NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
ERIC Number: EJ1192956
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2018
Pages: 4
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0148-432X
Border-School Champions: Chess and English Language Learners
Seidlitz, John
American Educator, v42 n3 p24-26, 40 Fall 2018
Saul Ramirez, a middle school art teacher and chess coach, who had been an English language learner (ELL) and a former chess champion, knew how chess could change students' lives. His own experiences inspired him to start the Henderson Middle School chess team. Henderson is a low-income school located in one of the poorest zip codes in the United States, right on the border with Mexico. In 2015, Ramirez' team of 12 ELLs from El Paso, Texas, most of whom had never heard of chess previously, went on to become national chess champions. After winning that championship, Ramirez told the team members that they would need to maintain A or B averages throughout the next year to continue competing. Ramirez emphasizes the importance of listening to his students, providing only positive energy, and setting high expectations. This past year, 50 percent of the Henderson team was girls, who contributed to the team placing first at nationals in two divisions and set an example for other Latinas. This article emphasizes the importance of helping ELLs, particularly those from low-income backgrounds, reach their full potential beyond academics.
American Federation of Teachers. 555 New Jersey Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20001. Tel: 202-879-4400; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Texas (El Paso)