Teachers instruct French-speaking student via translation apps

WESLACO — Computers and the cafeteria.

Edouard Tresor Atangana Ndjina, 12, was to the point and humorous this past week when identifying his favorite classes at Armando Cuellar Middle School in Weslaco, where he’s taken a liking to much more than the campus’ access to digital technology and whatever may be on the breakfast or lunch menu.

“I also really like football, but you call it soccer,” Edouard, whose family recently moved from Africa to Weslaco for business, said in French.

Although the sixth grader doesn’t speak English, he’s able to communicate this and more to his teachers at Cuellar using a translator app. It’s not that the method is state-of-the-art or tailor-made — in fact, the app used is available on any smart phone — but its embrace by educators as an acceptable classroom tool that sets Cuellar apart.

Weslaco ISD officials, who have long identified 21st century learning as one of their more prioritized academic goals, say this is in contrast to other school districts where cell use is not allowed during instruction.

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