Monday, June 30, 2008

Lifting the language barrier

This church group is helping recent immigrants figure out how to function in their new city and country. DP
Church helps refugees read, speak English

By Rosa Salter Rodriguez, The Journal Gazette Betsy Kachmar is standing in front of a huge screen in an auditorium at Fort Wayne’s Fellowship Missionary Church, working with that most American of educational techniques – a PowerPoint presentation.

On the screen, pictures flash of buses and maps of Fort Wayne, with Citilink routes indicated by mazes of colored lines labeled with numbers and letters.

In the audience are about 100 refugees from the Southeast Asian country of Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. Many are in native dress, which can include flowing tunics for men, and women’s faces are painted white as a sign of beauty.

Many have grown up in refugee camps in Thailand. Most speak little English and have never ridden or even seen a public transit bus before coming to the United States.

Yet family groups huddle diligently, poring over maps, while some sit singly, writing down curlicued Asian characters on sheets of notebook paper as a translator outlines what Kachmar says. As the Citilink communications director finishes her talk about how to recognize a bus stop, pay a fare and obtain a transfer, she asks whether there are any questions.
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Saturday, June 28, 2008

CSUS Students Feel Transformed As They Help Immigrant Parents Learn English

These adult college students are teaching English to immigrant parents, while not knowing Spanish. And they are succeeding. DP

By Blair Anthony Robertson, The Sacramento Bee, Calif. Every Saturday morning for the past month, behind closed doors and without fanfare, nine college students go about making their world a better place -- one new word, one flipped flash card, one pat on the back at a time.

The students, all vocational education majors at California State University, Sacramento, provide tutoring services for immigrant parents with limited English skills so the parents can be more involved in their children's schoolwork.

By all accounts, the parents and Sacramento State students have been transformed by the experience.

"Every time we leave here, it's like, 'Wow,' " said Robert Greene, a senior. "Three weeks ago, I'd never done anything like this."

Though it's part of the college curriculum, the sessions have taken on added significance and personal meaning for the students, who are older than traditional college age and enrolled at Sacramento State with years of workplace experience already in hand. Several have pledged to continue tutoring even after the official classes are finished.

"Most of the parents don't speak English, so if they get a letter from school about their child, they don't know what's going on," said Corinna Martinez, a student who works as a project manager for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.

By teaching basic English, the college students realize they are making an immediate difference. One parent with limited English, for instance, has nearly mastered a list of the 500 most common English words, missing the meaning of just nine. Another woman arrived at the latest tutoring session with a framed copy of her GED diploma.

"You get a connection right away," said senior Mellissa Truitt. "When you see how important it is for them to learn, you take it personally and you want to make an impact."

Many of the school-age children speak better English than their parents. That is the case with 6-year-old Karina, who watched over the shoulder of her mother, Maria Deluna, as Sacramento State student Leslie Morrill went over a page of pictures and words. Deluna is a native Spanish speaker, like the other parents in these sessions.
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$1.85 million Knight Foundation grant will help 500 Silicon Valley immigrants become citizens

This program will help 500 immigrants become citizens, partly with the fees and partly with the application process. DP

By Ken McLaughlin, Mercury News The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has given the San Jose-based Opportunity Fund a $1.85 million grant to launch a new program aimed at helping 500 low-income immigrants in Silicon Valley become citizens.
The Saving for Citizenship program is a "direct response" to last year's 80 percent jump in the cost of citizen application fees - from $330 to $595, officials of the Miami-based Knight Foundation say.

"Increased fees represent a significant barrier to obtaining citizenship," said Teresa Castellanos, who coordinates Santa Clara County's Immigrant Relations and Integration Services programs.

Through the new program, families will complete 12 hours of education about the American financial system, save $500 toward their citizenship costs and receive $1,000 in matching funds to cover application expenses, including fees and fingerprinting costs, for two adults.

Saving for Citizenship will also teach immigrants how to navigate the U.S. financial system; train them in budgeting, investing and analyzing loan products; and provide assistance with the citizenship application process.

"Low-wage, immigrant workers are a vital part of the San Jose community's infrastructure - as child-care providers, service workers and more - yet they often fall outside of the civic and financial mainstream, making it harder for them to participate fully in society and build a better life for their families," said Eric Weaver, CEO of the Opportunity Fund, formerly called Lenders for Community Development.

