Lillian Esagoff staff writer
Marilyn Palacios staff writer
For foreign Beverly students, taking a class taught completely in English can be a daunting task. That’s where the English Learner Program (ELP) comes in. Students take a test and the ELP Coordinator Karen Moses uses that to evaluate their level of proficiency and where they should be placed to learn English successfully.
There are five levels of English as a language. The purpose of this program is to not only to teach students English, but also, according to the BHUSD website, to “emphasize cultural awareness and respect for the many ethnicities represented in our multi-cultural school, promote students’ positive self-concepts and provide equal opportunity for academic achievement.”
Moses prefers using Zoom to the online teaching tools that were available last semester.
“I like it better, I get to communicate with them better because of breakout rooms; therefore, I am able to have one-on-one conversations with the students,” Moses said.
Since schools had to be shut down due to COVID-19 in March, students weren’t able to finish their three tests to see if they would qualify for regular English classes. Students were now able to take the tests.
“Students were supposed to take tests, but due to [COVID-19], they only took half of them so the board didn’t know if they were ready to be put into regular English. They ended up putting the students that were near passing into regular English, and the students that were not near the passing grade are taking the tests in the last two weeks of October,” Moses said.
Senior ELP cub president Elnaz Nooripour assists new students coming to this country with learning English. She created the club as a student so she can assist EL students more.
“If we were at school, I would help them be in sports, get to know people. Most of them are shy, so I could help them find friends in the school and show them sports and activities to join, but right now I can’t,” Nooripour said.
Nooripour also works with teachers to figure out ways to make class “more enjoyable.”
“We also have fun activities for them to do; it’s not just work and work. We also help them with their other subjects like math, science,” Nooripour said.
Nooripour finds herself unable to help students as well as she used to, due to online school.
“If we were in regular school, we could see what they are doing, how they are doing their work; some students don’t focus on their work. In school as the school’s ELP president, I could tell them to meet with me during lunch, and we would talk about their issues, if they [would] want to join any clubs…right now it’s harder because I have to email them, and most of them don’t see it because they have too many emails from their other teachers. It’s hard to communicate with them,” Nooripour said.