Campus: CSU Long Beach -- July 29, 2005

CSULB Professor Appears in PBS Series Focusing on Challenges of Teaching English Language Learners to Read

Claude Goldenberg, a professor of teacher education at California State University, Long Beach, appears on the PBS series “Becoming Bilingual: The Challenges of Teaching English Language Learners to Read” currently being aired around the country. It can be seen on http://www.readingrockets.org/tv/bilingual.php.

“Becoming Bilingual” is broadcast as part of a series titled “Reading Rockets,” produced by the Washington, D.C.-based public television station WETA. It is the seventh episode of the award-winning “Rocket” series, “Launching Young Readers.”

“Over the last couple of years in cooperation with the American Federation of Teachers, ‘Reading Rockets’ was launched to inform the public about current research and best practices to help children become successful readers,” Goldenberg explained. “‘Becoming Bilingual’ is part of this series and specifically addresses English language learners, that is, children who come to school speaking a language other than English.”

Hosted by actress Rita Moreno, “Becoming Bilingual” is a 30-minute program that examines the challenges of teaching children to read in a new language. The show visits schools and programs in six cities across the country to learn about the different ways schools are working to create bilingual readers.

“The program focuses on issues such as using the home language in the school's instructional program, how we can help children learn to read in a language they are simultaneously
learning to speak, and the role of parents in literacy development,” he added. “The program tries to address many of the kinds of issues anyone who is interested in the topic might be curious about.”

Goldenberg is also a consultant on a free bilingual Web site designed to provide parents and educators with resources and ideas for promoting literacy development Spanish-speaking children. "Colorín Colorado" (www.ColorinColorado.org) is the first major, comprehensive bilingual Web site created for parents and educators to help children learn to read.

Launched in 2003, the award-winning “Colorin Colorado” is part of “Reading Rockets,” which is funded primarily by a major grant from the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs.

“Each year, increasing numbers of schools and teachers across the country must educate large numbers of students who don’t speak English,” said Goldenberg, a member of the National Literacy Panel for Language Minority Children and Youth. “‘Becoming Bilingual’ is designed to inform the public about what educators are doing to try and meet this considerable challenge, particularly in the area of early reading.”

Goldenberg believes his participation in “Becoming Bilingual” was a good experience. “I’m a huge fan of public broadcasting,” he said. “It was really an honor for me to participate in this project. It's a thrill to make any contribution to the great work of PBS stations such as WETA.”


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