After greeting her new students in Spanish, Giovana Portugal got down to the basics."I need to go to the bathroom," said Portugal, who teaches English language learners at Fillmore Elementary School.
Ana Gómez-Bravo created a class about Spanish food and culture a few years ago as a way to teach the language, but found no appropriate textbook for the material — so she wrote one herself. "Comida y cultura en el mundo hispánico" — "Food and Culture in the Hispanic World" -- by Ana Gómez-Bravo, UW professor of Spanish, was published by Equinox books in October.
Students in Winona State University's Intermediate Spanish courses made children's books in Spanish as a part of their final semester projects. Those Spanish students are donating the books to Madison Elementary in Winona and to the Arcadia Elementary School in Wisconsin.
New legislation has paved the way to allow Massachusetts schools to teach English-language learners in their native language while they learn English. Gov. Charlie Baker signed the legislation that effectively overturns the state's 15-year-old law that eliminated bilingual education from most public schools.
A Denver charter school that excels on state tests and focuses on preparing students for an increasingly complicated world also refuses to teach English to its youngest students.