[EDLING:124] Volunteer program seeks to expose English-learners to 'rich language'
Francis M. Hult
fmhult at DOLPHIN.UPENN.EDU
Thu May 17 22:11:32 UTC 2007
Volunteer program seeks to expose English-learners to 'rich language'
"We always are asking the schools, 'We want your neediest, your most difficult
students who've just arrived and have zero English,'" says Guadalupe Valdes,
professor of education and of Spanish and Portuguese.
Valdes, the Bonnie Katz Tenenbaum Professor of Education, specializes in
bilingualism of Latinos in the United States. She is the founder of Ravenswood
English, a volunteer program on campus that seeks to expose elementary school
English learners to extended interactions in English. Begun in 2003 as a
collaboration between the School of Education and the Haas Center for Public
Service, Ravenswood English integrates volunteer service and research to
support children whose English skills are the most limited.
Ravenswood English started at Green Oaks Elementary School in East Palo Alto,
with Stanford undergraduate and graduate students serving as the volunteers.
The program generally attracts around a dozen volunteers per quarter, with some
returning several times. In February, Valdes began a new program at Belle Haven
Community School in Menlo Park and is seeking adult volunteers to be tutors
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