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New books at Moline schools are helping international students learn English

The books can also be checked out from the Moline Public Library.

MOLINE, ILLINOIS  --  The Moline-Coal Valley School District is adding dozens of books written in a variety of languages. E-L-L teachers say these books do more than teach English.

Moline High School freshman Nabila Saan is a long way from home. She's originally from Togo, a country in West Africa.

"My first day of school was great, Saan said. "I didn't want to come to Moline, but when I came to this class it was fun. We played games."

She's been in the country since 2018, so she is still working on her English.

"They are not only learning a language, they are culturally learning how to navigate a school and friendships at a very difficult and critical part of their lives," E-L-L teacher Hailey Hill said.

Hill says there are around 130 international students at Moline High School and hundreds of dialects.

In Hill's World Studies Class, they are using a new tool to help students learn English.

"At first, when I came to the United States, there were just books but they were not in other languages," Saan said.

The school district received a $35,000 grant to improve its international education program, so they got multicultural books. Students can read books in English and nine other languages. The books can also be read online at home, and heard in any of the ten languages.

"If you are picking up a book and potentially reading it in French, it might be easier for them, however when you switch back to English, it does play that role in vocabulary," Hill said.

"It's good," Saan said. "You understand what they are talking about."

"They do bring language, but they also bring culture, familiar ideas, and values, and that is an important part of building relationships with these students," Hill said.

The books can also be checked out from the Moline Public Library.