At Jydstrup Elementary, Students Speak 37 Languages–and Learn a Lesson in Diversity

Brian Nordli, Las Vegas Sun, September 21, 2014

The children gather on a rug in Mrs. O’Brien’s kindergarten classroom, ready for the morning routine.

“All right, can you show me sitting down crisscross applesauce style?” Kara O’Brien asks in a sing-songy voice.

She plays a medley of songs for 5- and 6-year-olds.

“Give them your right hand/Look them in the eye/Put a smile on your face/Then you say, ‘Hi!’”

The kids giggle and act out the words, shaking each other’s hand. Next comes a disco-tuned ABC song, then a song encouraging them to wiggle and shake.

Every song has a purpose. O’Brien and other Jydstrup Elementary School teachers have kids in their classrooms from Ethiopia to Ukraine to Brazil, each with a varying grasp on the English language. This is more than just a morning routine–it’s a way to help the students learn English and respect students from different cultures.

Such diversity isn’t unusual in a school where 37 languages are spoken and in a district with more than 85,000 students who speak 83 languages other than English. About 85 percent of the non-English speaking students speak Spanish, but also Urdu, Bulgarian, Turkish, Thai and Hindi.

“The impact of learning about other people is so (important) at kindergarten,” said O’Brien, a teacher for 14 years. “You teach kids to look on the inside rather than their appearances.”

It’s not unusual to see children speaking Oromo or Hindi to their parents before being dropped off in the morning. But once they walk through the school’s door, they speak English.

{snip}

Inside Jydstrup’s cafeteria, the word “Welcome” is written in more than 20 languages on long rolls of paper. Principal David Frydman started the display to embrace diversity at his school.

The Clark County School District can’t afford to hire interpreters to transition foreign-language students into the classroom, so it’s up to the teachers, most of whom are trained in teaching English. A total of 2,000 are certified to teach English to non-English speakers, said Tracy Clark, director of the English Language Learning program.

{snip}

Some students arrive understanding some English, but many understand no more than “yes” and “no.” Every child is taught in the same classroom regardless of his or her knowledge of the English language, per district policy.

{snip}

It takes an average seven to 10 years for an ELL student to pass the English Language Proficiency Assessment, Clark said. The goal is to have every student able to communicate in English by the time they graduate.

{snip}

Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • All so Sheldon Adelson can have some cheap hotel housekeepers.

    BTW, “Jydstrup” sounds Norwegian.

    • Oil Can Harry

      I was in Vegas a few months back and was taken aback by the sheer number of panhandlers they have.

      They’ll have more bums when the diverse student body of Jockstrap Elementary School grow up.

      • TruthBeTold

        When Bush became President, the media saddled him with the homeless problem. It followed him through his entire administration.

        Obama presided over the biggest home foreclosure crisis since the great depression and there are ZERO stories about the homeless in America.

        • Oil Can Harry

          The p.c brigades created “the Homeless Crisis” during Reagan’s mid-80s economic boom.

          During that time Jesse Jerkson claimed there were 5 million homeless in the US!

          As soon as Clinton was elected and the Dems were back in the White House the “Crisis” disappeared.

        • The Worlds Scapegoat

          The housing foreclosure would have happened regardless of who was in the white house. It was started by GW and Greenspan.

        • ATBOTL

          Stop trying to defend Bush. He deserved everything he got and then some.

          • TruthBeTold

            I wasn’t defending Bush. I was pointing out the glaring differences in how issues are reported.

            The MSM blamed Bush for the ‘homeless crisis’ (right or wrong). However, with all the foreclosures, the MSM can’t seem to find any homeless stories to report.

      • bilderbuster

        Yeah but they’ll be multicultural bums with EBTs.

      • Atheist Realist

        places like Las Vegas, Phoenix and Orlando have a lot of people who are probably ex cons and moved there to “start over” and to probably change there name too.

    • Thorsted

      No, I live in Denmark and it sound danish to me. I was born in a small village called Spentrup. The -trup ending is normal for many countryside villages in Denmark -perhaps also in Norway. The ending trup comes from german trupp or like troops. An assembly of people. Jydstrup could mean that people came from Jutland (in danish Jylland ) in Denmark originally.

