Be There: Bridging the gap between Spanish and English

Be There: Bridging the gap between Spanish and English

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - The number of Spanish-speaking homes in America is growing by leaps and bounds.

In fact, 38 million people live in homes where Spanish is the primary language, according to the Census Bureau.

News Leader 9's Roslyn Giles shows us how an elementary school in Muscogee County is helping to bridge the gap between Spanish and English speakers in today's Be There.

Guidance counselor Kiana Barclift's native language is English, but she's trying her skills at Espanol, or Spanish.

Barclift works at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Columbus, a school with a growing Hispanic population. School officials say out of 575 students nearly 20 percent is Hispanic. So now, teachers are going to school to learn a second language.

"Spearheading it is our principal, he's kind of leading the way on and we are really excited," said intervention teacher Barbara Weaver.

Weaver and Barclift are among the first group of teachers at MLK to part pâté in the Spanish classes.

Oscar Morzan, who primarily teaches Spanish at Hardaway High School, spends two nights a week teaching a 10 hour course at MLK, and his students are already showing progress.

"In my conference this morning, I was able to use it and I spoke a little bit with my Spanish student today, so I'm not all there but I didn't expect it to come overnight," said teacher Cindee Gibson.

When the first group of teachers finishes up, another group will start. Before you know it, teachers, students and parents at MLK will have broken down the language barriers that make communicating so difficult when one can't speak the another person's language.

Teachers at MLK who are learning to speak Spanish say it's creating a buzz around the school.

We're told other teachers can't wait to get started.

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