Having a group of English language learners visit the mayor’s office in New Haven, Connecticut proved to be a learning experience for everyone involved. Students shared their observations about differences between countries, and practiced reading to Mayor Toni Harp. They read from books and letters, with varied degrees of proficiency.

http://leadershipandsoftskills.com/A dozen English language learners from Truman School visited the mayor’s office. Teacher Mary Lou DiPaola brought the group, which ranged from fourth through eighth grade.

The differences between Truman School and school in Malawi were explained by fourth grader Arnold Atuyuwe. Books are not free here, computers are all over the place, and teachers do not hit students. He is one of the newest arrivals, having come to New Haven in December.

Other students have been in New Haven for a longer time. They need assistance to make them secure in English reading and writing. DiPaola pulls them out of regular English classes to give them additional support.

“They’re all technically on the English language learner roster,” she said.

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