Explore Education in Atlanta
Educational site visits offer you the opportunity to visit schools and centers that serve large numbers of English language learners. Each site is as unique and varied as its students. Learn how different programs meet the needs of linguistically diverse learners.
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
Depart from the convention center at 8 am and return at noon. Price: US$85 unless otherwise noted. Register using the convention registration form.
Site Visit 1. Public School, Grades K–8
Unidos Dual Language School’s mission is to guide and empower biliterate and bilingual scholars to be responsible and globally competitive through a dual language education program. Students learn all the same academic concepts as children in traditional schools, but they learn in two languages—Spanish and English.
The school has approximately 800 students, with Hispanic students representing over 50% of the population. Half of the instruction is in Spanish and half is in English. Specifically, children study science, social studies, and Spanish language arts in Spanish, and they study English language arts, math, and specials (art, music, and physical education) in English.
Students at Unidos Dual Language School take the same standardized tests as students in traditional public schools. Because all of the current tests are in English, students take additional tests to measure achievement in Spanish.
Site Visit 2. Public School, Grades 3–12
The mission of the DeKalb International Student Center is to teach English to non-English speaking students. Students attend the International Student Center for just a short time, usually about one semester. Intensive English students attend to learn the English—both academic and social—they need to be successful in their home school.
The center also serves students with limited or interrupted formal education (SLIFE) children through its Language Acquisition Based (LAB) Program. These children have not been to school in their home country or in the country where they were refugees. They remain at the center for about 2 years to learn to speak, read, and write in English; do math; and get some history and science under their belt.
Site Visit 3. Immigrant-Serving Nonprofit Community Organization
Global Village Project’s (GVP’s) goal is to develop a documented, effective, and exemplary program that equips refugee learners with histories of interrupted education with the skills to succeed in life and achieve their dreams. In doing so, GVP aims to provide a model for other programs serving students with similar backgrounds.
The program is designed specifically to equip recently arrived refugee girls with the English language literacy, content knowledge, vocabulary, life skills, and learning strategies they will need for successful study in an English-speaking high school or equivalency program. Most GVP students have experienced interruptions in their formal education and come with limited written literacy experiences. Some have never had any formal schooling before. Teachers work together, with a large community of dedicated volunteers, to individualize instruction for students and provide a safe and supportive learning environment.
Site Visit 4. Technical College
Georgia Piedmont Technical College provides free English as a second language classes, as well as EL Civics classes to prepare students to pass the U.S. Citizenship test. Instruction is available for all levels of English proficiency, from preliterate to advanced. The college currently serves about 1,200 students, of whom 600 are preliterate. Fifty percent of their students are refugees.
Site Visit 5. University-Based Intensive English Program
The Georgia Institute of Technology
Students from more than 90 countries have attended the Intensive English Program at the Language Institute. Although students attend for a wide variety of reasons (e.g., academic preparation for study at an American university, professional development, a cultural exchange, personal enrichment), they all benefit from their experience being with a diverse group of students from around the world both inside and outside of the classroom. Students at the Language Institute learn to understand and appreciate other cultures and learn that real communication involves more than just words and sentences put together. Students form a community of support for each other, which gives slogan “The world comes together at the Georgia Tech Language Institute” a true meaning that they are proud to support.