Johan was one of 75% of our students who came to CFNC as an English Language Learner (ELL). Johan’s parents came to the U.S. from Guatemala and don’t speak much English at home. Like 69% of CFNC students, Johan and his family speak Spanish. Because kindergarten in the public schools is an English-speaking setting, CFNC’s teachers and social worker knew it would be important for Johan to learn English before he entered kindergarten, and provided resources, tools, and appropriate learning opportunities so Johan could build confidence in his Spanish literacy and vocabulary while also learning English.
Research shows that English Language Learners who are taught in both their native language and English end up learning English faster (Jim Cummins, the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education). CFNC serves a diverse group of children and families – they represent 22 countries and speak 7 languages this year! That’s why CFNC’s bilingual model is so important and effective – we have at least one Spanish-speaking teacher in every classroom to help our ELL students build skills in their home language while also learning English. We even have an Amharic and Arabic speaking teacher. Without adequate English skills, these students are at risk of falling behind in their core academic classes. CFNC teachers and staff work hard to ensure that every child who leaves our program has the English skills necessary to succeed in kindergarten, and in life.
In his April assessment, Johan scored a 29 out of 30 on his English test, which means he tested out of ELL support! Now, he will enter kindergarten in the Fall with the English skills he needs to be successful and it’s all because of you!