The Importance of ELL
By: Tanya Messenger
ELL stands for English Language Learners, a program that is given to students at WHS that come from different countries, who speak different languages and English is their second language.
We have amazing teachers that teach this program, Mrs. Malizia and Mr. Mirizzi. Mrs. Malizia has been teaching for five and half years at Wethersfield High School and Mr. Mirizzi for five years. Mr. Mirizzi was quoted saying “I love this job. I feel that I am not only helping students with their homework, I try to help them beyond academics.”
Most of the time the students that Mr. Mirizzi and Mrs. Malizia will work with have parents that do not speak English, and they need help with personal issues as well. The parents of the kids may ask them questions such as, what doctor they can go to, where they should go to get glasses or find a dentist. Mrs. Malizia has also assisted students in filling out job applications, as well as college applications and more.
In this program, both teachers help students complete their homework assignments, check to see what assignments were not done and need to be completed, they love helping their students. Mrs. Malizia especially loves it when her students show that “They understand something that they hadn't understood before they came to class.”
In this program, they do a lot of fun activities such as a Cultural Feast that takes place twice a year, where most of the students participate and bring in a favorite dish from their own culture. They also have a gingerbread house decorating day which students enjoy. Mrs. Malizia said “Once we had a group of students teach their native dances to each other and (us) after school in our auditorium.”
This program is important to the WHS students who come to the school with very little English language skills. These students only have few years to learn English when other students have been learning English since birth. These students are learning the basics of English, and are expected to understand what is going on in their classes.
Many teachers do not realize how fast they talk and that these students are not proficient readers. That is where ELL teachers come in and try to break down the lessons so that their students can understand them. “Every student should have a chance to succeed and they try to give them the tools to do that!” said Mrs. Malizia
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