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Utah teacher dedicates career, new business to helping students learn English

Posted at 10:02 AM, Sep 23, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-23 12:02:40-04

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah — FOX 13 News is highlighting the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans through National Hispanic Heritage Month which runs from September through Mid-October.

That includes Dayra Gaitán’s investment in the Granite School District.

Since 2003, she has worked as an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher at Granite Park Junior High School, which is a school with a high poverty rate.

“There are always flaws in the system, in the schools, but this school is special. It’s really, really special,” she said.

Gaitán says daily challenges that teachers face at the school strengthens the bond between them.

Gaitán came to Utah from Colombia, South America. She taught English there, too.

“I came to America, not just to improve my English, but I really wanted to see what opportunities were here,” she explained.

To this day, Gaitán continues to discover new opportunities beyond teaching. Without formal business training, she became a solopreneur three years ago when she came-up with the concept of a web-based application called elLiteracy.

She saw her students needing more individualized instruction.

“I got tired of that feeling, feeling guilty that I don’t provide them with enough practice,” Gaitán remarked. “I just decided, you know what, I’m going to just give it all, everything I have and that I don’t have.”

Her speech recognition technology gives students practice reading aloud and receiving immediate feedback on how many words they got right. Teachers across the country and as far away as Australia are now implementing it in their classrooms.

Aside from being a teacher and solopreneur, Gaitán is a mother of four children and somehow finds time to accomplish it all.

“It’s sometimes scary, but at the same time it’s something that I know is good and helping so many kids and teachers, because I feel for teachers.”