73 Languages in PSD
There are 74 languages represented in PSD classrooms this year. Students of all ages have come from around the world to attend school and learn English, as well as learn other subjects in English.
Native Languages of PSD Students
Cebuano, Chinese, Mandarin, Fukienese, Cantonese, Creole, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dari, Dutch, English, Farsi, Finnish,
French, Galician, German, Greek, Gujarati,
Hebrew, Hindi, Hungarian, Icelandic
Korean, Lakota, Lao
Maithili, Malay, Malaylam, Marathi, Mayan,
Nepali, Parsi, Pampangoan
Pashto, Punjabi, Polish
Russian, Serbian, Shona
Shoshone, Sinhala, Slovak, Spanish, Swahili, Swedish, Tagalog, Tamil, Telugu, Thai, Tibetan, Tigrinya, Turkish, Ukrainian, Urdu, Vengo, Vietnamese, Visayan
PSD has students enrolled whose native tongue is Albanian, Dari, Hindi, Lakota, Pashto and even Swahili. Although 79% are from Spanish-speaking homes, Mandarin, Korean, Arabic and German are the next most common. (See box at right.)
“Students learn social communication skills quickly,” explained Amy Galicia, English Language Acquisition District Trainer. “But the academic language that they need in schools takes longer. The words we ask students to use in schools include words like: explain, defend, compare, summarize, evaluate, analyze and determine.”
Currently educators refer to these students as English Language Learners (ELL.) Classroom teachers who work with ELL students need skills and practical strategies in order to teach complex subjects to students in their new language--English.
Teachers receive that training through “E-Cubed”, a program designed by Amy Galicia, ELA District Trainer, to help classroom teacher’s work successfully with ELL students in normal classrooms.
“This training process takes a long-term commitment of consistent, ongoing study of English Language learners and what they need to succeed in school,” explained Galicia.
For example, teachers must be especially clear and concise, perhaps using shorter sentences spoken at a slower rate. Eye contact, visuals, gestures or pantomime may be employed and idiomatic expressions should be eliminated. Also important is the use of student’s prior knowledge, building vocabulary, using cooperative learning and making the content understandable.
“Teachers find these instructional changes are good for all kids, however, they are critical for English language learners.” Galicia added.
Teachers at Traut Elementary, Wellington, Blevins, Preston and Lesher Junior Highs, Fort Collins and Rocky Mountain High Schools are currently in the E-Cubed program.