Children First: ESL Students

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After being at home all summer speaking their native language coming back to school and speaking only English can be quite an adjustment.

"I have a Russian students who was here half the year last year. So he was getting pretty good at English. He went home and heard Russian all summer, so now he's back and he's kind of forgotten some of the terms. We are trying to boost him and encourage him."

Sonia James is an English as a second language teacher at Dishman McGinnis Elementary. She says some kids come back to school and can remember English with no problems. Others take more adjustment.

James says, "For some of my kids who have just come over and have been here for a year or less, they need extra help learning the language. Some of the terminology is different because the letters may look the same, but now they have new sounds with those letters."

At Dishman McGinnis they have students that speak eight different languages. They come to her class so she can determine which areas they need help in.

James says, "We're working on writing and math skills. We do a language assessment on the students every year to see how they're progressing their listening, speaking, reading and writing skills."

She keeps a sign in her classroom to remind the kids to speak in English and she says the students help one another our when one of them forgets a word or a concept.