Michigan: Dearborn schools leader: Foreign language use limited

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at gmail.com
Fri Jan 16 14:27:33 UTC 2009

Dearborn schools leader: Foreign language use limited

A study conducted for Dearborn Public Schools recommends that the
district limit the use of Arabic or other foreign languages in high
school classrooms -- something district officials say they were
already doing. "We instruct in English. However during instruction,
when it comes to a point when it's easier to explain a concept in
their native language, that's what we will do," communications
coordinator David Mustonen said today. "And that's what it takes to
help the kids be successful."

Superintendent Brian Whiston commissioned a study, which was published
in December, by the Michigan Leadership Institute shortly after coming
to the district in August. The institute was to evaluate strengths and
weaknesses of the district's three high schools. The 43-page report
contained 40 specific recommendations for the high schools, including
improving student math performance and continuing to use their
professional learning communities to help staff and parents work
together. Nadia Fadel, director of policy and community affairs at the
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee in Michigan, said
presenting a lesson in English, but using the student's native
language when additional instruction was needed, is the best way to
teach children learning English. "Whatever is necessary," Fadel said.
"I'm sure they are assessed and they have very good programs."

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