ACE School Report
There are currently 29 ACE Partner Schools, located from San Francisco, along the peninsula to San Jose and across the Bay to Alameda and Oakland. They serve K-12 students, and one even supports students attending on-line colleges. Here is a story about one of them.
Oakland International High School
The mission of OIHS is to provide quality alternative education in English language acquisition and in preparation for college for recently arrived immigrant students. According to Sailaja Suresh, Academy Director and Curriculum Coach, there are about 30 different languages being spoken on campus every day. Classes are taught in English, so every student must learn a new language, along with reading, math and science. And I though just learning French was hard!
Technology plays a strong role in teaching language and the ACE network is important. It provides access to YouTube and Google Translate when students need help understanding the English meaning and pronunciation in languages like Khmer (Cambodia) or Tigrinya (Eritrea.) Equipment provided by ACE funding allows English teachers to use laptops to show movie clips, slideshows, and video/audio recordings about stories like The Odyssey. Students use computers so they can access material at their own pace and at their individualized reading levels during class time.
Students who are learning to read English benefit from an audio companion that can remove many of the barriers they have in acquiring a new language. OIHS Teachers are creating a library of audio recordings that students can access while reading independently, which will be available to students through a shared library on iPads. Students also use Tap-Translate and the International Children’s Digital Library. Tap-Translate allows them to post articles/stories online and have students read the pieces in English and tap on any word they don’t know to translate it. These iPad apps will be used in addition to dictionary search, which is a great skill to learn, but often too time-consuming for students to use in class and still learn the content they need to know. Students also use an online service called Empower 3000 for non-fiction reading, which students will be able to access on the iPads during class.
The OIHS students are also published writers. Each year, students are encouraged to write and illustrate their story of how they arrived at OIHS in comic form. This year, the best stories were collected and published. It is an inspiring book of courage, overcoming incredible challenges and an illustration of how dreams are defined. Buy a copy to support the students.