by Claire McInerny
Originally published: March 25, 2017
Sixteen-year-old Na Da Laing struggled in elementary school.
"I was different from other students," she remembers. "I couldn't speak English at all."
Now, eight years later, she's reading George Orwell's Animal Farm.
In the U.S., roughly one in 10 students is an English language learner.
Many schools struggle to help them feel comfortable with their new language. Helping them get ahead and to college is another challenge entirely.
But East Allen University, Laing's high school in Fort Wayne, Ind., has developed a unique program to do just that: English language learners there can graduate with a diploma and an associate's degree. It's a public high school — anyone can enroll — but the focus is on college prep and college credit.