Monday, October 19, 2015


The arrival of Limited English students in the Boise District in the past 30 years has a brought incredible cultural diversity to our schools and the community.  Students from around the world have contributed much to the academic, social, and extra-curricular environments of our schools.

Last week, ELL Consulting teacher Molly de Fuentealba put together some maps which provide a picture of the countries from which our Limited English students hail. Limited English students are those who have not yet demonstrated mastery of the written and spoken English language. This link will take you to the LEP map. If you click on the country label, the number of students speaking different native languages will appear.

Of the 1,756 current LEP students, 123 are from Iraq, 98 from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, 75 from Mexico, 64 from Thailand, 59 from Kenya, 44 from Nepal, and 41 from Tanzania.

Here's a screen shot showing numbers of LEP students from Africa:

Of the 328 Boise District LEP students from Africa, 292 hail from 7 countries; Somalia, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The most prominent native languages of these students are Somali, Swahili, and Kinyarwanda, though the total number of native languages among these students is 13.

Here's the portion of the map portraying the LEP numbers from Southeast Asia:

Of these 184 students, 162 have come from 4 countries; Nepal, India, Thailand, and Myanmar (formerly Burma). The 2 most prevalent native languages among these students are Nepali and Karen, but there are 18 total native languages among these students.

Recently, many students have come from the Middle East to Boise, most frequently from Iraq. As you can see in the screen shot, 123 of the 194 middle eastern students are from Iraq. The most prevalent native language of these students, is, as you would expect, Arabic.

Over half of our LEP students (829) were born in the United States. 

These LEP students' native languages total 42, with Spanish being the native language for 625 of the students. 

In total, our Limited English students come from 61 countries around the world, and their native languages total 74.  Additionally, 379 District students are classified as LEPx 1 or 2, meaning they are former LEP students who have been exited for 1 or 2 years, and 964 are FLEP, former LEP students who are fluent English speakers who've been out of the LEP program for more than 2 years.