Our students come from every corner of the world. It is common for them to arrive on our steps speaking little or no English. We do our utmost to support new students as they go through the language acquisition process, giving them the extra attention they need to succeed. These two stories are familiar ones in our school.
Abrahim arrived from Ethiopia halfway through the school year. When he walked into the Kindergarten room, he spoke only a handful of words in English. He seemed very lost and was not entirely sure what was expected of him. It was obvious that he was very bright, but would need a lot of help in order to acquire the language tools necessary for success. Abrahim was immediately placed in our Title I program. The Title I teacher worked with him in a small group setting, and his classroom teacher used all the resources at her disposal (and a great deal of patience!) to help him integrate into the class. Abrahim is now in fourth grade. He still participates in the Title I program, but his fluency in English has increased dramatically. While he still speaks with an accent, he is now progressing at grade-level in nearly all subjects.
Mariah came to fourth grade with moderate English abilities but a strong, sweet disposition and eagerness to learn. To improve her reading comprehension and fluency, she participates in the Title I program and for a time worked with a one-on-one tutor. Her pleasant attitude helped her make friends quickly, and these social interactions have also helped improve her language skills. We were excited to see her graduate and move on to high school!
*Student names have been changed to protect family privacy.