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Non-English-speaking students faced with special problems



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In a kindergarten classroom, four girls sit at a table to the side of the room and learn the English words that match pictures of a dog, a celery stick and an apron.

The girls are native Spanish speakers starting on a years-long process of learning English at Northeast Elementary School in Greenwood. With the help of an instructional assistant, they are learning to read, write and speak their new language.

Every day, they work as a small group on vocabulary, reading and homework with an aide who teaches English as a second language. Then they rejoin their classmates to have the rest of their lessons in English.

At elementary schools in Johnson County, students learning to speak English are placed in the same classrooms as English speakers so that they have the chance to learn the language by communicating with peers and learning the same lessons in counting, the alphabet and reading as their classmates.

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