Do you know what ESL is? Have you seen Gail Goldberg around SLA? Many students at SLA, teachers and other staff members come from another country or come from a family who immigrated to the United States speaking another language. However, many of them have no idea that we have an English as a Second Language teacher right here at SLA.
Gail Goldberg has worked in Philadelphia school district for 18 years helping foreign students learn English and now she’s here at SLA.
Ms. Goldberg was born and raised in Philadelphia and started off with started off as a regular English teacher for most of her career. As a teacher, she wanted to help people — it’s what she says she’s best at.
“I’ve worked at Olney High School, Pollok Elementary, Hardy Middle School, Washington Middle School and recently Kensington High School,” she stated.
Students who have English as a second language have trouble translating their words to English, so Ms. Goldberg helps translate and even helps improve their writing to showcase their writing skills to their full potential.
The Inspiration for ESL
Unlike a typical classroom teacher, her work with ESL makes her job unique.
“It’s a very specialized area, I like to learn about other cultures, I like to learn about places where people have been, where they have grown up, different languages, different traditions, I also just like helping people, that’s what I feel like my purpose is helping kids,” she said.
ESL allows students to have a one on one relationship with a teacher, learning English can be difficult and a lot of people in the United States don’t know how to speak English. Ms. Goldberg has made it her life’s goal to help people and she applies her passion when teaching so kids feel English is a breeze.
“I like for students to get the experience and the extra learning support, and to be able to take what I’ve helped them with and use it in there outside life,” she stated.
Fitting in at SLA
Ms. Goldberg has been to many schools, but when she came to SLA she couldn’t believe the spectacular community or the unique learning style.
“I thought SLA’s type of learning should be a model for other public schools. I think that other schools should look at how Chris Lehman and Aaron Gerwer run the school. What they have done here is just beyond belief” she raved.
At other schools, she felt more alone in her work, and she actually had trouble adjusting to SLA because she’s never had so much help or support.
SLA has a multitude of students from other countries, so having Ms. Goldberg is very useful. Study Skills Teacher Elizabeth Menascion agrees that Ms. Goldberg is an asset to the SLA staff.
“It’s really nice to have someone who can give students one to one support, I think the more support a student gets, it helps them improve. SLA has students that are still learning English and can use her services and she’s a really nice lady and it’s great to have her on our staff,” Ms. Menasion said.
Not only the staff thinks Ms. Goldberg is great but the students should be the real voice that says how helpful Ms. Goldberg is. Sophomore Jack Motter is one of Ms. Goldberg’s students.
“She just helps me edit my work and make it sound better. She’s always there, even if I don’t necessarily need her she’s there, and that’s really great for me,” Motter said.
English is said to be one of the most difficult languages to learn, having an ESL teacher like Ms. Goldberg at SLA will hopefully help students. Ms. Goldberg has been to many schools and met so many students with unique and cultured backgrounds, and she can’t wait to see what else SLA has to offer.
“If I ever leave SLA, I’ll remember the environment and opportunities that it gives to the students, SLA allows the students to only advance and improve,” she stated.