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Teaching Immigrants English in the Public Schools
Teaching Immigrants English in the Public Schools

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AIR DATE: September 19, 2011

When new immigrant students come to the U.S., teaching them English is one of the biggest challenges facing schools. One model to help acculturate these kids and teach them English is is known as a "newcomer" program. A newcomer program takes students out of the mainstream curriculum and separates them into their own classes to learn English.
 
Newcomers are described as recent immigrant students who may have had limited formal education in their native countries and who have little to no English language skills. This presents a special challenge for schools that aren't equipped to meets those needs. Research varies on what the best ways to teach newcomer students and in Clark County Orr Middle School has seen some success with its newcomer program. We discuss what's going on at Orr and what works best in the classroom.
 
GUESTS
Jude Joffe-Block, reporter, Fronteras: The Changing Americas Desk
Diane August, Sr Research Scientist, Center for Applied Linguistics
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    COMMENTS:
    I am so tired of catering to illegals that have so called anchor babies. My FATHER was born in Mexico spoke no English and NEVER received ESL special treatment. So I am not speaking from a racist point of view. I am 1/2 Mexican. I am tired of MY children getting a second rate education because they have to slow pace for ESL, or having to sit in the portables with poor A/C heating and no bathrooms because there are more ESL students! Clear out a school and have it ALL ESL and let the English speaking AMERICANS learn!
    Sick And TiredNov 11, 2011 18:41:33 PM
    Students, young and old from many different countries learn English quickly, and become success stories fast. Even though they dont have a button to press. Maybe that is the key for their success because they dont believe in hand-outs. I am a immigrant as well and got my BSN here in the US. The work was very hard, and I graduated with honors. To Hassan: Congratulations on your families success. I met many students from African-, European-, and Asian countries in my classes. All of them where hard working. They knew, if they succeed here, their lives will be better. These people also enriched my live.
    RuthSep 16, 2011 10:46:38 AM
    I think the ESL program should try to attract more teachers who were ESL students themselves. They know what is needed by these diverse students and they know the cultures better than a typical native teacher would. I Just wanted to point out that these kids most likely will succeed in their lives because their parents crossed deserts and oceans for the kids. We are Ethiopian and almost all of my relatives are Engineers and Doctors. One of my nieces just left for Medical school and came to America with zero English, seven years ago. Thanks
    HassanSep 15, 2011 09:44:40 AM
    Hassan, when I hear success stories such as your niece's, it makes me love my job even more. I've had the pleasure of teaching many Ethiopian and Eritrean students. They come from bright,hardworking families and work hard to perfect their English. I was born and raised in LV but my family comes from India. While I don't believe good ELL teachers need to be second language learners themselves, I think it's important for teachers to have empathy for their students' experiences. Truly caring goes a long way.
    Annie BhatnagarSep 15, 2011 20:17:02 PM
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