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Nov 29 2017

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ESOL program needs improved immersion

When Latin American and other ethnic students transfer schools to the US, high schools implement various programs to accommodate them as they learn the English language. One notable effort is the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program. Constant exposure to the usual English classes can help these students naturally learn the accent and flow of words native speakers use. The integration of the students into English classes would benefit the preexisting ESOL curriculum, because the experience the students would gain is not replicable in ESOL classes.

English teachers can instruct the language’s fundamentals, but they cannot tutor an American accent, or the flow of words characteristic to native speakers.

Hispanic students now comprise 22.5 percent of the current student population according to the student registrar. The influx of Hispanic students might need help with English, and ESOL classes aid them in improving their English skills. But integration into English classes exposes the students to how English speakers talk, and aids in developing an authentic accent.

Personally, I am a Filipino student similar to those in the ESOL program, and I have difficulty with an American accent. I have trouble with choosing my words, tripping on them as I speak. My old school integrated me into English classes, so I was able to improve my grammar and accent.

Students who need help with the English class course books have teachers who aid them when they struggle. By helping these students understand the reading material, they will become more proficient writers. Through reading course books for those proficient in the English language, ESOL students can learn better writing skills and even develop their own writing voice.

Though I am not an ESOL student, I still am an ethnic student who has problems with the English department’s course books. Books such as Jazz, by Toni Morrison, pose a challenge for me to interpret and understand.

Jazz uses confusing syntax and other complex literary devices that even trouble native English speakers. If I am having difficulties comprehending a course book, a teacher will come to my aid in order to help me understand them. The same opportunities should be available for ESOL students.

Permanent link to this article: http://www.gcmnews.net/media/rnf/2017/11/29/esol-program-needs-improved-immersion/