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FULLERTON : Schools Seeking More ESL Students

Orange County Focus

January 11, 1993|WILLSON CUMMER

The Fullerton Union High School District wants more students in its adult classes in English as a second language.

There are now 17 sites--at schools, a civic center and a garage in La Habra--where more than 1,800 adults learn to speak, read and write English. The classes are free.

The district could accommodate more students, said Duane Clizbe, principal of La Vista High School, who is in charge of the 12-year-old program.

The newest site is Nicolas Junior High School, where Steve Taggart and aide Martha Escobedo teach about 20 students each morning from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Clizbe said that 35 adults are enrolled but that he would like to teach more at the site, which opened last September.

"We don't have any maximum," he said. "The number of students who come in, we'll provide a teacher."

The English-as-a-second-language, or ESL, classes form the largest part of the district's Alternative and Continuing Education Program, Clizbe said.

The district offers ESL classes Monday through Saturday at various sites. Some classes meet in the morning, others at night.

The classes are intended to lead to a high school diploma. Linda Miller, who works for the continuing education program, said that once students have a good command of English they can begin taking high school classes.

About 150 students graduated last year from the continuing education program with high school diplomas.

The district also offers job-specific vocabulary and language needed to find and keep a job in its vocational ESL classes.

Some ESL teachers are retired teachers, others teach in the school system, Miller said.

The teachers set up classes wherever they can find space. Nicholas Junior High had a spare room available, Miller said. Eloisa Espinoza in La Habra offered her garage for the program after being concerned about poor language skills in her neighborhood.

ESL is also taught at Buena Park High School, La Habra High School, La Habra Civic Center and Fullerton's Maple Senior Center.

Call (714) 738-7791 for times and locations of ESL classes.

Students may register in person at Nicolas Junior High, 1100 W. Olive St., or call the classroom there at (714) 525-0921.

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