Students learn English; teachers how to teach it

Students and teachers are learning together in this class in their local library. DP
Lessons at mobile home park's library

By Josh White | Correspondent On any given Tuesday or Thursday, kids and grown-ups crowd into the library at Pinewood Estates North mobile home park to learn a new skill - how to speak English.

Their teachers are learning something new, too - how to teach English.

A grant from the American Library Association could help them both.

"I know it's frustrating," volunteer teacher David Di Bella told his students. "English is very frustrating."

English as a second language (ESL) classes are offered twice a week at the little 3-year-old library.

"It's grown tremendously," said Kathy Ames, the director of the Athens-Clarke County Regional Library. "It's a fulfillment of a dream for me."

The Pinewoods library was created to serve the residents of Pinewood Estates, a largely Hispanic neighborhood on the Athens-Clarke border with Madison County.

Around 135 people a day visit the library to check out books, get career or health advice, or attend computer, art, and language classes, said Miguel Vicente, the library coordinator.

Since March 2005, the library - a single-wide trailer - has become a central part of the community.

Staff members issued twice as many library cards to people in 2007 as they did in 2005. Ames also estimates the library logged fewer than 3,000 visits in 2005, but that number grew to 31,662 visits in 2007.

The library has only two official employees, though, and the ESL program depends on volunteer teachers, many of them completely untrained in how to teach.
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Monday, June 23, 2008

When teachers become the pupils

This class is held every Friday after school. The teacher is an 11 year old immigrant, teaching basic Spanish to the teachers in her school. DP

By tackling language and cultural barriers in class, educators and Latinos hold each other accountable

By Tracy Jan, Globe Staff With one hand on her hip and the other gripping a plastic ruler, Emely Herrera surveyed her class and asked it to repeat after her: "En la línea por favor" (Line up please); "No mastiques chicle en clase" (Don't chew gum in class); "Necesito hablarles a tus padres" (I need to talk to your parents).

The serious-looking teacher with arched eyebrows, knee-high socks, and long, brown hair pulled back in a headband is an 11-year-old immigrant from El Salvador. Her charges, gathered in a semicircle in front of her, are teachers at East Boston's Donald McKay K-8 School, where 90 percent of the students are Latino and half are not fluent in English.

Each Friday after school, the teachers brush up on basic Spanish to help them connect with their students, boost the confidence of those new to this country, and instill pride in the students' heritage.
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Muslim Americans rich in diversity

This article explains how diverse the Muslim community is in this country. The majority have been here more than 10 years. They come from 80 countries. DP

By Jen'nan Ghazal Read As a professor of sociology who studies U.S. Muslim assimilation patterns, I have analyzed numerous nationwide polls of American Muslims on a variety of topics. U.S. Muslims are a diverse, well-informed group; in fact, they are the most ethnically diverse Muslim population in the world. They come from more than 80 countries on four continents. Most are not Arab. Not all are immigrants. None are Barack Obama.

One-fifth are U.S.-born black Muslims (mainly converts), and a few are U.S.-born Anglo and Hispanic converts. The vast majority of Muslim immigrants have lived here 10 or more years, and they resemble the general U.S. population in their socioeconomic status. Most are employed, a quarter have a bachelor's degree or higher, and a quarter earn $75,000 a year or more.

U.S. Muslims are also like most Americans in another important way: They are not uniformly religious. Nearly half (46.7%) attend a mosque seldom, never or only a few times a year. About one-fourth go weekly, and one-third go more than once a week, proportions similar to those of U.S. Christians and Jews. More Christians say they pray daily than do U.S. Muslims -- 70% to 61%.
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Thursday, June 19, 2008

Study abroad can do students a world of good

This opinion piece tells how good it is for a student to travel and learn a language and another culture. DP

By Roslyn Ryan, Editor Though I have only been serving as editor here at Powhatan Today for about six months, there are very few things that really surprise me anymore.

Not that I think that’s a good thing; part of the fun of working in community journalism is the fact that there are so many opportunities to be surprised, amazed and/or completely befuddled.

Happily I can tell you that, last week, I was all three.

A Powhatan High School student walked into my office, politely introduced herself, and started speaking Japanese.

