Many Students go to School Not Knowing English Language
Aug 20, 2013 at 4:27 PM CST
Aug 20, 2013
It's back to school in one week for Laredo students, and Associated Press is showing a state average of 16-percent of students will return to school not knowing the English language. But the numbers are much higher here in the gateway city. Laredo independent school district reports nearly 60-percent of their students speak little to no English, and they strive to change that. "For many of the kid's, their family has sacrificed so they can come from Mexico to achieve the American Dream which is the right to a quality education and being able to go to college and peruse any profession they want to achieve so we support that." Dr. Nelson says their teachers are heavily trained every year to deal with the growing number of students who speak little to no English. LISD’s elementary school teachers also have to have a bilingual certification. Before every school year, teachers go through rigorous training on how to teach Spanish-speaking students in English. The school system even has an early-age program where they teach young children the English language before they are school age. "We are one of the few school districts in the state that we offer full day Pre-K for three-year olds. Lots of people across the state start at 4. But we really try to go out and knock on doors and educate their parents that at three they can start grasping the English language." Despite the challenges of over half of their students not able to speak the English language, LISD students said it's a challenge they expect to help the kids.