The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

The Student News Site of Monta Vista High School

El Estoque

Welcoming Space

Uncovering what the ELD Center has to offer
Lauren Chuu
The ELD Center is equipped with board games to help facilitate interactions between students in the center.
Daphne Huang

MVHS has a new English Language Development (ELD) Center located in room C206, open every day during brunch, lunch and tutorial. The center aims to provide resources and community activities for ELD and sheltered students. When a student’s native language is not English, they take an English placement exam, which determines if the student is an English Learner. Currently, at MVHS, there are a total of 68 EL students, with 38 in ELD and 49 in sheltered courses. Whereas ELD courses focus on teaching the English language itself, sheltered courses focus on teaching grade-level content with additional lingual help to improve their understanding.

The ELD center was first proposed by Principal Ben Clausnitzer and Assistant Principal Sydney Fernandez when the athletics room was handed over to ELD Program Assistant Ling Shih as a workspace last year. Fernandez played a vital role in securing funding and allocating resources for the ELD Center. 

“We have an EL account,” Fernandez said. “I also worked a lot with my neighborhood group for free donations and with our former facilities manager, who helped me find the bookshelves. You’ll see that’s there and the comfy chairs in there. He and I worked together to sort of scour the district and pull them from other locations.”

According to Fernandez, the Global Friendship Club (GFC), a club that supports the ELD community, worked closely with her to turn the center into a reality, a feat that senior and GFC President Lemon Liu believes many will come to appreciate.

“I feel like this room is definitely something [students] can enjoy and just be really comfortable in because it’s a really comfortable space,” Liu said. “We hope people can utilize it a lot even if it’s not purely for academics, [since] the whole goal is that you feel at home there.”

To foster a sense of community and help students become familiar with one another, ELD Coordinator Annie Maness shares that the room has been equipped with games, hands-on activities and some light snacks and drinks for the students.

An assortment of tea bags and snacks are available at students’ convenience. (Daphne Huang)

“The resources reflect on their mission,” Maness said. “I try to buy board games that do not always include a lot of language instruction for kids that don’t speak English as well to be able to follow the instructions, like UNO [and] Spot It.”

Apart from the center’s current resources, Liu says GFC is looking to further improve the room by incorporating academic tools to aid the students’ studies throughout the year.

“We’re slowly working on adding more things in there,” Liu said. “Besides things for leisure, we also talked about [adding] standardized testing prep books or more academic materials ready for students in case they need it.”

However, as with any new space, it will take time for students to adapt to using it, according to junior and GFC Treasurer Minsi Zong. She is optimistic about resolving this challenge once GFC increases efforts to promote the center. Liu adds that it’s also important to distinguish between club meetings and using the center as a space to meet new people.

“Right now just the officers have been using [the ELD Center] for officer meetings,” Liu said. “But I think if we were to start meetings, it would be important for us to emphasize that this room isn’t just for club meetings, and students can be there anytime. So I think we might have to work a little harder on advertising the space.” 

Maness explains that at the beginning of the year, she visited every ELD and sheltered class and delivered a presentation to encourage students to try the new center. She is also helping organize monthly social events that she believes will garner both ELD and non-ELD student participation.

“This month, I am planning an ice cream social event where students can hang out and eat ice cream for Homecoming week [during] lunch,” Maness said. “And then every month will be a different theme. Maybe October will be Halloween and November will be Thanksgiving [themed]. Each month there will be more food but I’m hoping to [also] cover crafts and [other activities] they can do together to build community.”

Ultimately, Maness believes the ELD Center will be a valuable resource for new students to familiarize themselves with the school and integrate themselves into a different environment.     

“My hope is that our ELD program [can help] build a sense of community,” Maness said. “I think when you are coming to Cupertino as a new student or maybe [you] just came in eighth grade or seventh grade a newly enrolled student in the scope of this campus sometimes they can feel like it’s a large campus and it’s hard to fit in or find your crew because a lot of students grew up together. So we wanted a place where students can feel like they can [not only] create that community amongst each other but also amongst teachers, and also maybe even with the entire campus.”

Eric Zhou

About the Contributors
Lauren Chuu
Lauren Chuu, Managing Editor
Lauren Chuu is currently a senior and a managing editor for El Estoque. In her free time, she enjoys making digital art, playing trivia games and watching kdramas.
Daphne Huang
Daphne Huang, Sports Editor
Daphne Huang is currently a senior and a sports editor for El Estoque. When she manages to escape the paws of her attention-seeking husky, she can usually be found playing badminton, managing cat cafes or spending time with family and friends.
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