This would not have been shocking at all if Krystan Rillie was Japanese, but she isn’t. Her fluency came thanks to a year spent studying Japanese language and culture –literally immersed in it—in Shuunan City, Japan.

It’s no secret that the youth of today are more culturally aware, and more worldly than perhaps any generation that has come before them. The internet has opened windows on to vastly different cultures and allowed us to make connections—even if from afar—that we never could have dreamed about before.

What I found so impressive was this young lady’s devotion to learning about something so far out of her comfort zone. She took a giant step towards understanding something it would be just as easy, in this part of the world, to simply ignore.

Not only is she now bilingual, which will certainly be beneficial to her somewhere down the road, but she has, I think, learned a much more important lesson as well.

If Rillie accomplished nothing else on her trip, she is now so much better equipped to understand the experience of being an outsider, of having to struggle every day just to be understood. She now knows the value of a warm welcome, of a reassuring smile, and what it feels like to suddenly be the odd man—er, girl--out.

The empathy she now has for others facing assimilation into a foreign world, which she described to me the other day, is something that will serve her as well as anything she could ever learn from a textbook.

I hope that other students will see not only the bravery but the wisdom in her decision to study abroad and maybe even follow suit.

Rillie may have been the first PHS student to set out for the far corners of the globe, but I hope she won’t be the last.

Newton's English Language Learners live between two cultures

This school system has more than 70 languages spoken by their students. The children are learning English and succeeding in school. Success stories abound in this school. DP

By Chrissie Long/Staff Writer Nan Pang arrived in Newton three years ago, armed only with the English he had learned in a classroom in Japan.

He was incredibly shy — his teachers remembered — caged by his inability to find the right words to communicate to his peers in this new country.

Three years after his arrival at Newton South High School, and now a junior, his teachers proudly boast that he’ll be part of the mainstream curriculum next year. He’s participating in tennis and just designed a mural in the stairwell of Newton South.

Success stories like Pang’s are springing up all over Newton schools: students overcoming a language barrier and sliding comfortably into a new culture — a task that some adults take a lifetime to achieve.

Pang is one of the 2,000 students in Newton who speaks another language at home.
A population that has been mushrooming over the past 20 years, English language learners have had a unique impact on Newton schools.

There are more than 70 languages being spoken in the school system, allowing students to experience globalization in their classroom.

“It’s a great celebration of linguistic diversity,” said Jody Klein, English Language coordinator for the Newton Public Schools. “In my own daughter’s class [in Newton], there’s a Hindi speaker, there’s a Hebrew speaker, there’s a Chinese speaker, there’s a Russian speaker … There is bilingualism in their life, and I think that is really exciting.”
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New life worked out fine for Bela and Marta Karolyi

An interesting story about Bela Karolyi defecting to the US and going on to become a well known Olympic gymnastics coach. DP

By John Smallwood, Philadelphia Daily News, Daily News Sports Columnist BELA AND MARTA Karolyi did not know what to expect when they made the bold move to defect to the United States in 1981 and ask for political asylum.

They just knew that facing the unknown was likely better than dealing with the known in their native Romania.

A quarter of a century ago, Romania was a socialist state, part of the Eastern Bloc and allied with the old Soviet Union. It was a place where an independent and strong-willed personality like Bela could easily fall into disfavor despite being one of the world's pre-eminent and most recognizable gymnastics coaches.

And by 1981, after several highly public displays of unhappiness at international meets, including the 1980 summer Olympics in Moscow when he basically argued that his team was being cheated, Bela Karolyi was about as unpopular with officials in the Romanian Gymnastics Federation as he could get.

"Actually, I held up the Olympics for the sport of gymnastics for about 24 or 25 minutes by arguing with officials and trying to reset the truth on the floor for the kids," Karolyi, 67, reflected as he sat for lunch yesterday at a Center City restaurant. "I made a bad name for myself for disturbing the great Communist Olympics.

"They were already upset by the [United States led] boycott, and then to have a so-called insider from a socialist country coming in and calling them cheaters and liars, they could not stand it.

"I was young and hotheaded. I never thought about the consequences I was going to face later on."

