Abington Public Schools Offers ESL Classes for Parents

Growing and succeeding together


Erielle Amboy

Erielle Amboy “Trust” (Scholastic Art Award Silver Key), Abington High School, 2017-2018 School Year. Green Wave Archives

Luciano DaSilva, Contributor

As a student who relocated to the United States, I have been faced with many victories that helped me grow and succeed. But I have also faced many challenges that brought me down.

On July 12, 2014, I relocated to the United States with my family.  At the time I was 11 years old. A young child moving to a new country can be physically and mentally challenging.

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My own parents are non-English speakers, so they rely on me, a high school senior, to help them with important matters.

— Luciano DaSilva

Many do not know how many obstacles English as a Second Language (ESL) students face. We are not able to make friends as easily or able to simply ask to use the bathroom. It is mentally challenging.

Parents of ESL students suffer with similar obstacles. Not being able to speak English puts limits on what parents can and cannot do, like helping their children with homework.

Due to the language barrier, they sometimes do not attend parent teacher conferences because they are afraid of not being able to communicate their concerns or not understanding the teachers.

My own parents are non-English speakers, so they rely on me, a high school senior, to help them with important matters. I have lost count of how many times I have helped them translate documents and translate conversations.

Abington Public Schools offers an English as a Second Language program for students who are learning their second language.  And now, he Abington English Language (EL) department has created ESL classes for parents of English learners to learn how to read, write, and speak English.

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Classes have been made possible by a fund provided by the Abington Cultural Council.

Abington High ESL teacher Ms. Elizabeth Despres said, “To make this program possible, the ESL department required funds to make it successful. Realizing that the Abington Cultural Council was giving out grants, the ELPAC (English Learner Parent Advisory) and I applied for the grant. The ELPAC helped plan and organize the classes.”

The three ESL teachers running this are Despres, Ms. Viviane Freitas, and Ms. Julia D’Arcy. They write the curriculum for and teach the adult classes. They motivate and support their adult students to learn and become fluent in their second language.

The adult classes at the Abington Middle School for parents with children at Beaver Brook and Woodsdale Elementary Schools began on April 27 that will end on May 27 . For parents with children at the Abington Middle and High School, classes began on April 28 and will end June 2.

Parents and their children will benefit from this opportunity the Abington ESL program is providing.