural Studies | Teachers College Columbia University

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Department of International and Transcultural Studies

Concentration in Latin American and Latina/o Education

Latin American and Latina/o Education (LALE) is an interdisciplinary concentration focused on education across the Americas. Responding to the importance of the Latin American and Caribbean region as well as the growing numbers of immigrants from that region to the United States, this concentration provides students with a foundation in Latin American/Latino studies through courses that consider topics such as: the impact of economic processes on education in the region; language policy in schools; the social, cultural, and political dimensions of education, ethnicity, and academic achievement; gender and social change; educational access and quality; teacher preparation and curricular development; patterns of migration within and between countries in the Western hemisphere; intercultural education; and the impact of international and bilateral educational policies and institutions on educational policy and practice in the region. Students are also encouraged to pursue relevant coursework at the School of International and Public Affairs, the Mailman School of Public Health, and other Columbia-affiliated institutions to examine the variety of linguistic, cultural, social, political, and economic processes that shape education across the Americas.

Bilingual/Bicultural Education

In a world characterized by a greater flow of people, information, goods and services, bi/multilingualism, and the ability to commu-nicate cross-culturally are important resources. The program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education prepares educators, policy makers and re-searchers to understand issues surrounding the education of linguistically and culturally diverse students. The program also develops the understandings and strategies necessary to educate for bi/multilingualism, multicultural-ism and cross-cultural understandings, and the use of multiple literacies. It does so while being mindful of the differences in educating language minority students, language majority students, and linguistically heterogeneous groups.
New York City, the most multilingual city of the world, and specifically the schools of , give the program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education at Teachers College the ability to study in depth issues of bi/multilingualism and multiculturalism, especially as they are manifested in schools and classrooms. The program pays attention to the bilingual education of English Language Learners in the . It focuses on the kind of bilingual education known in the as dual language programs, programs where language minority and language majority children become bilingual and biliterate in each other’s languages.
Students interested in policy and research, as well as international students, might be interested in the Master of Arts (M.A.) in Bilingual/Bicultural Education not leading to New York State Certification. Students interested in teacher certification may follow any of our Master of Arts in Bilingual/Bicultural Education that lead to a teacher certification or an Advanced Certificate in Bilingual/ Bicultural Education. Other programs and departments offer joint programs with a Bilin-gual/Bicultural Education emphasis and specialization, which may lead to the bilingual extension teachers certificate. All students must be bilingual.

The course of studies offered:

  • The M.A. in Bilingual/ Bicultural Childhood Education, Initial Certification- is for students pursuing teacher certification in Childhood Education (grades 1-6), Bilingual Education, and an optional Middle Childhood certification (grades 7-9). It has two streams. Stream A is for students without prior experience in education. Students take 40 points and must be bilingual. Stream B is for students who have student taught or are presently teaching. Students take 33 points and must be bilingual.
  • The M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Childhood Education, Transitional B- is only for students in the Peace Corps Fellows Program. Students complete an intensive 200 hour summer session, after which they follow a 33 point program.
  • The M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, Initial Certification- is for students who hold certification in another teaching area and want to add initial bilingual certification. Students take 33 points. It is only open to students who already hold teacher certification in any area and leads to New York State Professional certification in that area.
  • The M.A. in Bilingual/Bicultural Education, Non Certification- does not lead to New York teacher certification and is 33 points. This is for students who do not plan to be classroom teachers.
  • The Certificate in Bilingual/ Bicultural Education is 15 points and is for students who either hold teaching certification in another area or are pursuing teaching certification in another area simultaneously. It leads to bilingual education certification.
  • The program in Bilingual/Bicultural Education grants scholarships. Competitive scholarships are based on academic performance, field experience, and commitment to bilingual education to students in the teacher certification programs.