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Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Lewiston schools 2nd in ESL population

Lewiston schools 2nd in ESL population

Lewiston schools 2nd in ESL population
Friday,April16,2004,9:55 AM
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LEWISTON (AP) -- Four years ago, Lewiston schools didn't have much of a program to help foreign students learn English. There wasn't much need for one.

These days, the city's English as a Second Language program is the state's second largest, with more than 300 students. Portland has the largest, with more than 1,100 students.

It used to be French was the major foreign language in the Lewiston area. But the city's ESL program now caters to about 320 students who speak 16 different languages.

There are more than 200 Somali speakers and the 24 Chinese students are nearly twice the French-speaking population.

And the city's adult education program has nearly 300 students who speak 25 languages and come from 42 countries.

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