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Glendale / Burbank Focus

GLENDALE : Over Half of Students Limited in English

May 03, 1994|JENNIFER OLDHAM

More than half of the city's 28,659 schoolchildren have difficulty reading, writing or speaking English, according to a report released by the school district this week.

The number of students in the Glendale Unified School District who have problems understanding English more than doubled since 1982, when about 24% of the district's student body was reported as limited English proficient.

About 14,917 of the district's students have difficulty understanding English and must receive special tutoring from teachers and their peers to understand classroom lessons, said Alice Petrossian, director of special projects and intercultural education.

Even more of the district's students--about 20,012, or 70%--speak a language other than English at home, including Armenian, Spanish or Korean, according to statistics taken from the 1994 Language Census Report. The district is required by the state Department of Education to compile the annual report.

And about 15 of the district's 28 schools have student populations that are composed almost entirely of students who have limited English skills.

These schools include elementary campuses such as Edison School, with 90% of its student body having difficulty understanding English; Mann School, with 92% of its students classified as limited English proficient, and Roosevelt Middle School, with 91% speaking little English.

To meet the needs of a multilingual student body, the district tests students at its Welcome Center and then places them in a special education program designed to complement everyday classroom activities, Petrossian said.

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