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SNS in the news
Northwest Arkansas News
September 2, 2008
Jumping the Language Barrier
Beginning this semester, Decatur High School is offering one of the few "Spanish for Spanish speakers" classes in the area.
This fall, foreign-language teacher October Vanegas, who teaches both Spanish and French, has six native Spanish speakers in her new class. Some of them are fluent in reading Spanish, and others are not yet literate in Spanish or English.
On one recent day, members of the group paired off, with the more fluent students working with less fluent students, and practiced reading aloud. The focus was on clear pronunciations, Vanegas said.
Some of the students learned to read in Mexico, while others had little opportunity to attend school until they came to the United States, Vanegas said. She hopes students will learn the connection between letters and sounds, and as they discover how to read in Spanish, their English reading skills will improve as well.
About 21 percent of Decatur High School students speak another language at home.