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Updated 03/23/2012 05:00 AM
State of Education: An innovative ESL program
ESL programs - or English as a Second Language - have become more popular over the years. Vince Gallagher reports.
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The number of ESL students in New York State has grown over 19 percent in the last 15 years. Giffen Elementary School in Albany offers this class to several students of their own
"A lot of them are refugees from other countries that do not speak English, nobody at home speaks English, so this is very valuable information to them," said Betsey Domenico, an ESL teacher.
A lot of them come from the country of Burma.
"We have had a large influx of ESL students in the Albany City School District at our school in Giffen Elementary we have sixty students," said Domenico.
So what methods are being used to help students understand the sometimes tricky English language? Well, how about, riding a public transit bus?
"Basically it's to help integrate people that come to this country that don't speak English how to integrate, make connections in the community, how to ride the bus, how to make that transaction a little easier," said Onicela Cedeno, Albany County Travel Trainer.
Booklets were made up by service learning cub students at a nearby school. They and ESL students got on board of a Capital District Transit Authority, or CDTA bus. So instead of "driver education,” it's really "rider education."
"We took pictures of the seats and how much the bus will cost, and the lunch card and stuff like that, and when we brought it back to school we put captions under it and turned it into a book," said Abby Scheuermann, a student.
“For the kids that speak different languages we can help them figure out much it would cost for a day pass or a $1.50 for one ride,” said Deante Moore, a student.
As the ESL learning continues, you could say this transit bus has become...a school bus.