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Marlborough schools offer help for English language learners

By Joan F. Simoneau, Community Reporter

Marlborough – The influx of immigrants to the United States has driven the growth of English language learners and the need for educators who are skilled in teaching this unique group of people. According to Face the Facts USA, a project of George Washington University, 10 percent of all public school students in the U.S. are English as Second Language (ESL) Learners/English Language Learners (ELLs) meaning they have limited English proficiency.

“With more diverse families choosing to live in Marlborough, many of their children are now in the position of having to learn English,” stated Lynne Medailleu, director of English Learner Education for Marlborough Public Schools (MPS). “Not only do they have to learn English, they have to also perform in it academically. These students are called English learners, or ELs, who receive this specialized instruction.”

EL students receive English language development (ELD) classes which take social and academic language proficiency into consideration.

“All classroom and content teachers are also part of this language acquisition since in addition to ELD classes MPS students learning English are in math, science and other classes with non-EL students,” she said.

The number of ELD classes is designated by state and federal guidelines. Students’ skills and interests are also taken into consideration, according to Medailleu. She gave the example of a student from Morocco attending 1Lt. Charles W. Whitcomb Middle School, whose first language is Arabic.

“He wished to continue learning French as he had at his previous school. Most Whitcomb students at his level of English would not take a foreign language in middle school, but the Whitcomb EL staff worked out his schedule so that he could,” she said.

In keeping with the knowledge that family involvement in school is critical to student success, MPS has created a translation department so that all school personnel communicates effectively with the city’s largest non-English groups – Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking families. Three Spanish-speaking and three Portuguese-speaking professionals have been hired to translate written documents and provide interpretation services.

“The Marlborough Public Schools are committed to engaging all students and families since we strongly believe that all students can learn and deserve to learn,” stated Reina Rago, MPS communications coordinator.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=94346

Posted by on Oct 5 2017. Filed under Byline Stories, Education. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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