03/05 - Parents try to keep up with kids’ English - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

03/05 - Parents try to keep up with kids’ English

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Posted: Wednesday, March 5, 2003 10:16 am | Updated: 2:18 pm, Thu Oct 6, 2011.

For their kids, they struggled with the word "thought," listening to the foreign pronunciation.

By the end of Socorro Tapetillo’s English class for parents Tuesday night at Galveston Elementary School in Chandler, 26 moms and dads understood a new list of words and how to say them. Now they’ll be able to read those words with their children — an important goal for these parents, whose children speak a different primary language: English.

The Chandler library system and Chandler Unified School District received a federal grant money to provide the 17-weeks of classes at Hartford and Galveston elementaries in central Chandler.

"I need to learn to speak English," said Dolores Damian, whose daughters attend Galveston. She emigrated with her children from Mexico seven years ago. "I need to be able to help my daughters."

Many parents in the four classes, which average 32 students, said a requirement schools teach in English only is creating a language barrier between them and their children. Often, their children can’t find a Spanish word to ask their parents a question.

"I would have liked dual language, English and Spanish both," said Austreberto Garcia.

Parents also learn life skills in the classes, which started in February. They learn to write a check, to spell and to overcome their greatest barrier: Pronunciation.

Tapetillo said her studentparents want to be more active in the community, and most of all more helpful with their children’s school work. They want to be able to write notes to the teachers or ask questions.

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