Communication Breakdown

Schools Work To Bridge Barriers With Emerging Eritrean Population

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Posted: April 30, 2013

ESL teacher Anu Beheraj helps Gidaye Tesfamariam, a refugee from Eritrea, work on English during class at Harrisonburg High School on Thursday. Eritreans are the division’s most rapidly growing ethnic population, school officials say. (Photos by Nikki Fox)
Abrham Amine, a refugee from Eritrea, works with vocabulary during an ESL class at Harrisonburg High School.
Denait “Didi” Gebretsadik, 17, a junior at Harrisonburg High School, listens to math teacher Brian Nussbaum before taking a benchmark test on Thursday. Gebretsadik was the first refugee from Eritrea to enroll in Harrisonburg High School in 2009.
HARRISONBURG — Denait “Didi” Gebretsadik is Harrisonburg City Public Schools’ unofficial expert on Tigrinya, the predominant language spoken by the division’s Eritrean students.

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