Let Our Children Soar! The Complexity and Possibilities of Educating the English Language Student

Let Our Children Soar! The Complexity and Possibilities of Educating the English Language Student

By Bolgen Vargas

Published 12 May 2023

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This is a story about English language learners - one in particular - and a reflection on what we, as educators, can do to promote their success.

As educators, we're faced every day with the question of how to teach the thousands - many thousands - of children who arrive in our schools as immigrants and refugees, coming with no English, from cultural backgrounds so different from America's, often from impoverished households and often from households where education of the kind we know was completely absent.

Our work as educators is to help these children start to climb the wall that stands between their past, wherever and however that was lived, and a future in America, where their education will prepare them to take advantage of the same opportunities everyone else here enjoys.

This is not an easy job. But it's one we can't afford to get wrong. And this is not a small corner in our education system today. The number of English language learners in U.S. school systems is large and growing. And the educators involved in teaching this exceptional population include basically everyone, not just those teachers with direct classroom contact. When they're in the building, the entire school is the English language learner's world.
Bolen Vargas' life began in a small rural hamlet in the Dominican Republic where he walked barefoot to school or, on a lucky day, rode on the back of a donkey. As a teenager without any knowledge of the English language he transitioned to the bewildering environment of New York City to join his mother. He beat the odds that his beginnings would have predicted by graduating from high school. A graduate of SUNY Brockport and from the University of Pennsylvania, GSE, he spent his entire career educating children from all walks of life. He served as Superintendent of the Rochester, NY School District and the Manchester, NH School District.
  • Author Bolgen Vargas
  • ISBN 9781398388673
  • No. of Pages 144
  • Format Paperback
  • Publication Date 12 May 2023