Speak UP just launched its first "English Learners" workshop, with the goal of offering tools and raising awareness among parents on how to help their children become proficient in English. Workshop participants learned about the initial English language assessment, six steps for enrolling a child in the EL program and tips on how to help their children master English.
More than 2.6 million public school students in California speak a language other than English in their homes. This number represents about 42.8 percent of students enrolled in all public schools in the state, and when a language barrier is not detected early, it can be a major obstacle in the learning process.
Among the resources available to students in the Los Angeles Unified School District is the English Learner program (EL). This program is of great importance for the Latino community because 82.2 percent of the students enrolled in the English Learner program in California use Spanish to communicate at home.
Many parents who attended the workshop said that parents are not properly informed about how to get their kids the help they need to become "reclassified" from the EL to Fluent English Proficient status. Reclassification is achieved when the student is considered proficient in understanding, speaking and writing in English. This process often takes five years or longer, and some kids never get reclassified.
The mission of Speak UP is to engage, educate and activate parents and community members to advocate for excellent, equitable public education at their children’s schools, in their communities, with elected representatives and at the ballot box.
La misión de Speak UP es involucrar, educar y activar a los padres y miembros de la comunidad para abogar en las escuelas de sus hijos, en sus comunidades, con representantes electos y en las urnas por una educación pública excelente y equitativa.