English as a Second Language (ESL)


The English Language Acquisition (ELA) Department works with children that come to UPark knowing a language other than English.  DPS has created a brochure to help parents understand the choices they have for their children who are learning English.

Meet the UPark ELA Team

esl_anita_murano-sweetman2Anita Murano-Sweetman, ELA Teacher
anita_murano-sweetman@dpsk12.org

What year did you begin teaching?
In 2001, I was accepted into the DC Teaching Fellows Program. Prior to that I worked at a non-profit organization in Washington, DC as the Coordinator of Interns and Volunteers. I am our full-time ELA Resource teacher and have been here since 2004. It was my 10 year anniversary on January 4, 2014!

Where did you go to college?
For both undergrad and master’s, I went to the American University in Washington, DC. My undergraduate degree is in International Relations with a focus on Latin America and the Spanish Language and Women’s Studies. My Master’s degree is in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages.

What is your favorite thing about University Park Elementary?
Our brilliant sense of community.

If a school day suddenly got canceled, how would you spend the day?
I would sit on my favorite chair in my living room covered in my kitties and reading magazines! If I was feeling adventurous, I might go out to a coffee shop and read some more.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would be chocolate cake with white marshmallow icing.

If you weren’t a teacher, what do you think your job would be?
Activist for progressive issues.

Patricia Ritz, ELA Teacher / Senior Team Lead
patricia_ritz@dpsk12.org

What year did you enter education?
I started teaching in 1987.

Where did you go to college?
I attended California State University,  Long Beach and California State University, Dominguez Hills

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher? 
What I love about being an educator is learning along side my students and teachers. We have such a wonderful opportunity to learn something new each day!

If the school day suddenly got cancelled, how would you spend the day? 
I would  spend the day, hiking or playing tennis if it was summer. If it was winter I would probably watch some Netflix! 

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I absolutely love pizza so I think that is what it would be!

If you weren’t a teacher/educator, what do you think your job would be? 
I would be a Flight Attendant. I love to travel!

What is something your students might be surprised to learn about you? 
I think that my first language was not English and I did not speak fluent English until I was about 11 years old. 

What was the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
I was at the grocery store with my daughter. We had been talking about the best salsa in one aisle, then we proceeded down the aisle and I started to talk about the various chips and did not realize she was not behind me anymore. She had left : >  I continued to talk to myself about what chips to get.  I must have looked like a nut, talking to myself in the aisle and even pointing to the packages.  I just had to laugh at myself!  Whoops!

Suet Ngan, Native Languages Tutor
suet_ngan@dpsk12.org

What year did you enter education?
In 2018, I started to teach at the Goddard School as a Mandarin teacher.

Where did you go to college?
I earned my accounting paraprofessional associates degree from Red Rocks Community College.

What is your favorite thing about being a teacher/educator?
The best thing about being a teacher is seeing students learn and understand new topics. That is what makes the process of teaching worthwhile.

If the school day suddenly got cancelled, how would you spend the day?
I would spend the day with my children and explore new restaurants.

If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Apples

If you weren’t a teacher/educator, what do you think your job would be?
I would be a pediatrician

What is something your students might be surprised to learn about you?
I love to sing

What is the last thing that made you laugh out loud?
I went to a cat shelter and played with some cats