ELD Tutoring Yay…or Nay…

Adrian Soto, Writer

English Language Development (ELD) is a program dedicated to helping students adapt to English when it was not their first language.  Very few of these ELD students strive for more and find themselves doing poorly among their classes. In light of this, the ELD Tutoring service idea was conjured.


New students who are eager to learn have proven to be the very people that exit the program quickly with measurable success.  However, the assistance of ELD tutoring is directed to the long lasting EL students and those yearning to progress their education.  When students are in the ELD classes for longer periods of times, they often reflect a state of stagnation as seen in the lower graduation rates when compared to cumulative graduation rates.


Bilingual students and ELD students that have successfully completed the program are considering becoming a part of the this new tutoring.


Previous ELD student and current AP student, senior Cesar Rodriguez, is the driving force behind the ELD tutoring.  Encouraging his fellow ELD students to try harder in classes, he often seeks to academically push them forward.


“The main goal of the new ELD students is to assimilate the culture and to know that you are not alone and that there are many people who have been in that situation,” Rodriguez said.  “We know plenty of things that can help them, [ELD tutoring is] mostly to give them some confidence…they are not alone. Even though it’s going to be tough, at the end of the day it is going to pay off.”


Throughout the campus and its departments, tutoring is widely available to the students requiring it.  Although the resources are present, ELD teachers notice their students are not taking advantage of the services.  With this information, Rodriguez had the resolve that ELD focused tutoring is what the students need.


Ms. Hill, an ELD and AP English Language and Composition teacher, openly helps out her ELD students in any and all forms she is capable of.  Gaining information of the ELD tutoring sparks her interest in it, but also produces concern about the tutoring.


“It would be nice or reassuring for current ELD students to see former EL students who are successful and encourage them.  It [the tutoring] would challenge them to move out of EL and to take different classes,” Hill said. “I already feel that we have a lot of tutoring in place at Downey High School.  We have tutoring for each subject area: we have the Writing Center, we have the Math Center, and now we even have that extra tutoring for freshmen —the Link Lounge. So I am kind of torn because the EL students have all of the opportunities that any student on campus has to go to those tutorings, and they are not really doing that.”


As ELD tutoring begins to break ground among the myriad of tutoring opportunities available on campus, the aspirations for success are noticeable.  Although concerned of the EL tutoring, the ELD teachers are in favor of the new aid that their students will exclusively have access to.


Karla Martinez, 12, feels surprised about the creation of EL dedicated tutoring.  Having been an EL student herself and exiting the program just a year ago, she appreciates the effort other students are making for her EL friends.


“They are going to have more help… for them it is hard to get a better understanding of their classes,” Martinez said.  “So if they have the help, like tutoring help for their classes, it is going to be super beneficial.”


The ELD tutoring service is an idea that is progressing into an actual aid for the EL students.  Most of the EL teachers (Ms. Hill, Mrs. Betancourt, and Mrs. Nishioka) have continued to express their encouragement and support of the tutoring.  In attempts to help out the EL students, Rodriguez plans to have locations and times ready by the end of Thanksgiving break.