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ESL students and teachers support each other through virtual learning

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MADISON (WKOW)- When schools moved to virtual learning because of the coronavirus pandemic, there was growing concern over how English as a second language students would adapt.

"I was a little worried," East High School ESL Teacher Catalina Thompson said. "How do we keep the momentum going?"

One student found it so challenging at first, he wasn't doing his homework.

"I didn't call nobody," East High School Student Salim Ceesay said. "If I didn't understand it, I just leave it like that. "

It was math that Salim was struggling with, and Thompson went out of her comfort zone to help.

"I called him and I said I'm not a math teacher, but I think we can go through this together," Thompson said. " I'm learning math at the same time with you."

"Now I'm doing all of it and it's kind of getting easy for me," Ceesay said.

It's the one-on-one conferences each week and the extra effort East High School ESL teachers are putting forward that is making a difference.

"It's kind of like teaching two curriculums, two sets of lesson plans for each because you want to make sure that you meet their needs," East High School ESL Teacher Mary Choua Thao said.

"I think that students are adapting well considering the circumstances," Shannon Longworth, East High School Bilingual Resource Teacher, said.

"Their perseverance is really to be admired."

Admiration extending both ways as these students feel so grateful for their teachers.

"I miss all my teachers, and I want to thank all of you for helping us," Ceesay said.

Karley Marotta

Weekend Sports Anchor

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