BY MARINA STELMACK, HG 2016
Since I was a little girl, I have assisted my γιαγιά and παπού with their acquisition of the English language, while they simultaneously taught me how to read, write, and speak in Greek. As my grandparents learned English, and while I learned Greek, I not only witnessed our successes, but I also noticed our linguistic struggles. Our struggles, especially, elicited a spark and calling within me to help others learn English.
A month before I left for Heritage Greece, I was afforded the opportunity to do classroom observations at the Hazleton Area Middle School in Hazleton, Pennsylvania. In recent years, big corporations, such as Amazon, have opened warehouses in Hazleton, which has caused many job-seekers of different racial and ethnic backgrounds to move into the area. Prior to this, Hazleton was not a place of great diversity; however, today the Hazleton Area School District documents over 1,500 English language learners, also known as ELLs.
I was beyond excited when I found out that I would be observing in both seventh and eighth grade classrooms during my two weeks in Hazleton. Because I am an English Education major with an ESL Certificate, I was able to observe in both literature classes and in ESL (English as a Second Language) classrooms.
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