Waterloo school district teaching students who speak 30 differen - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Waterloo school district teaching students who speak 30 different languages

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Taking learning to the next level.

An eastern Iowa school district is teaching students who speak many different languages.

Five? Ten? Try 30.

A recent report from the Waterloo School District shows that right now there are around 460 students who speak Spanish, 200 students who speak Bosnian, 100 students who speak Marshallese, 70 students who speak French, and 50 students who speak Burmese, in their schools.  That's just naming a few of the languages.

Some students recently moved here from a different country. 

KWWL caught up with English Language Learner Teacher Brad Vallem, who works closely with many of these students. 

"Some of the kids will come with very little resources, literally the shirt on their back. So we have to scramble to get them things like clothes and school supplies," Vallem says. 

We asked what Hoover Middle School does to help these students. He says they have 4 translators that work with non-English speaking students.

They also have chrome books, English-learning software, and boards with visuals on them.

If you walk through the hallways, you'll find flags, posters written in different languages, and clocks that tell what time it is in different countries around the world. 

Vallem says socialization is also very key. That is why they have the students learn Science, Math, and Social Studies in English-speaking classrooms. Translators can help them in those classes. 

The kids then learn English with Mr. Vallem. The school also encourages non-English speaking students to join athletics or other clubs. 

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