During a tour of North America, the Karolyis decided to start a new life in the United States.
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Monday, June 16, 2008

Our position: Central Florida's increasing diversity will add to its richness

A thoughtful editorial about Florida's diversity. There is also a list of the different countries that are represented in their population. Click on the website to see the list and the numbers. DP

Our position: Central Florida's increasing diversity will add to its richness

By Editorial Staff There's no question that the Hispanic population in Central Florida is growing and, at the same time, becoming more diverse.

The latest statistics show that Puerto Ricans, U.S. citizens and always the largest Hispanic population in the area, are now being joined by Colombians, Dominicans and Mexicans, among others.

The Hispanic population ranges from 14 percent in Seminole County to 24 percent in Orange to 39 percent in Osceola.

So should Central Florida be concerned about a culture clash? Hardly. Instead the changes should increase the richness of the area.

There's every reason to believe that our diverse population will assimilate fairly quickly, without anyone having to abandon his or her cultural roots.

A recent think-tank study by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research found that people who arrived in this country in the past 25 years have assimilated faster than their counterparts of a century ago.

Hardly. Instead the changes should increase the richness of the area.

There's every reason to believe that our diverse population will assimilate fairly quickly, without anyone having to abandon his or her cultural roots.

A recent think-tank study by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research found that people who arrived in this country in the past 25 years have assimilated faster than their counterparts of a century ago.
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Focus is on people, not political debate

This new museum in San Diego is dedicated to immigration and immigrants. Similar to the museum on Ellis Island. DP

By Leslie Berestein, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER After years of operating out of a tiny downtown office and an exhaustive search for a permanent home, San Diego's first-ever museum dedicated to the topic of immigration is opening its doors in Point Loma next weekend.

The New Americans Museum will be one of a handful of such places around the world, among them the Ellis Island Immigration Museum and others in Paris and in Melbourne, Australia.

But unlike those, the San Diego space formerly known as the New Americans Immigration Museum will open with the word “immigration” conspicuously absent. Board members voted to drop it before the venue opened.

“I'd say, 'New Americans Immigration Museum,' and you couldn't get past 'immigration,' ” museum founder Deborah Szekely said. “When you bring up 'immigration,' the conversation turns to legal and illegal, and it never gets beyond that.”

Getting beyond the politically charged immigration debate is what Szekely, who struggled for seven years to house her museum in San Diego, intends to do. The idea is to honor the immigrant experience and the United States as a nation of immigrants, said Szekely, 86, the Brooklyn-born child of immigrants from Austria and Russia.

“We want to celebrate them,” said Szekely, who spent several years living in Tecate, Mexico, where she and her Hungarian-born husband founded a still-popular health spa decades ago. “We want for people to know their stories and how much they contribute.”
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Immigrants Turn to Farm Work Amid Building Bust

An unexpected piece of good news about the building slowdown. Those immigrant workers have turned to farm work, where there is a tremendous shortage of workers. DP

Growers Regain A Source of Labor; Wage Gap Narrows
By MIRIAM JORDAN The building bust is turning out to be an unexpected boon for another industry, agriculture, as many Hispanic immigrants who lost construction jobs return to the fields in search of work.

In recent years, the ranks of farm workers had been thinned by a crackdown on illegal immigration coupled with the lure of better-paying construction jobs. That left farmers scrambling to find workers to harvest labor-intensive crops. Now, growers and labor contractors from Florida to California are reporting that former carpenters, dry wallers and painters are returning.

"We had seen the labor supply dwindling year after year," said Richard Quandt, president of the Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties. This year, "we are surprised to have a lot of workers." The area grows strawberries, greens, broccoli, grapes and other vegetables and fruits.

As he prepares to harvest peaches, plums and other stone fruit in the San Joaquin Valley, farmer Pat Ricchiuti Jr. said "there is plenty of help." When the harvest is in full swing next month, his P-R Farms Inc. in the Fresno, Calif., area will require 500 to 700 workers. "Let's hope these people who were in construction stick around."

In recent years, real-estate growth fueled an exodus from the countryside. Construction offered full-time, year-round work that was better paying and less arduous than field labor. It also offered opportunities to acquire skills that raise earnings.
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Brandon chamber attends to Hispanic business scene

This Chamber of Commerce is helping their immigrant business owners with marketing and other things any small business owner needs help with. They value these business owners and know their success helps the whole community. DP

By Saundra Amrhein, Times Staff Writer Whether it's a bakery selling mango and guava pastries, a sporting goods store called Deportes, or a Latin deli offering yucca and pork, Hispanic businesses are popping up all over eastern Hillsborough.

