Steps To Success

Personnel Services Guide
Miami-Dade County Public Schools
2002 - 2003

About META

Teachers in Miami-Dade County come in contact with students from other cultures or who speak another language. It is important to understand the cultural differences of students.

Do I need to speak another language to teach non-English speaking students?
Students who are not English speaking are classified as Limited English Proficient (LEP) and the goal is for these students to learn English while still learning content in their home language. Therefore, it is not necessary for the classroom teacher to speak another language in order to teach a LEP student.

Will I receive training to assist me in working with LEP students?
According to the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) Consent Decree, all teachers working with LEP students are required to be provided with the appropriate training for their specific teaching assignment. The courses needed and the timeline for completion are tied directly to teaching assignments.

What is META?
META, an acronym for Multicultural Education Training and Advocacy, Inc., refers to an organization that filed a class action suit against the Florida Department of Education on behalf of language minority students. The suit was settled out of court and, as a result, all 67 school districts in Florida must abide by the agreements set forth in the LULAC et al. vs. Florida Department of Education Consent Decree. The purpose of the consent decree is to ensure that language minority students have equal access to all instructional programs and services.

How does this impact teachers?
All teachers who have LEP students in their classrooms are impacted by the training requirements of the consent decree. The degree of training to meet the instructional needs of LEP students is tied to teaching assignments.

How do I find out if I need to take any courses to meet the META training requirements?
When a LEP student is assigned to a class, the teacher will need training to work effectively with that student. Principals have access to the META screen that tracks the assignment of LEP students and will explain the training that will be needed as the result of the assignment of a LEP student. More specific information is given in the chart on the following page.

Is this the same as the ESOL Endorsement?
The META training is not the same as the ESOL Endorsement although teachers who teach ESOL will need the ESOL Endorsement in order to meet the training requirements of the LULAC Consent Decree. An endorsement is a rider on a certificate that states that the teacher is qualified to teach a specific population or type of student. Teachers who teach ESOL must have an ESOL Endorsement with certification in elementary education, English, or a foreign language. Not all teachers who instruct LEP students need the ESOL Endorsement; only those who teach LEP students language arts and/or reading need the ESOL Endorsement.

The following tips are intended to help teachers work with LEP students:

  1. Learn as much as possible about the cultures of the students.
  2. Build pride in the students' cultural background.
  3. Create an environment where students develop a sense of belonging and feel psychologically and physically safe.
  4. Avoid textbooks and materials that present cultural stereotypes.
  5. Send home printed materials that are written in the students' home language.
  6. Use cultural differences to bring school and family together.

How do I register for the ESOL Endorsement courses and/or the META training course(s)?

The Division of Bilingual Education and World Languages offers the following courses:

Web-Enhanced ESOL Curriculum and Materials Development
Web-Enhanced Testing and Evaluation of ESOL
Methods of Teaching ESOL
Applied Linguistics
ESOL Issues and Strategies Telecourse, which satisfies the Cross-cultural Communication and Understanding requirement.

Visit www.dade.k12.fl.us/bfls for the schedule of online courses and registration information.

The ESOL Endorsement courses and META training courses are also offered by the Teacher Education Center (TEC). The course schedule and registration information for the TEC courses are included in the TEC Calendar which can be found at www.dade.k12.fl.us/9317/prodev/esolcal.htm or at the school site.