Closing the gap in St. Paul

St. Paul schools are closing the gap that separates native-English speakers and children from immigrant families, reports the Christian Science Monitor. Forty percent of St. Paul students come from non-English-speaking families. The schools team regular teachers with English language specialists so children don’t have to be pulled out for separate instruction.

A wiggling mass of third-graders occupies the floor space between two teachers during a lesson on “Hansel and Gretel.” When it’s time to split into groups, Concha Fernández del Rey takes the kids who are still learning English, while third-grade teacher Sharon Eaton works on the other side of the room with students at a higher level of literacy.

These children at Prosperity Heights Elementary in St. Paul, Minn., are using identical work sheets, but they’re getting attention that’s as individual as their gap-toothed smiles.

St. Paul’s students speak languages as diverse as Hmong, Spanish and Somali. Few schools try to teach in students’ native languages; it’s just not practical.

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  1. The CSMonitor is interested in this/these schools and is covering them. I wonder what the interest of the academic community consists of? Ed schools lining up to gather all sorts of information about the activity in the classroom, planning to distill it to its pedagogic essence?

    I’d say no and I’m willing to give odds.