    • Dale McNamee

      I was thinking “Jockstrap” myself…

  • MekongDelta69

    “The impact of learning about other people is so (important) at kindergarten,” said O’Brien, a teacher for 14 years. “You teach kids to look on the inside rather than their appearances.”
    Silent Translation:
    “We will brainwash and indoctrinate you until you think the correct thoughts. There will be NO questioning of The State.”

    • bilderbuster

      I’ve seen what’s inside a body and it aint pretty.

    • Kris Chringle

      I’m not gonna say anything. But, her name probably ISN’T Mrs. O’Brien. They probably won’t post her real surname.

      • Paleoconn

        Why not? I know a few Kennedys, and Bidens, and Ryans, and Grahams, and Boehners, and Pelosis, and all sorts of other White-named people who are selling their kind down the river. It’s not all tribe.

    • archer

      As they’re getting their head cut off by some foreign born malcontent.

  • D.B. Cooper

    Yawn. Contact me when these little darlings reach high school. Let’s see how well they all get along by then.

    • Kris Chringle

      and, let’s see how much they know, too. Kids nowadays aren’t really learning much. They won’t know CRAP.

    • Roger Noah

      Statistically, those who speak to their parents in Hindi or Urdu or Thai will be doing quite well. In fact, statistically they will score higher on their SAT than white kids. Also, those speaking Hindi at home will be doing better than whites in spelling bees
      🙂

      Just the facts, sir. Make of them what you wish.

      • bilderbuster

        They are non-White and therefor can never assimilate and do not belong in White nations. They need to be taking SAT tests and winning spelling bees in their own nations with their own people instead of making our cultures, civilizations, peoples and nations resemble the hell holes that they were spawned in.

      • Ngati Pakeha

        You are probably right. My problem with all these people from the likes of India and China swamping our countries, and you know what I mean by that, is that they devalue the standard of our living by placing intolerable pressure on our labour and property markets. My parents provided my siblings and I with a good living off the back of working class (blue collar) jobs. I ended up as a professional whilst my brother and sister have done just as well with good paying blue collars positions.

        My point is that this is not really possible anymore to the same extent. I believe the evaporation of the blue collar standard of living is the biggest danger to the US, Australia, Canada etc. The third world immigrant has only disdain for our blue collar brethren. I know there are more than enough people within our own race that share the third worlder’s sentiments but this is mainly confined to the truly greedy one percenters. These people from India and China are not benign. They are ensconcing themselves within with intent to dominate. They are not interested in going to high school to get a social education in addition to an academic one. They are über competitive and have only utter contempt of the fact that we have managed, until recently, to live well without having to be so one dimensional. Have you noticed they never seem to be involved in charatible organisations? It seems to be a “foreign” concept to them. I volunteer at a local food bank and I am yet to see a third worlder come to the bank in any capacity other than that of a ‘taker’. Being a bit older I am often used to interview candidates for entry level positions. During the interview I’ll surprise these candidates by mentioning that the merits of their application will be considered with regards to any voluntary type work that they may have done. The looks on their faces are priceless as they thought their straight As was going to be the only consideration. There is more than one way to skin a cat.

        • Roger Noah

          You are right. I tried to share a link to underscore the point you made but the post got bounced to the moderator. Let me post the link without the dots.

          www dot thehindu dot com/news/indian-diaspora-makes-mark-in-foreign-policy/article6455256.ece

          • Ngati Pakeha

            Thanks for that.

  • dd121

    Another heart warming leftist story chronicling the decline of our civilization.

    • RHG

      The LVSun is liberal/leftwing mouthpiece for the Democrat party and Harry Reid. It only survives because it’s in a “joint operating agreement” with the more conservative Review Journal.

      • dd121

        I don’t get out much so help me out. What’s the LVSun?

        • mobilebay

          Sounds like the name of their newspaper: The Las Vegas Sun. Probably owned by Harry Reid, so the only thing it can do is praise the diversity in its schools. What insanity!

