ELL Student Spotlight – Iraq

Centennial High School has over 30 different languages that are spoken in its hallways. In each class, there are at least 8 or 9 different languages. For the students who have yet to master the english language, there is a special class called ELD (or English Language Development.)

Mary Mannen, head of the ELD department, explains that ELL is the term for the student, and ELD is the program, although the title itself is interchangeable.

“I am always impressed with how quickly they adjust. They want to be like everyone else.”

Zahra Khalid shared her story Tuesday morning. She was born in Jordan Iraq, and traveled to America to escape the war. She had quite the journey, traveling to New York, Texas, and Beaverton until ending up in Portland. She began learning and got comfortable with english while staying in Texas.

Her parents have succeeded in getting American citizenship, but are now trying to get citizenship administered onto their children.

“War was horrible.” Says Khalid.

Khalid shares how bad traveling was, moving all of their possessions, losing important objects, constantly having to adapt to different surroundings.

Khalid states that as soon as she gets her citizenship, she and her family are going to go back to Beaverton to settle down and put down their roots.