SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Weller Elementary with Springfield Public Schools (SPS) strives to provide learning for all its students by offering a class to learn English.
Students who are non-native English speakers participate in SPS’ English language learners program, the program teaches students English as well as give them support during the entire transition.
Laura McBride is an English language learner specialist at Weller Elementary who said once she learns that the school will be receiving a newcomer student she works to prepare current students for their arrival.
“The best part of my job is bringing a new student in who has come from a particularly different situation than what students here have experienced and these kids completing accepting that and moving on from it.”
Over 60 languages are spoken within SPS.
Students in Springfield public schools come from all walks of life and cultural background which makes for a diverse learning experience.
McBride says play is one of the ways children first learn a new language.
“You will see kids who you never see speak in the classroom, having full conversations with their friends on the playground,” McBride said. “That’s because that sort of language comes first. They’re way more motivated for that kind of language in the beginning. And it’s a really good building block for forming that academic language that they need to be successful in school.”