Roxbury Township Public Schools provided a parent workshop opportunity Wednesday night at Franklin Elementary School specifically geared towards K-12 families of non-native speakers, Developing the Bilingual Adults of the Future Begins Today, with special guest Meredith Alvaro of Staff Development Workshops.
Alvaro is an on-going trainer for the district staff on literacy. She has been working with the Roxbury Schools for the past five years and returned once again to work with our families to discuss the development of our bilingual students.
Families were invited via personal invitation from their children’s English Language Learner (ELL) teacher along with translated flyers to learn easy and fun ways of developing literacy and math skills at home in student’s native language. Unfortunately, the turnout was low but Alvaro still had a positive message to share along with some suggestions to help bring these families into the fold.
She emphasized early on in her presentation that being bilingual is an advantage. As these students grow and prepare themselves for careers and being global citizens, knowing multiple languages will give them an edge over others who are not.
Roxbury currently has close to a 100 English Language Learners in its K-12 schools and these students are developing English acquisition which can continue to develop at home along with their native language.
Alvaro encourages ELL families to teach their children at home their native language in reading, writing, and speaking because “if you don’t use it, you lose it.”
Examples of writing she encouraged for students are letters to Santa, letters to family members, shopping lists, directions, recipes, etc. “Use as many opportunities as possible to write in your native language. Reach out to family members who know another language and have them teach you.”
For families who may not think they can teach the native language, Alvaro recommends using Google searches and images to download that languages phonetic alphabet to help guide them.
Roxbury’s annual Global Hi-5 multicultural expo was brought up as this district event is used to celebrate the diversity of language and cultures. Alvaro provided suggestions to help advertise the program including promoting the idea that Roxbury Schools is welcoming and diverse and that we want to promote bilingualism.
This year’s Global Hi-5 encouraged guests to experience the gift of the one HUMAN race and its multisensory cultural diversity in CommUNITY.
Roxbury Township Public Schools offers English as a Second Language and Bilingual programs and is therefore eligible to receive federal Title III English language learner and/or Title III Immigrant funds to supplement state language instruction educational programs, designed to assist English language learners’ achievement goals. Districts are accountable for increasing the English proficiency and core academic content knowledge for these students.
PHOTO ATTACHED (courtesy of Roxbury Public Schools)
- Developing the Bilingual Adults of the Future Begins Today Workshop
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