Hispanic students learn English, keep heritage - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Hispanic students learn English, keep heritage

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September 28, 2006

Albany - People of Hispanic origin make up the nation's largest ethnic minority. That means more Hispanics will be working at your business, living in your neighborhood and attending your school. There's just one problem, and that's a language barrier. But many Hispanics are working to learn a new language while remembering their heritage. Everyday, Hispanics are immigrating to America.

Abel Villaegas, Mexico "Dos meses. Dos semanas." Two weeks ago to school, but two months to America." Abel Villaegas just moved here with his family and says he really likes America. His favorite part? "School."

At school, he can meet other students like him, that come from different countries, like Guatemala and Venezula. Alexa Sanchez is from Puerto Rico.  She says, "In Puerto Rico, they already showed me a little, teach me a little bit of English." And now, she's learning a little bit more.

Teacher Vanessa Loggiodice says it's important her students learn to adapt to their new community. She says, "We are really proud of our heritage, however, we are here now, we need to speak both languages." She sets an example by learning more everyday herself. "As you see, I'm a language learner myself, so I just want to set an example. I did it, you can do it too." Learning, while remembering thier heritage. "Even though we speak English, in school and Spanish, at home, we have to be proud of our language and customs and they can pass it on through generations."

It's projected that by the year 2050, Hispanics will constitute almost a quarter of the nation's total population.

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