A New Voice

The English Language Program at West High and the people who are apart of it.

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The English Language Program at West High and the people who are apart of it

Elise Seery and Maathir Elsheikh


When you walk down the hallway, it’s hard to miss the area where flags hang from the ceiling. Although many students may not know what students are in the classes and what they do, they will always greet you with a smile. The English Language Learners Program brings people together,  around the world from Guatemala to Congo.

Frank Francisco (22), Yonatan Rivera Brito (22), and Alfred Kanyolo (20) are students who are apart of the first step of the E.L.L program . Francisco, Rivera Brito, and Kanyolo all expressed  different goals for themselves while they are a part of this program. When Francisco was asked what is your goal with ELL. He replied by saying with a smile,¨To speak English with people (Fransisco 22).¨

During a students time in the E.L.L Program it may be hard, but having a safe and friendly learning environment goes along way.  Chelsea Parrott is a teacher in the E.L.L department, who teaches Beginner English Classes and an Earth Space Science Class. Parrot explained what her goal is when it comes to the learning environment she wants her students to feel, “ [students feel] welcome and they [students]  feel safe and that they are apart of a family (Parrott).¨ America Marungo (21) a former ELL student from 4th-8th grade, stated what advice she had for students in the program. ¨For the new students who are new to English, they shouldn’t feel bad about themselves. They should feel proud that they are learning a new language from the beginning (Marungo´21).¨

Students struggle with life outside of school. According to Parrott, most students come here without families and they either live by themselves with other families, uncles or cousins they barely know, or with on parent. So its a huge thing that they come to school to learn even though it could be really stressful for them, since most didn’t have education in their homeland, and instead had to work.

Also, most of the students have jobs until 10 o’clock and have to talk in English. In addition to that the E.L.L Program not only do they learn English, but life skills too.

“In Beginner English,¨ they have not lived in the United States and they come here so we do life skills. Some students volunteer in the coffee shop and serve customers to increase their English and life skills outside of school (Parrott).¨

The E.L.L Program process consists of four stages: Beginner Level, Intermediate Level, High Intermediate Level , and Advanced Level. When a student begins the E.L.L Program they take a placement test to examine their speaking, listening, writing, and reading English skills. They also fill out a Home Survey, to provide the school with what languages are spoken at their house. This survey helps the teachers gage their lessons plans accordingly. The results of the test and the survey, then dictates what level they will be placed in. During a student’s time in the ELL Program different levels have different classes and opportunities, to help students advance their skills in the English Language. Parrott explains that in the Beginner English Classes one of the opportunities is being able to go to Mcdonalds, ¨One time I took them [students] to Mcdonalds  and we had to order in English (Parrott).¨ At the end of the school year the students then take a test called the Alpha 21 and this is to see their progress.

The ELL Program at West High is very important for celebrating inclusion and learning. The ELL Program brings people together from around the world. From Guatemala and Honduras to the Congo, the ELL Program brings in people to learn one thing English.


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A New Voice