ESOL students find new home in English classroom


Tave Hollins

Zhiling Guan, senior, sits in Cox’s classroom doing an activity where she reads aloud along with her classmates to practice their pronunication. Guan and the other students went around in a circle, reading a comic book styled novel about a group of travelling children who encountered a strange town.

Tave Hollins , Staff Writer

During the afternoon, the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class moves right along, reviewing grammar, vocabulary and pronunciation. Although quiet, all students are attentively participating in learning English words and also getting assistance on their classwork from other teachers.

Sandra Cox, ESOL teacher, gives her students the attentive one-on-one time that they need, even if there is a language barrier between Cox and her students.

“I speak three different languages.” Cox said, when speaking fluent Spanish while talking to Jeffery Borilla, a student who transferred from Honduras.

This fluency allows her to have a deeper connection with her students.

ESOL is also very inclusive to those outside of her classroom. When visiting, Cox had me participate in her class by having me read out loud.

“If you’re in here, you’re going to have to participate,” Cox said.
Michael Maclin, principal, discussed the process of how students are chosen for ESOL.

“Students are identified and from there, they are put into the course,” said Maclin. “It’s a very strict process.”

Maclin also mentioned how more and more schools are becoming diverse, and are beginning to implement ESOL in their districts. Also, Maclin is proud of our ESOL program.

“The program here is really second to none,” said Maclin.

The students enjoy their class. Cox has five official students, but eight to ten come in everyday, to visit and to get assistance from their favorite teacher.

The class agrees as a whole that ESOL is like a second family.
Zhiling Guan, a senior who transferred from Shenyang, China, and who speaks Mandarin, had positive things to say about her class.
“It’s good. I like this class,” said Guan. “Students here are nice to each other.”

Sandra Asamoah, junior, feels similarly. Asamoah came from Kumasi, Ghana, and speaks Twi (pronounced “tree”) and two other dialects.
Asamoah is not supposed to be in ESOL, since she passed the proficiency test. However, she continues to go to Cox’s class to get extra help and to help her classmates.

“I learn new stuff, and I get to help new people,” said Asamoah. “This class is more like my family.”

Family is a common feeling in the classroom. Freshman Tuywen Trieu, who transferred from Vietman, agrees with her classmate Asamoah.
“I like this class because they are like family,” said Trieu. “They make me very happy.”