Mikeela Hudson, a sixth grade Spanish teacher at Uplift Summit International Preparatory, is opening doors for her scholars by teaching language instead of Spanish. Some of the scholars in Ms. Hudson’s classroom speak Spanish at home while other scholars only speak English. The result is a multilevel class in which all scholars study the same subject but are engaged in several mini lessons depending upon each scholar’s ability to read and write in any language.
Native Spanish speakers with the ability to speak English and Spanish are asked to improve spelling grammar and reading, as if they were in an English Language Arts class.
English speaking scholars who are learning Spanish as a second language, are pushed to learn Spanish language skills such as reading, listening comprehension and speaking.
English Language Learner (ELL) scholars are scholars who speak Spanish almost exclusively and need assistance with English as a second language. They are asked to improve upon English reading, listening, comprehension and speaking.
Ms. Hudson splits the scholars into these mini groups for individualized instruction. It’s almost as if there are three classes going on at once, until suddenly class collaboration kicks in. The class begins to grow together and learning becomes a collaborative effort rather than a class divided by language.
Jonah is one of the scholars that qualified as an English Language Learner at the beginning of the school year, but thanks to his hard work and multilevel instruction he is learning English quickly.
“At the beginning of the year Jonah could not string together two words in English. He wouldn’t complete his homework because he didn’t understand it. I asked him to come after school to tutorials and after a lot of work he can speak with any English speaker about any subject,” Mrs. Hudson said.
This is Jonah’s first year at Uplift Summit International and Mrs. Hudson is a big part of his success. Thanks to Mrs. Hudson’s instruction, Jonah is taking great pleasure in teaching his older brother about English grammar terms.
“One day my older brother, who is in ninth grade at Uplift Summit this year, asked me what an adjective was. I told him an adjective describes a noun and he couldn’t believe I knew that. He didn’t even know and he is older than I am,” Jonah said with a smile.
Mrs. Hudson credits scholar’s hard work and collaboration with their other teachers for her scholars’ success. She works closely with the ELA and Social Studies teachers to incorporate those subjects into her lessons. The result has been scholar growth across all languages and subjects.
“Combining ELA concepts in a Spanish class helps all scholars build fluency in both languages. They don’t always like it, but I don’t back off. Now that it’s the end of the year, I am seeing the results and it makes all those late hours worthwhile. The scholars know how hard they have worked this year, and they are proud of themselves which makes me happy,” Mrs. Hudson said.