Teaching Children English Presents Tough Challenge - 8 News NOW

Teaching Children English Presents Tough Challenge

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LAS VEGAS -- Teaching children to read in the United States is an even bigger challenge when their primary language isn't English. Students in the Clark County School District speak a 149 different languages, with the largest group coming from the Spanish and Latino community.

The school district helps make sure all students have a chance to learn. They have an English Language Learning Program, and there are 92,000 students from 148 different countries who have to be prepared for standardized tests.

"In order for them to be successful in the general ed curriculum, all our kids are required to take their tests in English. So we have to get them to the level they can acquire that," said Dr. Norberta Morea Anderson, director of the ELL program.

Students all over the valley are placed in classes at their individual school that are considered ELL classes. So whether it's math, science or English, their teacher uses creative ways to help students learn their lesson in English.

The census reported a 116 percent increase in the Asian community and 81 percent increase in the Hispanic community.

"Knowing both languages -- English and Spanish -- you have more chances of getting a better job and you can get paid much better than other people," said eighth grader Josea Mendoza.

Over the span of two years, Mendoza has noticed a difference in how he communicates with others thanks to ELL.

Clark County's program was the only urban school district in the nation last year to meet federal achievement standards for English language learners.

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