Now the Greater Brandon Chamber of Commerce wants to both capture and nurture that growing sector as well as teach its current members and general businesses how to tap coveted Hispanic customers.

The chamber launched the initiative in February with a focus group made up of first-generation immigrants, Hispanics new to Brandon from other parts of the country, and second-generation Hispanics who prefer English.

The group included business owners, bank managers and teachers, said Ivette Mayo, a Brandon chamber member who helped plan the focus group and who runs her own cultural consultation business.

"They left their countries where they were business people, and now they are here adding to the economic development growth of Brandon," said Mayo, who started her business in the Brandon and Riverview area two years ago.

"A lot of them have found that in this community, it was very easy to come in, and they have been embraced," she said. "They are not only opening doors; they are thriving."

Still, the focus group members wanted more information and help with services such as promotion and marketing, she said.
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No excuses

The high school principal tells the people in Sunday church service how important it is for the children to pass the tests and graduate. He lived the story and says 'Failure is not an option'. DP

Story by MACARENA HERNÁNDEZ and GARY JACOBSON / The Dallas Morning News
Holly K. Hacker contributed to this report. Blessed Sacrament church on Marsalis Avenue is packed for 8 a.m. Mass on a sunny Sunday. Latecomers wedge sideways through the crush of people at the sanctuary door. Many of the men wear jeans, Western shirts and cowboy boots. Some hold Western hats.

After communion, the only person in the Catholic church wearing a suit and tie steps into the pulpit. Adamson High School principal Rawly Sanchez tells the worshippers to get their kids to school and get them to pass the state TAKS tests.

"We need your help," he says in Spanish.

His Spanish isn't polished, but there's no mistaking Mr. Sanchez's zeal for the gospel of education. He delivers his sermon at least once a year at churches near Adamson's Oak Cliff campus. Ninety-four percent of the school's nearly 1,240 students are Hispanic, and four-fifths are classified as low income.

After the service, the principal greets kids and parents outside. Across the street, a few men wait in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven, hoping to be picked up for day labor.

"You know I was talking about you up there," Mr. Sanchez tells a student wearing an Abercrombie T-shirt.

"I'm not worried about the TAKS," the boy says. You shouldn't either, he assures the principal.

Running an urban high school like Adamson is one of the toughest jobs in education. Some experts call these schools dropout factories because of their shockingly low graduation rates.

At Adamson, the mission is complicated by the high number of students who are immigrants or the sons and daughters of immigrants. Many need to master English before they can master academics. They need to master both to pass the TAKS exams and graduate.

"We underestimate the enormity of children not being able to comprehend the language," said Mr. Sanchez, who has been principal for four years.

Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa taught and coached at Adamson earlier in his career. He said it's helpful for a principal at a school like Adamson to be able to speak Spanish, to better communicate with students and parents. Being sensitive to social crosscurrents also is important.
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1,080 immigrants now U.S. citizens

An exciting day for these people and our country. 1,080 people from more than 100 countries sworn in at one time in Missouri. DP

By LYNN FRANEY, The Kansas City Star In western Missouri’s largest naturalization ceremony ever, 1,080 immigrants from more than 100 countries took the oath of citizenship Monday at Municipal Auditorium.

Usually, western Missouri’s naturalization ceremonies are held in courtrooms and involve about 50 or 60 new citizens. But a nationwide surge in citizenship applications last summer, some of it related to a hefty rise in the application fee, has led to crowded naturalization ceremonies this year across the country.

The Daughters of the American Revolution gave each new citizen a tiny U.S. flag to wave.

En masse, the applicants took an oath of allegiance to the United States.

Afterward, Linda Hardin Sehrt of the DAR urged the new citizens to be as proud of their new country as the group’s members are.

“Today, it becomes your America, your Constitution, your flag, your Bill of Rights,” she said.

When asked how he felt about taking the oath of citizenship on Monday, U.S. Army Specialist Yvan Galbeau, a 23-year-old native of Haiti, said “It’s cool. I get to vote this year.”

Maria Torres, 35, a native of Mexico who came to the United States 11 years ago for a better life, said she felt “muy, muy contenta,” or “very, very happy.”

