Northtown’s Spoken Word

Studying for a test freshman Jing Ke sits in Ms. Days classroom. Ke is an ELL student in the Newcomers program.

Molly Green

Studying for a test freshman Jing Ke sits in Ms. Day’s classroom. Ke is an ELL student in the Newcomers program.

One of the well-known facts about Northtown is that diversity is what walks our hallways. Many Northtown students speak a language other than English in their homes. Northtown is known as the most diverse school in Missouri, “The diversity at Northtown makes up the fabric of the school.” from Dr. Wartick.

A contributing factor to Northtown’s diversity is the ELL department, otherwise known as English Language Learners. Our campus host the newcomer’s classes taught by Rhonda Day in the Business and Technology building.

“My classes are usually 20-25 students by the end of the year,” said Day. When a student is enrolling and is new to the country, they are tested on a scale of 1-6, six being the highest, if they score below a three they are sent to the Newcomers program where they work with Day, who has taught ELL for 22 years.

The ELL department has about “one hundred students at a time, I have 96 right now” said Sarah Boyd, ELL teacher.

“I also speak Spanish, it’s beneficial [because] I talk to parents all the time [and] they feel comfortable talking to me,” said Boyd.

Northtown’s diversity does not only stay in the ELL halls. Junior Jocelyn Amparan is fluent in both English and Spanish.

“Its beneficial, I like being able to speak both,” said Amparan.

In today’s society , knowing a second language can get you a job and open many doors in the workplace that those with out a second language might miss.

“I have more job opportunities than others because some places have many Spanish speaking clients, so they need people to understand themselves. I could get better pay because I’m kind of working double, [speaking] Spanish and English,” said senior Edith Moreno.

Senior Samira Zantout is fluent in both English and Arabic. Zantout moved from Lebanon when she was nine.

“Being bilingual means I can subconsciously switch back and forth between languages. At home, I switch my thinking and speech to Arabic and when I leave the house it switches to English. If I have to make a presentation I like to practice it in Arabic as well as in English. If something sounds like it can be lost in translation, I adjust the English wording to make in more language neutral so the message doesn’t lose value to someone of a different native language “

Diversity is what helps shapes Northtown, it is known as one of the most diverse schools in the area and it is one of the things that makes this school great. Without diversity Northtown would not be the same .