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Local students learning English as a second language

More than 80 students were selected to attend the five week English learners summer camp.

Posted: Jun 27, 2018 11:05 AM
Updated: Jun 28, 2018 6:13 AM

Students in Madison City Schools spent the first part of summer in the classroom learning English as a second language.

More than 60 languages are spoken in the homes of Madison City Schools students.

85 students in rising kindergarten through seventh grade were selected for the five-week English learners summer camp, happening at Madison Elementary School.

Fifteen different languages are spoken among the students.

WAAY 31 asked students if they were having a hard time learning English.

"Not really. It's fun learning things, new things," Nancy Zhang said.

Organizers said this year's theme, superheroes, could serve as an ice breaker for students on the first day of school.

"We teach them how to sit up straighter and talk louder when they need to so they can express themselves," Angie Bush, program administrator, said.

Bush understands that knowing how to speak English is one thing, but understanding cultural references and values can often be an additional barrier.

She said that's why she hopes students at the English learners camp catch on to both.

"We want to see excellence and we want to see courage and we want to see learning and collaboration and respect because those are things all superheroes have. We want all of our superheros at camp to have those character traits," Bush said.

The English learners camp finishes up July 3rd with a cultural potluck.

Parents will get to hear what their kids learned over the summer and will bring an authentic dish from their home country to share.

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