          • dd121

            Thanks, I guess I could have googled it but feeling lazy.

  • Ed

    Oh joy.

  • propagandaoftruth

    “All right, can you show me sitting down crisscross applesauce style?” Kara O’Brien asks in a sing-songy voice.

    ———————–

    Oh boy. Where are the antacids?

    ————————-

    It takes an average seven to 10 years for an ELL student to pass the English Language Proficiency Assessment, Clark said. The goal is to have every student able to communicate in English by the time they graduate.

    —————————-
    Really? What else are you teaching them? 7 to 10 years? Really?

    • bilderbuster

      What’s this “crisscross applesauce style” stuff?
      The little diversity tykes ought to know how to sit Indian style without all of the Jessie Jackson style rhymes.

  • Lewis33

    “You teach kids to look on the inside rather than their appearances.”

    She obviously hasn’t got the message about disparate impact yet.

  • TruthBeTold

    5- and 6-year-olds all singing and smiling together.

    In a few years when biological, racial differences start manifesting, it’s going to be a different ‘narrative’.

    • bilderbuster

      They will be rappin’ and workin’ it like a ho!

  • RHG

    I live in LV and this school system continues to finish at close to the bottom in rankings, now you know why.

  • Greg Thomas

    And this is supposed to be our “greatest strength?” 10 to 1 the only “O’Brien” you will find at that school is the teacher. God help us…..

  • bilderbuster

    Get those Ukrainian kids out of that Third World school now!

    • Roger Noah

      Ukraine is second-world, right?

      • bilderbuster

        I guess you didn’t have your cup of coffee this morning so I’ll make it real simple for you.
        Get those European children away from that school ASAP!

  • antiquesunlight

    So school is becoming less and less about education and more and more about preventing complete social chaos. Sounds great.

    • bilderbuster

      That school is the definition of social chaos.

  • IKUredux

    Yeah, I don’t know, this school name is apparently meaningless and made up. The perfect example of what passes for our country today: “meaningless and made up”. We should change the name of this country to “Jydstrup”, it is about as meaningful. And, when you think about it, it’s so much more inclusive. However, I am ashamed to report that so many other ethnic groups have been left out! So, I propose the new name for the country formerly known as the United States of America:

  • Shadrach

    Bulgarian? Ukrainian? Wow, those two are acceptable. Learn English or kick the rest out.

    • bilderbuster

      Kick the rest out of the Western World along with their very large families.

  • Magician

    Too much of anything is not good

    Yes East Asians are mostly law abiding

    But we should not promote immigration fton East Asia

    • Ultimate187

      Don’t expect too much resistance to Asian immigration around here.

      • bilderbuster

        Expect resistance from me.

  • MrEd

    I had a 4 1/2 day teaching career at a southern Florida charter school as an 7/8th grade English teacher. We had four Spanish speakers in my classes. They didn’t know a single word of English. I have no idea if they could read or write in Spanish either. There were no Spanish-English dictionaries, Spanish textbooks, or bi-lingual teaching assistants for these students. They were on their own in my class. A couple of the bi-lingual students tried to translate the vocabulary lessons into Spanish using their iPhones with limited success. It was quite frustrating, and I quickly realized that I was simply not up to the task.

    That being said, I have no idea how one would teach a dozen students in one class who all speak a different (and possibly obscure) language. I have spent some time working in Canada where everyone knows both French and English by law. Perhaps that is a possible answer for for future generations here?

    • Ultimate187

      Canadians are required to know at least one of English or French. Not necessarily both. Practically speaking it might change in the future as fewer people feel the need to learn French, which is already losing ground to both Chinese and Spanish.

  • mobilebay

    When I hear that “it’s so hard to immigrate to the US,” I have to laugh. Seems we have boatloads coming in every day, mostly from 3rd world countries. We must stop all legal immigration and close our borders or we’re done for as a nation.

    • IstvanIN

      We are already done.

