Impact Insights

Language and Content Development at Cardozo High School

Lana Learn coaches are working with English language learners on language and content development to set them up for academic success.

Lana Learn coaches are in high gear implementing the 21st Century Community Learning Centers (21st CCLC) program. Currently, they are teaching summer school at Cardozo High School in Washington, DC. For the students of the International Academy, this means time to become acquainted with the American school system. The International Academy at Cardozo Education Campus is a program that opened in 2014. It formed through a partnership between DC Public Schools (DCPS) and the Internationals Network for Public Schools (INPS) in New York City. The academic model is based on decades of proven, research-based instructional approaches designed to work with recently arrived immigrant students. Through the International Academy, these students experience a complete integration of language and content development with strategic use of the students’ native languages. Additionally, teachers intentionally bridge the students’ native languages and the target language of English.

Over the last few weeks, I have had the pleasure of working with a geometry class of International Academy students. These students come from a variety of countries and thus have diverse educational backgrounds. The first week of class, the teacher noticed that one of the students, Steven, was picking up concepts remarkably fast.

While the rest of the class works with the teacher on the main learning goals, I have been working with Steven on more challenging topics. In one day last week, he learned the distance formula and the Pythagorean Theorem and how to apply them! He accomplished this by first watching a tutorial on Khan Academy. Then, we worked through the first few practice questions together until he was confident that he could do the rest. At the same time, we are working on his English abilities by encouraging him to ask any clarifying questions in English. This combination of language and content development is preparing Steven for success in the upcoming school year.

Summer school continues for another two and a half weeks and I am excited to see what Steven can accomplish!

A Khan Academy video tutorial on the distance formula in Spanish.
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