leader: Foreign language use limited
Dearborn schools leader: Foreign language use limited
BY PEGGY WALSH-SARNECKI FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER January 15, 2009
A study conducted for Dearborn Public Schools recommends that the district limit the use of Arabic or other foreign languages in high school classrooms -- something district officials say they were already doing.
We instruct in English. However during instruction, when it comes to a point when it's easier to explain a concept in their native language, that's what we will do, communications coordinator David Mustonen said today. And that's what it takes to help the kids be successful.
Superintendent Brian Whiston commissioned a study, which was published in December, by the Michigan Leadership Institute shortly after coming to the district in August. The institute was to evaluate strengths and weaknesses of the district's three high schools.
The 43-page report contained 40 specific recommendations for the high schools, including improving student math performance and continuing to use their professional learning communities to help staff and parents work together.
Nadia Fadel, director of policy and community affairs at the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Michigan, said presenting a lesson in English, but using the student's native language when additional instruction was needed, is the best way to teach children learning English.