  • Fathercoughlin

    filthy monkeys

    • Roger Noah

      Most of them do take a shower as frequently as white kids – if not more 🙂

      I am not saying we should open our doors to mass immigration, but silly racist comments like these make us pariahs to even to those who think like us.

      • bilderbuster

        And you would know this how?
        The fact that lower IQ families with children that don’t resemble us are crossing our southern border at this moment with open scabies sores and lice dripping from their hair proves the nonsensical nature of your post.

  • TonyWestfield

    From the article: “It takes an average seven to 10 years for an ELL student to pass the English Language Proficiency Assessment,” Clark said. “The goal is to have every student able to communicate in English by the time they graduate.”

    One of my most vivid memories is the arrival of Elena, tall and pretty with her blonde hair and blue eyes. She came from Poland to live with her aunt and uncle, directly across the street from me and my family. Elena could not speak a word of English. Even as a very young boy, around seven years old, I was impressed and truly dazzled to observe this girl (who was a couple years older than me) rise like a bright sun and flourish here in America. She was thoroughly fluent and literate in English–“as good as me,” I thought–within SIX MONTHS of her arrival. This was the 1960’s, before every public school twisted itself into grotesque shapes in order to “help” newcomers with what we now call ESL or ELL (English language learner) programs and accommodations.

    • Who Me?

      Elena was immersed in English, so she HAD to learn English to communicate with those around her. This is the most efficient way of teaching a person another language. There may be a heavy accent and some hesitation and groping for the proper word, but most children, especially those of school age will be understandable in the new language in a matter of 6-8 WEEKS, and quickly more so as more time passes.
      This works very well in a classroom where the teacher and all the other children speak English. If there are all sorts of other languages or even more than 2-3 children who speak a language other than English, this quick grasp of English fades and it takes far longer for the children to learn the new language.
      In any event, the 7-10 YEARS seems excessively long.

      • TonyWestfield

        No doubt, WM, immersion is optimal both for the newcomer and for the host community/country. Every living creature responds to incentive (as the incentive is understood, or misunderstood, by the subject creature), and so it is unfortunate that our governance seems ignorant to the fact that massive immigration tends to produce what I call “clusters of same”–enclaves of native-language speakers who “find” one another, and then, inevitably, some of the immigrants get very lazy about assimilating. Spanish-language clusters are the obvious contemporary example; also in my region, there is Brighton Beach (Brooklyn), where enough Russians settled within just a few years that some persons imbedded in that neighborhood don’t feel sufficient incentive to learn English and thus to involve themselves in the larger world outside the enclave.

        There seems to be a temporal factor in these equations, as census data indicate intense clusters of Polish, Russian, Italian, etc., in the early part of the 20th century in numerous American cities, especially in the northeast. But the language-enclave effect was short lived because there was no cable television channel produced in the native language, likewise no bilingual education in the public schools, no multi-lingual signage at The Home Depot and at the bank (including the ATM), minimal or no translation services at the hospital, at the courthouse, within the police department, etc…in a word, newcomers felt a very strong incentive to assimilate. To these external factors, one can append the unseemly subjective factors heaped upon us by cultural Marxists in our present era: grievance-group advocacy and “pride” movements that flaunt the banner of equality or, in the case of La Raza, the banner of supremacy with an unabashed goal of conquest and hegemony. It was better in the so-called old days, when virtually all immigrant families made a bee-line to assimilate, to become Americans. In nearly every case that I can recount–and there are hundreds within my personal experience–immigrant parents did not even teach the language of The Old Country to their children.

  • AmericanCitizen

    A glimpse into the future. A babel-like mess of languages, with the dumbest and slowest immigrants setting the pace for everyone. Welcome to the America Educational System, working one day at a time to turn America into a socialist paradise full of sheep working part-time and leeching off taxpayers for government benefits.

  • Obvious Pseudonym

    “The Clark County School District can’t afford to hire interpreters to transition foreign-language students into the classroom”

    Good.

    These kids should be totally immersed in the English language from day one. Why should anglophone kids be disadvantaged by wasting resources at accommodating unassimilables?