Students achieve academic fluency in English

Kailah Burton

Shelby Rowe, Editor in Chief

On April 1, a celebration for students who reclassified to fluent English proficient occurred in the career center in the guidance office. These 17 students, Ricardo Allencaster, Yasmin Benitez, Raul Calleja, Hugo Caro, Chris Estrada, Jose Garcia, Julia Huerta, Thien-An Le, Tony Le, Nanacy Sanchez, Ricardo Tostado, Mary Uribe, Pedro Alarcon, Liliana Azpeitia, Tanya Cruz, Junyeon Cho and Martin Sierra were considered English language learners to the state, but have now demonstrated English proficiency through state tests and various academics.

At Carlsbad High School, 140 students are English language learners according to state guidelines; however, about 20 recently arrived from other countries within the past three years and need to learn how to read, write and listen in academic language. On average, it takes 5-7 years to learn any language, so these 17 students have come a long way to finally be recognized by the state of California as a fluent English speaker.

“I moved from Korea four years ago and it was hard to learn [English] because it’s a difficult language and I didn’t have any idea,” Senior Junyeon Cho said. “I just learned from friends and I got a lot of help from teachers.”

Graduating from an English language learner doesn’t change any class schedules for the students, it just confirms to the state guidelines that they’re fluent in listening, reading and writing in academic English. With the achievement of being fluent, students will move on from their support systems and constant one-on-one help that they had as a language learner. However, there is always help for them whenever they need it.

The students, though, see the positive side to now beign fluent in two languages.

“Now that I am bilingual, I can have a better career for knowing two languages and that’s a benefit people hardly get,” Freshman Christopher Estrada said.

The step from an English language learner to becoming fluent in academic English is an outstanding accomplishment for these 17 students, which they will benefit from in their careers and it will help tremendously towards their futures.

“Mrs. Stanchi, the assistant principles, all the counselors and myself are very proud of these students and want to congratulate them on their success,” ELD Resource Teacher Elisa Galicia said.