New ESOL Biology Class Teaches Without Language Barriers


Photo by Elenna Mach

Biology teacher Jeff Grandin works with ESOL students in the new ESOL Biology class.

Elenna Mach and Olivia Dea��Ath, Sports Editor and Staff Writer

Beginning this school year, a new biology class for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) is being offered at RHS and other schools in the county to help students learn without language barriers.

Recognizing the growing number of ESOL students, RHS implemented the new class for 45 students in ESOL level two for the 2017-18 school year.

The class has a Spanish interpreter to assist teachers Jeff Grandin and Lisa Gerhardt when necessary for students. Every sentence of the lesson is not translated, but rather the important concepts that students need to understand the lesson.

Grandin and his students both said that the new class makes ESOL students feel more comfortable in the school community and confident in their studies.

“It gives them a sense of pride, a sense of success, a sense of belonging with the rest of the community that we’re doing the same things and same classes as other students are doing,” Grandin said.

The students who take Grandin and Gerhardt’s class said they enjoy the learning structures and the comfortable learning environment compared to the language barriers present in other classes. It also encourages students to participate in class and educate themselves.

“It helps me know more about the human body,” sophomore Kevin Chavarria said. “I want to know [more] about body systems.”