Friday, November 14, 2008

Mutjaba: Diversity

By Mujtaba Akhter

When beginning my work at Champaign Central High School, I knew that I would be tutoring students in the ESL program. I honestly didn't even consider having any type of students other than those that came from a Latino background. However, to my surprise, there is quite a bit of diversity in the classroom. I would say about fifty percent of the students in the ESL program are from a Hispanic background while the others come a wide range of ethnicities. There are about 4 students whose families emigrated from Congo. There are about 7 students whose families have recently moved from China. There is one from Albania. I'm sure there are also a few others with whom I haven't had the chance to work as of yet.

I wonder how much help these other students receive. There are only a handful of us tutors that come from Spanish 232, and therefore it seems that the Latino kids are catered to a bit more. We are more than willing to help any student, but it seems to just be easier for those with whom we can use our Spanish. I'm not sure that there is much that can be done to help this situation as there aren't many ways to find a tutor specifically for the students who speak Lingala or Mandarin. Although I am doing the tutoring for a Spanish class, I do hope to help these other students whenever possible.

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