OLCHS Builds Academic Bridges for Arabic Speaking Students
In an effort to meet the needs of the school-community, Oak Lawn High School has integrated a bilingual Arabic program as part of the school’s English as a Second Language (ESL) program. The objective of the new program is to prepare Arabic speaking students to gain academic language across content areas while learning English. The program also aims to prepare students for future career/college coursework. According to Student Services Director Kathleen Murphy, the Arabic program was added to be in compliance with state law and to provide non-English speaking students an opportunity to earn credits for graduation while learning English.
The ESL Arabic Teacher Sarah Said is responsible for the new program. Along with helping the students with the adjustment to high school, she teaches Bilingual Geometry, Bilingual Physical Concepts, Bilingual World History, Bilingual Health, and Language/Culture. The courses are taught in English with Arabic support. Students are eligible for the program if they have Limited English Proficiency status and elect to take the courses. Sarah Said believes the program aims to build student confidence, to gain an understanding of school-life, and to provide students with an understanding of life in America.