California Educator

February/March 2020

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 23 of 63

V E R Y O N E H A S a story. Educator Efrain Tovar's b eg in s a s a Sp ani sh-sp eakin g chi l d liv in g in the C entral Valley, at a time when supporting diverse language learners meant sitting non-En- glish-speaking students in a small room with headphones to listen to conversational English on tape. Tovar's experiences seem so far away yet highly relevant as he leads a discussion with his 14 Newcomer students, with subtitles of his words in seven languages streaming behind him on a screen as he talks. "Those experiences I encountered as an English language learner made me the teacher I am today," Tovar says, noting that the insight reminds him to listen to his students. "Every Newcomer has a story. And if you know their story, it gives you a glimpse of who they are." Tovar teaches the Newcomers program at Abraham Lincoln Middle School in the rural farming community of Selma, once known as the "Raisin Capital of the World." Students who are called Newcomers have moved to the United States within the last three years, often as refugees from difficult situations and nearly always without a strong grasp of English. In this school, Efrain Tovar uses tech to bridge language divide and support Newcomer students By Julian Peeples E Tovar's students are learning English, but all are fluent in the language of caring. Welcome Home 22 feature

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of California Educator - February/March 2020