Lack of Accommodations for Wilson’s Non – English Speakers

Erika Medina

Long Beach, CA- Here at Woodrow Wilson High School it is undeniable that diversity is one of the schools’ strong points. According to, More than 80% of the students currently enrolled in Woodrow Wilson High School are minorities. Hispanic Students take up 54.7% of the school population making them the majority. Despite these statistics there is little to no support for students who do not speak English. 


Students who do not speak English are forced to rely on Bilingual students to translate lessons for them,  some students don’t ask for help out of fear of being shamed for not speaking English. This is time consuming for both the bilingual student and the non-English speaking student, there is simply not enough time in the Block for this. non-English speaking students often have no choice but to copy off of other students just to get assignments done. As a result of this, non-English speaking students do not fully grasp the concepts that are taught in class.    


Time constraints are not the only issue when it comes to translating during class, video lessons are the biggest challenge for various reasons. The videos shown are always in English and subtitles are not available, this makes it impossible for students who have no experience with the English language to understand what is going on. Video lessons tend to be at least 5 minutes long and the videos are usually not paused, there is no possible way students can translate that much information accurately. 


With a school as diverse as Wilson, support for students who do not speak English should be top priority. Even something as simple as subtitles on videos or textbooks that are in different languages would make a huge difference in the way students who cannot speak English are integrated into their classes.