Carmen Claudio

English Learners
National Hispanic Heritage Month Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September18, respectively. Also, Columbus Day or Día de la Raza, which is October 12, falls within this 30 day period. The fourth grade students in Ms. Carmen Claudio’s Spanish class from Ashland City Elementary School commemorates this celebration with a research of some of those countries. The students are: Jodi Miller (Costa Rica), Elle Mayo (Venezuela), Macklin Hayes (Colombia), Ashayla Bello (Chile), Montana Lee (Honduras), Peyton Hudson (Puerto Rico), Caris Rowe (Mexico), Mia Stuart (Cuba), and Brooklynn Stock (Guatemala).

EL students represent more than 110 different native or home languages. The top 10 language groups include Spanish, Somali, Arabic, Pennsylvania Dutch (a dialect of German used by the Amish), Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, French, Russian and Twi (a language spoken in West Africa).

Many students are children of families who have recently immigrated to the United States from other countries.

People immigrate to the United States for a variety of reasons. They may come to join other family members or to seek an improved economic opportunity. Others are seeking refuge from political repression or persecution in their home countries. The refugees' countries of origin included Somalia, Burma, Vietnam, Russia, Uzbekistan, Cuba, Burundi, Ethiopia, Ukraine, Eritrea, Liberia, Iran and Sudan. In addition to the primary resettlement of refugees in Ohio, there has been a large secondary migration to Ohio from other states. In the Columbus metropolitan area alone, it is estimated that there are between 25,000 and 40,000 recently arrived Somali refugees.

Other groups of students are from families that have been in the United States for many years but speak languages other than English at home. For example, US schools enroll students of Puerto Rican, Mexican-American and other Latino backgrounds for whom Spanish is the home language. A significant number of Spanish-speaking children are members of migrant agricultural working families. .

US EL students include those who have had the benefit of prior education, including literacy development in their native languages. Other LEP students, especially those from refugee families, have had little or no prior formal educational experiences.

Cheatham Counties goal for all LEP students is to attain English proficiency so that they can achieve the State's academic standards and fully participate in U.S. society. However, the length of time required to attain English proficiency will vary according to a number of factors, including age, grade level, extent of prior formal schooling and current level of English proficiency.