Merced County Times Newspaper
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MCSD Students Complete Foreign Language Program

Students at Cruickshank Middle School in Merced were recognized with certificates during a ceremony on Thursday, April 26 for completing the school’s first “Duolingo” extended day foreign language program.

The course utilized the online Duolingo for Schools program, along with classroom instruction and peer collaboration.  It was held before school on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Participants could choose from a variety of languages, including Spanish, German, and Portuguese.  One student also used the class as an opportunity to improve his English skills after moving to Merced from Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria.

The course was taught by Gloria Berumen, who led a pilot of the Duolingo program during the Merced City School District’s Summer Academy last year.  She says it’s a great opportunity for students to get a head start on the foreign language component of the high school A-G requirements.

Ms. Berumen adds, “I’m extremely proud of these students for their hard work and dedication to learning a new language.  I’m also thankful for the support of their parents who helped get their children here early and encouraged them throughout this course.”

Ms. Berumen has also provided support for other MCSD teachers and administrators interested in offering Duolingo programs on their campuses.  They had an opportunity to observe her classes and learn more about how to effectively incorporate instructional activities with the online component.

The Merced City School District will be offering Duolingo again during the upcoming Summer Academy, which will run from June 18-July 13.  Students in grades 3-7 can work online from home at their own pace with an option to attend classes in person for additional support.  Registration for Summer Academy continues through May 9, and interested families can apply at their child’s school.

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