Multilingual programs popular in SAMO, more teachers needed

SANTA MONICA – On Tuesday June 19th, the Santa Monica Board of Education discussed their multilingual programs and effective learning methods to support these programs at its secondary schools during a open session meeting.

One of the talking points was the problem of recruitment of staff for the language programs across the district. In particular schools are lacking proficient and even native speakers of the languages they teach. Without teachers who are completely fluent, it is difficult for students to learn and immerse themselves in a new language and culture. In turn this results in students who can merely memorize translations rather than apply the language in real life situations. This challenge also makes it difficult to expand the languages offered at its secondary schools. Language programs have also expressed lacking materials to teach with at the secondary schools.

All of these obstacles are expedited by the large demand of students who want to participate in the multilingual programs. According to the Santa Monica Daily Press 410 students across the district have access to “speaker level” Spanish and over 1,000 students would like to take a Spanish class.

Staff members, who participated in the meeting, also spoke on the ways they’ve witnessed the multilingual programs positively impact students in their classrooms, with all of them speaking fondly of great learning experiences and student development. The staff was encouraged to come back by Board president Dr. Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein with ways to enrich and better the current programs.

Picture courtesy of