Expanding Their Horizons during Lunch Foreign Language Clubs Are Popular at Carrick School

By Chute, Eleanor | Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA), June 2, 2014 | Go to article overview

Expanding Their Horizons during Lunch Foreign Language Clubs Are Popular at Carrick School


Chute, Eleanor, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)


Like most elementary schools in the city, Pittsburgh Concord K-5 in Carrick doesn't have time or money for world language instruction.

It uses ingenuity to help children learn a language.

This spring, it started two foreign language clubs that meet weekly at lunch and are taught by two paraprofessionals at the school -- Celia O'Brien, who is a native Spanish speaker, and Jason Bhandari, a Bhutanese refugee who is native Nepali speaker.

Ms. O'Brien and Mr. Bhandari are assigned to Concord because it is a center for English as a second language, or ESL.

Of the 451 students enrolled at Concord, more than 100 are not native English speakers. Most of them speak Nepali, but other languages spoken include Spanish, Burmese, Karen, Vietnamese, French and Swahili.

"There's a real need for the community to be aware of cultural diversity here at Concord," principal Jessica Colbert said.

It was a "natural fit" to enlist Ms. O'Brien and Mr. Bhandari to run clubs once a week instead of supervising lunch, Ms. Colbert said.

A language club was tried at Pittsburgh Beechwood K-5 in Beechview a few years ago but was discontinued after the teacher, who was certified in Spanish, left the school.

Concord has demand for the clubs, which are open to English speakers in grades 4 and 5. Each has 11 students, but more than 40 applied to be in the clubs.

Those in the clubs showed an eagerness to be able to communicate better with their classmates.

"I have four or five friends who speak Spanish," said fifth- grader Sidney Bath, who said she knows 78 Spanish words. "I wanted to learn Spanish so I could speak to them."

Fourth-grader Maddy Dalverny, who is in the Nepali club, said, "I wanted to learn what they were saying when they would talk to me so I can start interacting with them."

In the clubs, students learn about both language and culture.

At a recent Nepali club, students sampled kukhurako masu, a spicy chicken dish, while learning to pronounce vocabulary, such as "bhat" for rice. Mr. Bhandari also showed the words written in the Nepali alphabet.

At a recent Spanish club, Ms. O'Brien practiced vocabulary in a bingo game, guiding the students as they also used food words in sentences expressing what they liked or didn't like.

"They're like sponges. They learn so fast," Ms. O'Brien said.

She said the students also find out how challenging and exciting learning a language can be.

Mr. Bhandari said the students are "getting a sense of comfort to talk with the Nepali people."

Marty Abbott, executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, said research shows an early start on language learning is valuable.

She said learning a second language "is actually working a different part of the brain than the native language. When the brain gets that kind of a workout, it develops a lot more flexibility and ability to function in a better way. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Expanding Their Horizons during Lunch Foreign Language Clubs Are Popular at Carrick School
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.