What About ESOL?

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ESOL teacher Mr. Garcia teaching a level three ESOL class.

By Ailanis Rodriguez , Staff Writer

Covid 19 changed our lives completely, from the way we socialize to the way students learn. Miami Senior High has done a great job when dealing with Covid, but the pandemic affected our learning either way. Having a whole year of online school, or “Covid learning”, like some people call it, changed our perspective of school. Learning new things has been difficult, like learning a new language. ESOL classes have changed a lot since COVID came around and the change is very noticeable.

Junior Marlen Narvaez, ESOL student level 2, said, “When Online classes started, the communication got affected, you had to be at home all the time without seeing your friends.”

One of the challenges experienced in ESOL classes is the social distancing and not being able to socialize like previous years. ESOL classes are considered a great place to make friends, but since the pandemic started, ESOL classes have changed that particular characteristic. Junior Joseph Amador, ESOL student level 2, said that one big challenge since COVID started is social distancing and not being able to talk to everyone and make friends.

ESOL teacher Mr. García said, “Working in groups is the life of ESOL,” meaning that having students working in teams and socializing is what completes ESOL classes. This got affected due to social and safety rules.  Unfortunately, social distancing is not the only challenge COVID brought to Miami High.

Students have always found ESOL classes fun and entertaining as well as useful and helpful. Junior Madelline Gutierrez said, “Before COVID we used to do a lot of group projects and we got to keep papers with our work. Now teachers can’t keep papers and socializing is harder.”

Junior Mayra Beltran, an ESOL student level 3, said, “Before, classes were interesting because students socialized more, but after COVID it was harder for every student because it was hard to concentrate with the TV or Netflix around. It was boring.”

On the other hand, for Junior Manuel Daravina ESOL student level three, ESOL classes before and after COVID are almost the same, the only difference is that we use more technology now.

Grades have also been affected considerably. Junior Mayra Beltran said, “I couldn’t concentrate and be able to take care of my brother at the same time, so my grades decreased badly.”

Many students benefited when they returned to physical school. Junior Kimberly Calderon said that her grades were not good while being online, but they increased tremendously when she started physical school.

Junior Jareth Espinal had a different experience.  He said, “My grades went down badly, even last year when I was in school physically my grades weren’t that good because every time I went into quarantine and lost material.”

No matter what, ESOL teacher Ms. Herrera thinks that teachers have to be constantly on top of students and that there’s always going to be students with good grades and students with bad grades.