ELSI - Español Lengua Segunda para la Inclusión (Spanish as a Second Language for Inclusion) is an area of the Ministry of Education of the City of Buenos Aires that assists school administrators and educators who teach students who are speakers of languages other than Spanish.
Schools in the City of Buenos Aires serve a very diverse population. Working with linguistic and cultural diversity requires understanding the challenges faced by students who not only have to learn the school curriculum but have to do so in a language which is not their native tongue. These students need to develop literacy skills and function in an academic environment that is probably very different from the one they are are familiar with.
The work done by the ELSI team includes the following:
- Development and publication of materials with information, practical suggestions and resources for teachers and administrators who work with speakers of languages other than Spanish.
- Assistance and orientation for teachers and school authorities.
- Teacher development activities in topics related to language acquisition, bilingualism, multiculturalism and Spanish as a second language.
- Information services: A video series in different languages has been produced for families whose members do not speak Spanish. These videos present an overview of the education system in the City of Buenos Aires to ease the inclusion of students from these families. At present the videos are available in Arabic, Argentinian Sign Language, Chinese, Guaraní, English and Portuguese, and more languages will soon be added to this list.
"Families and school" is a video that addresses some of the questions families of school-age children who speak a language other than Spanish might have as they take their first steps in the local school system. This video presents a brief overview of the education system in the City of Buenos Aires, the registration process and communication channels between families and schools.