English is an important subject in Ethiopia. But how well students learn English depends on what types of school students go to and where they live.
There are two types of schools in Ethiopia. They are private schools and public schools. In Ethiopia, private schools are better than public schools.
In private schools, most Ethiopian students start to learn English when they are in first grade. That means they learn the alphabet. When they start early, it’s easier to learn how to write and read it. Many students start to learn all subjects in English at least when they are fourth or fifth grade. Good teachers are important for learning English. In private schools, teachers know the English language well.
But most Ethiopian people send their children to public schools because they don’t have enough money to pay for the private school. In Ethiopia public school is free. Students start to learn English later in public schools. Because they start to learn English late, its harder for them to learn it. But in public schools, they start to learn some subjects in English when they are in seventh or eighth grade. Do you see the difference of the two schools?
Bethlehem is a freshman at Blair who started this year. Bethlehem went to public school in Ethiopia. “I didn’t understand everything,” she said. “English was very hard for me when I came to the U.S. because I didn’t learn a lot of English in Ethiopia. I didn’t understand when they explained or spoke English.”
But Bethlehem is learning English quickly now in the U.S.