The Northern Nevada English Learning Initiative (NNELI) program is a National Professional Development grant program, fully funded by the Office of English Language Acquisition of the United States Department of Education. The grant was sought by University of Nevada, Reno, Associate Professor of TESOL Rod Case, Ph.D., Principal Investigator, along with Co-Principal Investigators, Jacque Ewing-Taylor, Ph.D., Director of the Raggio Research Center for STEM Education and David Crowther, Ph.D., Professor in Science Education, in consortium with the Washoe County School District. The grant was funded in May, 2012 and is expected to continue for five years, with a total grant award of $1,935,167.
NNELI's purpose is to improve instruction to English Learners (ELs) by providing specific English as a Second Language (ESL) training for undergraduates to procure an ESL Endorsement as part of their undergraduate teacher licensure program at the University of Nevada, Reno. This grant will provide both licensed, practicing classroom teachers and pre-service teachers with strategies for working with ELs within Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) content based disciplines through a Sheltered Instruction methods course based in inquiry instruction and the Core Curriculum Standards at both the national and state levels. NNELI will also provide an Academic Language in STEM course. Lastly, NNELI will offer paraprofessionals specialized training using multi-modal digital ESL/STEM tools to better serve ELs.