In English, she added, “This is very important.”

Monday, June 09, 2008

Library focuses on reading, writing, speaking

This library is one of 34 libraries to receive $5,000 grants to teach their residents to speak English. DP

By Andrea Natekar, Tribune Non-English speakers in Chandler could soon have an easier time learning the language of their new country.

The Chandler Public Library, which is finding itself dealing with an increasingly diverse population, wants to be more accessible to English learners.

And it just received a $5,000 grant to reach that goal.

The library was one of 34 nationwide to receive a grant from the American Library Association as part of the "American Dream Starts at Your Library" initiative, which helps public libraries increase literacy services to adult English learners.

According to the National Assessment of Adult Literacy, 11 million U.S. adults - about one in 20 - have such limited English skills that they can't read a newspaper or understand the directions for medication, and recent immigrants account for most of this group.

The association says libraries, because of their accessibility, are in a unique position to help these immigrants acclimate to a new culture.

Census data says that nearly 22 percent of the population in Chandler speaks a language other than English at home. According to the American Library Association, much of that is because of local high-tech industries that have drawn people from all over the world to the city.

Gloria Ivwurie, a retired military servicewoman and a library volunteer, said she sees that play out in her conversational English classes, where many students are the spouses of workers who came to Chandler to work in the technology sector.

Kae Sawyer, a community outreach coordinator at the library, said she wants to use the grant money to create an English-learner Web page on the library's Web site, which would include easy-to-understand information about the library's services, as well as information about citizenship and immigration.

And the library will be able to buy more books and resource materials to help teach English to adults, she added.
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As Housing Pauses, Immigrant Laborers Return to School to Expand Their Tool Belt

These construction workers are taking classes in electricity, plumbing, drywall and other skills. When business picks up again, they will be ready for better jobs. DP

By Alejandro Lazo With home-building jobs increasingly hard to come by, the Residential Construction Workers Association of Alexandria is trying to help Hispanic workers improve their marketability and skills with a new curriculum that teaches them construction trades as well as small-business skills.

Though not strictly limited to Hispanic workers, the group has offered an array of social-service referrals and counseling in Spanish since its founding in 2002, assisting immigrant workers in enrolling their children in school, obtaining a driver's license and finding courses to learn English.

Now the group is making training and certification its primary activity.

"Most of the people working in construction are new immigrants, and they have all the problems that new immigrants have adjusting to a new country," said Clayton Sinyai, executive director of the group.

Known as ASTRACOR, its initials in Spanish, the organization started with a grant of $200,000 from the state of Virginia. Local government officials, business leaders and members of the Construction & Master Laborers Local Union 11, which represents workers in commercial construction, founded the group.

The group's new curriculum offers free courses in home electrical wiring, plumbing, carpentry, masonry, drywall and ceramic tile installation. The group is also rolling out a curriculum in small-business skills for residential construction workers. That course will teach workers how to read plans, estimate the cost of work and obtain financing, among other things.
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Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Large schools and small seeing influx of students from around the world

This town's school students speak 39 different languages, including Serbian, Bulgarian, Vietnamese, Urdu and Arabic, and its ELL students come from 15 different language backgrounds. The kids are all learning English successfully. DP

Valley becoming a global village

By Elisabeth Kilpatrick Fourth-grader James Savas strolls into his social studies class at Kaneland's Blackberry Creek Elementary, slinging his backpack to the floor and straddling his chair backwards. He chats with the girl sitting next to him as teacher Mariann Doherty prepares her lesson in the small room plastered with globes and posters of maps.

When Doherty announces they'll be playing "Geography Jeopardy" today, James pumps his fist. "Yesssss," he exclaims under his breath. He dominates the board, whipping off Midwestern land formations with ease: tributary, wind cave, source.

Watching the class, one would never guess James wasn't a native English speaker. But he moved to Elburn from Puerto Rico less than two years ago, and his social studies class is an English Language Learner class, designed to help non-native English-speaking students learn academic English.

"To talk to (my students), you would not guess they had any kind of language interference at all," Doherty said. And yet in a general education social studies class, James was "drowning in the vocabulary."

The rural school district has seen an explosion of ELL students in the past few years, jumping from 52 in 2006 to 104 this year. And Kaneland's not alone.
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