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The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

The Tongva Times

ELD program helps students with English and virtual learning

By Bellefontaine Nhan | Staff Writer

   Gabrielino High School provides the English Language Development (ELD) program for students who struggle with English in hopes of helping them master the language. However, this year the Virtual Academy has brought new odds to learning the language.

    Most Gabrielino ELD students would start in ELD 1, unless they are able to test out and move to a higher level. There are also classes labeled by grade level, which gives additional advisory. For example, ELD 11 only has juniors.

   “[ELD 11] parallels what they’re learning in their regular English classes and breaks it down into smaller more manageable chunks,” explained Lillian Diaz, who teaches regular English and ELD 11.     

   The Virtual Academy has brought new challenges to both teachers and students. 

   “Sometimes students have problems, sometimes I have had faulty wifi,” Diaz added. “It’s so frustrating because it’s something out of your control.”

   Kathleen Lydon teaches ELD 9 and ELD Desig. Lydon’s ELD Desgi is a class that has designated English instruction, and in this class they focus solely on improving on their English skills. 

   Lydon explained that, “This class offers a supportive environment for our English Language Learners to talk about their struggles with learning academic English.” 

   Lydon always begins class with a conversation, allowing students to be open about their interests. After this, they dive into the academic part. They use the actual literature pieces assigned by the students’ regular class instructors.

   “I take the time to break down the reading selection into smaller chunks, making it more comprensible,” Lydon continued.

   In the ELD 10 class taught by Shawn Nguyen, students are currently learning about MLA citations and paragraph building. 

   “I try to make personal connections with them and use topics they are interested in, [such as] anime,” explained Nguyen. 

   Alongside these ELD classes, students still attend other classes that are taught primarily in English. This can be difficult due to the language barrier.

   LTEL stands for Long-Term English Learners. Many students are placed into this category because they were not able to progress in their English efficiency, even though they have been enrolled in an American school for a long period of time. A separate class called LTEL is set up for these students for extra assistance.

   Some of the major goals of the ELD program is helping out students who need it. 

   “Our goal as a school is to make sure our English Learners feel supported and to make sure that they have access to the help they need to navigate the coursework as they arrive in the US,” stated Assistant Principal Eva Shin.

   Native English speakers and those who have successfully mastered the language are encouraged to help the ELD students in the classroom and in clubs. Conversation Partners is led by Lovelyn Chang, one of the English teachers at Gabrielino.

   “Some English learners pair up with a fluent speaker for either a semester or a year and meet individually with their partners to converse and build friendships,” Chang explained. “They [also] participate in our activities, games, and discussions.” 

   In the Virtual Academy, students may struggle with new concepts in this new environment. But through participation during virtual meetings and club interactions, international students will be able to practice English and get more comfortable utilizing it.

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ELD program helps students with English and virtual learning